If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I am involved in a Bible study through Women's Ministry at PCC. We studied Daniel - my first Beth Moore study - and I learned a lot not only about the history and prophecy in the book, but about the Babylon that we face every day at this time, in this world. Scripture came alive in a very real way.
As a follow-up we stared a Beth Moore Lecture series on Revelation. Again, it is very good, and I am captivated as I listen to Beth open up the Word and make it come alive. She truly has a gift when it comes to study and application. But, I honestly can't tell you what she discussed last week because my imagination was captured by something she said at the very end of the lesson. In fact, I can't even really tell you what she said, but I know what I heard.
I realized that I have a trust problem when it comes to God. It's not that I don't believe His promise of salvation. I believe I am saved and that I will be in Heaven with Him some day based on what He did for me on the cross. I realized, though, that because of the hurt and pain that I have lived through in my past, that I have put up the same walls in my relationship with Him that I have put up to protect myself from other people. I know I shared a little about this in my last post, but as I have processed it more this week, I realized that in reality I have "hardened my heart".
Now, I have to tell you as a believer, that is a terrifying revelation. Things didn't go so well for those in the Bible that hardened their heart against God. It's not a gift of the Spirit, and it certainly isn't something that Christians aspire to. It is sin. It is me thinking that I know more about what is best for me than God.
As I have dealt with these realizations this week, I had to make some choices. I could put on the ever popular church mask - the one that you use when going to church on a Sunday morning when everything has gone wrong so that when someone asks how you are doing you can smile big and say that everything is fine - or I could be honest with myself and others. For once in my life, I chose the latter. Everything is not fine. I have a real issue to face, and I honestly don't know how to go about breaking down these walls that I am living in. I have to give myself the grace to struggle. I work at a church...big deal. The disciples walked, and talked, and lived with Jesus and they struggled. I am a Christian...yes I am. Struggle doesn't make me less of a Christian. My Christianity was bought and paid for through Jesus' blood on the cross. Does it hurt to know that it was because of me and my arrogance that Jesus had to die? Of course it does.
But...Jesus cared enough about me that He willingly walked that road to Calvary. He suffered the insults and the mockery and beatings and the humiliation and the pain and the death so that I wouldn't have to. He knew that I would struggle. He knew that this little girl whose parents would divorce, who wouldn't be one of the popular crowd in high school, who would be hurt through close friendships and relationships in college, who would struggle with her weight and self esteem would struggle to trust Him as her Father and as her friend. And yet, He paid the ultimate price because regardless of whether she realizes it or not, He loves her. An amazing love that she can describe and wants desperately to feel.
So, who am I? I am all of the above. I am lonely and hurting and seeking and longing and, most importantly, growing. I heard recently, I am not sure if it was from Beth Moore or Angela Thomas, that you cannot be victorious unless you have had something you have had to overcome. I am sure they said it more eloquently, but you get the picture. :)
What am I not? I am not a lost cause. I feel that way sometimes, and Satan has a field day, but I have the promise that somewhere down the line, I win. I win because Jesus already won. He is waiting for me to join Him at the victory feast, but first, He will walk with me through every single step of this struggle. I believe He will be the one to break down my walls because I don't know that I have the strength to do it myself. He is just waiting for me to open the door.