I look up to my big sister. I always have, always will. I’m one of her biggest fans and she’s one of mine.
Both of us are living overseas. We’ve both chosen to live radically with the convictions of pursuing a lifestyle beyond the ‘American Dream.’ It’s not a glamorous lifestyle, but it’s completely 100% rewarding. As we’ve similarly discovered, it’s also 100% draining– or it can be, that is, if we foolishly forget to bring God.
I know that sounds strange: forget to bring God. Is that even possible?
I’m afraid it is.
I wake up and spend an hour with God and then ride a bus and get to a building and climb six flights of stairs to a room full of people whose circumstances are physically expending and psychologically damaging. They’re also spiritually searching.
With my purest intentions and sincerest empathy, I break for their needs. I provide whatever aid and resources are available. I trade my energy for their temporary contentment. It doesn’t solve the main issue from which all their problems result- believe me, I pray for world peace every day- but it shows them there are people who genuinely CARE. I’m sure I’m sounding like a broken record, but relationship, knowing you aren’t forgotten, is sometimes more healing than an expensive doctor’s visit (though that is definitely needed as well).
Okay, back to the point– forgetting to bring God. It happens somewhere between the bus stop and the six flights of stairs. I enter the war zone and see the needs and I want to do everything for everyone. Instead of acting to serve God, I act to serve the people. Instead of living plugged into the outlet of the promised joy of the Lord as my strength, I put on a self-powered smile that only lasts as long as its battery life.
As expected, my battery dies.
My sister recently challenged me with her renewed understanding of this promised available joy. She testified to the truth of God’s promise to be our strength and source of kingdom energy by trusting and asking in faith. Low and behold, she received.
I chose to follow her example…. my big sis is the best:)
With energy and joy rewired into its endless Supplier, my Monday (regardless of being one of the CRAZIEST) was one of the BEST I’ve had yet. It was amazing.
The truth is, things happen when you pray. My morning prayer, which I will wear forever on my heart, went something like this:
Jesus, you have washed me through and through with the truth of your Word. It has penetrated my flesh and I have seen myself as you see me. Because of this, I know that all I am, I need to remain grafted in you. There is nothing the branch can do unless it abides in the vine; likewise, I know apart from you I can do nothing. If I try anything on my own I only fail. My own strength, my own ideas, my own energy is useless. I burn out. It’s all for squat. But if I abide in you, your Words, your Truth, your Power, and your Glory is shown through me. Your purpose is redeemed, for you are a redeeming God. I have seen you work wonders. When I’m nearly about to give up or move forward, your faithfulness is displayed despite my state of broken belief. Over and over again. I know I can trust you. With everything. All you require is that I remain in you, walking justly and humbly in-tune with your will. You promise that if I ask for whatever I wish it will be done, because by this the Father is glorified. So, I ask that you break every chain. Chains of worthlessness, of bitterness, of blindness, of lies. With the women I speak with today- rise up your army of truth within my soul. Guide my words to point to you. Give me confidence to proclaim and boldness to speak hope with an overflow of compassion. Not for my fame, but for Jesus’ name. Your grace compels me. Your all-powerful, all-glorious display of grace. There’s nothing like it; there’s no one like you and no act greater than the love displayed through the cross. As the Father has loved you, so you love me. Although I will never completely comprehend your love, I want to know more of it. I never want to leave it. Help me to abide in your love, just as you abide in the Father’s love, even to your death. Thank you that your resurrected and victorious joy is in me. Thank you that by this joy I am made complete. Your life lived speaks to everything I ever need or want. My reason for existence. Be my everything today, and every day. Forgive my forgetfulness. Lord, how I need you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.