More Than I Bargained For

Death Valley Dunes

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call to you,
    my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble and do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

Sometimes I forget that there is so much we don’t know about each other. As I was working on posts today, I started reflecting on the radical turn my life has taken in the past year.  These past two years have truly been the hardest of my life.

When we moved to GA, once again God drew me away from one of the greatest blessings He has given me and my greatest stumbling block- my amazing Christian friends and family. He tried when Phil and I were first married to teach me this lesson in FL- but I wasn’t hungry for Him then- wasn’t ready to hear His call to a deeper walk.

I can hear your questions- why would God not want you to have friends?  Why would He take you to the wilderness?

This would be my answer now, after all I have been through-To discover my thirst for Him- so that I might finally come to Him on my knees with the full knowledge that the best I have to offer will never be enough.

I can’t do this life without Him- even with friends and family that support me and are amazing- nothing can replace God.  I have found a hungry desperation for Him that I have never had before.

A constant awareness that my own self-sufficiency and desire to control things are road blocks to a deeper intimacy with Him.  Recognizing my reluctance to let my life be interrupted or altered by His priorities.  I want my way- to keep to my list of what’s important.

In so many ways, I am discovering on a deeper level how far sin has infiltrated my life.  How it has weeded its way into nearly everything that I do- affecting my motivations and doing its best to poison any effort I make to serve God.

With these convictions has at times come a heavy heart- a desire to deny what I see- and anger.  Anger at myself for being so sinful, anger at God for making me face it- fear that I won’t be able to change- that I will stay in this state of self-loathing.

Sometimes when I catch a glimpse of my sinful self- I want to run away- to deny- to pretend like it isn’t real.  To rationalize and down play the seriousness of my condition.

But there are two things that keep me holding on- first- my children, second- my new intimacy with God.

First, my children.  I have never loved anyone like I love them.  I know I would gladly give my life for them.  My desire to be a Godly Mom holds me on course when I feel discouraged, when I feel overwhelmed- when I see my own sinfulness in my interactions with them- the desperation I feel to change- to not react the way I do- to be made new.

This keeps me in the Word, in prayer, seeking my Savior.  I know that only in Him can I hope to be the Mom I long to be.

Second, I have tasted God over these past several months in a way that I never have in my life.  It has made me so hungry, and scared- I fear God- I am in awe of His Holiness.

I feel the weight of what He has called me to do- the discipline, the responsibility- and yet I feel a freedom to love like I never have.  A slow release of cares that used to consume me.  My priorities are being altered daily as His Word instructs me and His Holy Spirit convicts me.

I know He is transforming me. I don’t understand it, and many times I don’t see it in myself- and yet I feel this peace sometimes.  A stillness that is so deep and pure- and I want more of that.  I know it is only found in Him- I have to sink into the reality of Him- until the world becomes the strange place and He feels like home.

To keep pursuing all that He is and keep in mind all that He has done so that I do not grow weary and lose heart.  He keeps my burden light- but I have to come to Him- to acknowledge that only in Him can I find rest.  There is no other place in this world where true rest exists.

All that has happened- it is more than I bargained for- Thank you God.

Romans 6:8-18

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to Godthat, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sinand have become slaves to righteousness.


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2 Responses to More Than I Bargained For

  1. You are right in that complete peace and rest are found in our Savior. Thank you for sharing this at What Joy Is Mine.

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you for an opportunity to share- and by the grace of God-encourage others on this journey to daily love and serve our Lord and Savior- all for His glory.

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