I opened my bible to this passage this morning. Then, as I often do, I flipped back to a reference in the footnotes. I picked up on the previous page and ended with this same passage - not even realizing I would re-read it. I am self-aware (and God-aware) enough to realize that it is important to God that I read and study this passage today.
I made that realization rather grudgingly, honestly. It's hard to admit I have been neither humble nor standing firm in my faith! Yes, I have gone through the motions, and on some mornings I do spend some quiet time, sometimes in the bible, other times not. But I have not devoted myself to God's word -- really dug in and studied, prayed about and reflected upon His Word that was presented to me each morning as I once did.
I did that for years - sometimes awakening in the wee hours of the morning, slipping downstairs to wrap up in a blanket and open my Bible. Those were truly holy times. Blessed. Amazing. I devoted myself to learning more about God's word. It was the central focus of my life. I share this not to point out how devout I had been (not even!). Rather to highlight that I am NOT at all devout now.
And that, my dear friends, explains much of how I go through each day, each week, each month. Each year--lacking the intimacy with God that is necessary to not just make it through the day, but rather to rise up each morning rejoicing! To thrive in the midst of adversity, to feel sustained and uplifted. I say feel because I know I am sustained and uplifted but fail to acknowledge it without a hint of resentment.
You see, as blessed as I am personally, and my life is generally, I'm not living the life I thought I would be living. There. I said it. My life is not bad, hard, sad. It's just not the life I had planned. Not much humility in that statement, is there? Not much room for God to do His will.
I'd like to make some sweeping statement like, "Beginning right now I commit to . . ." But I won't. I'm not sharing this to ask for accountability - though I welcome any time someone asks me about my faith life and its general condition. I share it because I am fairly certain I am not alone in this situation. I am pretty confident others feel the same say and (a) feel guilty for not being "happy" and/or (b) don't know why they don't feel "happy" and/or (c) would never admit to another living soul that this is the case.
So God's grace extends not only to me but to each of us. He loves us so much that He forgives the lack of attentiveness to our relationship with Him. He rejoices when we return to Him. For someone generally considered rather intillegent, intuitive, insightful and intentional, I have really allowed 'the adversary' to rob me of more sacred moments with my God! And I have failed to thank God properly for His grace.
No sweeping statements or promises . . . just a confession. Which is the starting point to heal a broken relationship.
the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessings on your journey,