Thursday, June 15, 2006

Trying To Share What I Didn't Have...

"... he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts." ... Acts 11:23

One of my (many) biggest problems for years was that I encouraged people to do what I, myself, wasn't doing.

I mean, words fall kinda flat when I encourage people not to worry while I, myself, am a card-carrying member of Worriers Anonymous.

It's not exactly powerful when I'm patting a woman on her shoulder, telling her to stay calm because God is all-powerful--and then, myself, going home and stressing-out over the tiniest mishap.

Personally, I don't want to be a kind of stressed-out, whining, fearful, impatient, frustrated, just-plain-sad Christian.

I think that quota has already been filled.

So years ago it hit me-- I should slow down and let God work on me first. I needed to let Him calm me, de-stress me, encourage me, not to mention just plain change me into something which reflected Him... I needed to take some time out for Him to empty me of myself and all those rickety, laughable self-improvements I'd attempted--and then fill me with Him so that finally, I would have something worth pouring out to others. I mean trust me--people certainly do not need a new and improved Debra--they need God. And either God is God inside of me, or He isn't. Either He is able to move around freely without my stopping Him with my 'better ideas'--or He isn't.

It took years. It is still taking years (and oh, what I am finding in Friendship with Him. Like, something's gotta change in His presence--and it ain't God). :)

It takes time to empty out a soul of a whole lifetime of so-called improvements. If only we weren't so afraid of being left behind the crowds in those runners coming in last. But we forget (and forget)-- with God, the last will be first. And the changes are worth every pause, every hidden minute of coming away which they required.

Because, finally, there appears something Real to pour out to others. Something they--we--needed all along.

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