Saturday, June 11, 2011

6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 6-10)

We have a newborn in the house! Thanks to this little man, I was up at 4:30 am. There have been a few adjustments and many more I'm sure, but overall life has been drama free and we've enjoyed the new dynamics of our family. Jr. Nugget (as my husband affectionately refers to the new one) adores "Jr." (another affectionate name given to our oldest by my husband even though his name does not legally include it). His little eyes follow our oldest around the room with expectations that he'll learn something new (at least that's what it looks like to me). And our oldest has adjusted quite well falling into the older, wiser brother role. I'm so glad we prepared him for the behavior of babies before the wee one was born!

I can't help myself though, if I'm awake in the middle of the night or early morning, my brain will usually kick in to high gear. The house is quiet and I have no other distractions. I started replaying the movie we saw last night through my head, "True Grit". This would be the 2010 version with Jeff Bridges, I've never seen the original with John Wayne which I'm sure my grandfather could have recited by memory. I wasn't really thinking about the movie per say, but the scripture it opened with, The wicked run away when no one is chasing them… Proverbs 28:1. Later, you hear the narrator say, “You pay for everything in this world. There is nothing free, except the grace of God”. So naturally, I think about the term that I've heard all of my life in Church but never really chewed on the meaning, "Your grace is sufficient for me". This led me to the passage that opens this post. I'm on Facebook (probably way too often) and of course we all like to post our every waking thought and and/or how we want others to perceive us. After reading some "status updates" and blogs I wonder if some have mistranslated "living as a Christian example" to mean we want others to be like us because our lives are perfect and non messy. Let me be the first to tell you that my life is far from perfect and I can pretty much be a MESS. But I'm alive, I've been blessed with a family I love and who loves me and most importantly I have a savior who created me to have a relationship with Him and to love Him. There's my example... there's my life's story... there's my passion... His grace IS sufficient for me and I need it each and every day. I'm sure my weaknesses are evident and I pray I'm honest with myself and others about them. Thankfully God can use my weakness for His glory and HIS example, not mine. Lord knows, I'd love to get rid of them if given my own choice!

I have had times in my life when I have questioned my faith and why I believe what I believe about God. I won't go in to detail because in all honesty, that's between myself and God, but I'm not hesitant about sharing that fact. My 8 year old constantly asks me "why" and I never want to disregard his questions, but welcome a discussion with him. Of course sometimes it's about science or history and I'll respond with, "You may want to ask your Dad about that one because I'm not really sure". Sometimes, I even ask him to think about it a while and tell me what he thinks and give me the answer to his "why". Isn't it when we question our faith we are forced to search out the answers and in turn making it personal to us? There may even come a day that our children will do the same about their faith and what they've been taught. All I can do is pray that I'm prepared enough to openly listen. And if asked, give them the answer that best helps them deal with their questions directly so they may identify WITH their faith rather than identify IT as the faith of their parents and just something they're supposed to believe. In turn, they (like Paul) can be sensitive and honest to those around them so they may minister through their hardships and persecutions.

Throughout the movie, you hear various versions of the old hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". Here's it's simple message:

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning,
safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

2. O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

3. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms.