Saturday, April 08, 2006

LBY - Week Two

It seems like whenever I start a new Bible study or "faith journey," God allows me to experience certain events that break me down a little bit. I figure that He knows my tendency to try to do stuff in my own strength, and just in case I forget, He finds ways to remind me that I cannot do anything apart from Him.

Last Saturday we had a rough morning at our house. I wrote about it here. But what I didn't mention then is that by the time I strapped A. in the car to go to the grocery store, I was in rare form. Tense. Terse. As Stacy would say, "tacky." There was no good reason except for the fact that I wanted some uninterrupted time to read everyone's LBY posts, but you don't really get uninterrupted time with a three year old in the house (I feel somewhat guilty saying that, seeing as how some of y'all have four or five kids and seem to handle all of them with great patience and grace), and my nerves were shot, and I got frustrated. I'm sure you can appreciate the irony of me going on a rip-it because I didn't have time to read stuff for my Bible study. It was not my finest hour.

Once we finally left the house and got a couple of miles down the road, I turned on the radio because Alex would not quit talking and I don't know if you picked up on this or not but I was IN A MOOD and answering 759 toddler questions was not real high on my list. If that sounds selfish, then it probably is...just know that I'm being very honest because I don't see any point in pretending to be Christy-Christian-Got-It-All-Together when that's not who I am. ANYWAY, who do you think was singing when I turned on the radio? My dear, sweet, close personal friend Chris Tomlin (ahem).

About four measures into "How Great Is Our God," my eyes started to fill up and my heart started to give way. If you're not familiar with the song, here are a couple of verses:

"The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice, trembles at His voice.

Age to age he stands, and time is in His hands
Beginning and the end, beginning and the end
The godhead, three in one - Father, Spirit, Son
The lion and the lamb, the lion and the lamb.

How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see
How great, how great is our God."

Needless to say, by the time I heard the chorus, I was teary weeping bawling my eyes out. Good thing that's not, um, terribly personal information or anything. But I was, y'all. Bawling.

About that time Alex spoke up from the backseat, and in the sweetest little voice he said, "Mama? What are you doing?"

And here was my answer: "Being broken."

The process of being broken is rarely fun, but I think it is a part of what Beth refers to as "pouring out." When we pour out everything to God - including the tears from the deepest parts of our hearts - we empty ourselves before Him. By doing that, we enable the Holy Spirit to come in and do the work of "restoration and regeneration" - the "pouring in." I love Beth's comment that we cannot continually feed the flesh and expect to live in the Spirit - because those two things are mutually exclusive. I had such an "ah-ha" moment about that while watching the makes perfect sense that if my emotions are clogged with bitterness and frustration and sadness, there's just not a whole lot of room left for the Holy Spirit to move.

There is so much I want to talk God used Saturday's brokenness to prepare me for Monday's and Tuesday's conversations with a struggling teenager, how I realized that my lack of discernment in certain areas is because of some spiritual immaturity in those same areas, how Day Four reminded me of the people who have poured out Biblical wisdom into my life (I'm going to write about that later this week...I can't NOT write about it).

But here's the bottom line for me: I am so grateful, so humbled, that the Spirit of the Living God can fill me up. Not because I'm worthy, but because He's faithful. The Creator of the universe, the Lord of heaven and earth, loves us so much that He gives us the Holy Spirit to prompt and to guide and even to intercede. That blows me away.

I pray I never get over it.

"How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see
How great, how great is our God."

JannaFlipflop Robin
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published for the next ten weeks, between Friday 8pm - Saturday 8am. Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of His word.


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