Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When You Need To Keep Preaching to Yourself {on the good days, the bad days, and on the eve of my birthday}



I really blew the last day of being 36.


It was a gorgeous autumn day and the golden beams filtered in beckoning me to believe mercies are new every morning, but exhaustion was so heavy in my weary bones, I wondered how in the world I was going to keep going.


At the end of the day, dirty laundry overflowed and the basket for clean folded clothes still sat empty on my bedroom floor. The only laundry done today was the towels my husband graciously folded when he came home from work, weary and worn, but still ready to serve.

I did manage to do a few dishes, bark orders, organize drawers to pack up a bag of clothes for children in Haiti, bathe my three year old, listen to my son read, referee sibling squabbles, and read page after page of 'The Hiding Place' while the children crafted cards on the living room floor. And I used the steam mop at the end of the day. Scrubbed the sticky, blackened, soiled spots off the white ceramic.

Boy, did I need to steam clean at the end of today.

Oh, I'm not talking about the kitchen floor. I needed some serious cleansing done, and no mop is ever going to touch the filth that sticks to the bottom of my soul.

By the time I get here, feelings of failure, loser, worst mom ever take right over.

Why can't I be more patient and not allow my tiredness to take over all sense of decency, pursue love and not sow discord, pause to breath in grace and not spew dragon-fire.


I keep wrestling with the old nature, while looking to the One who has made me new, whispering for His grace to get me through and make me more and more like Him in the process.


The only thing that keeps on cleansing me is the blood of Jesus. His continuous gracious work as He keeps on saving me from the wretched, poor, vile sinner that I am.
"My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me. On the lion of justice the fair maid of hope rides like a queen." ~Spurgeon 
I blew it like the dandelion seeds that scatter on the breeze spreading weeds of disharmony, instead of breathing in grace and sowing perfect love.

But, I'll mount up on wings of hope. 



Hope that only comes from the God of hope who will "fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

For when I am weak in the flesh, ride the waves of discouragement, wonder how on earth I am ever going to get through the day, and sin entangles and weighs down, I need to keep my eyes fixed on 'Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.'


Look to Jesus, repent, confess, and hope. Drink deep of his overflowing grace and joy and peace.


Yesterday that I read these words but day after day I need them:
"Most of us have 'good days' -- when life pretty much goes along as we desire and we have no serious struggle with sin -- and 'bad days' -- when in one way or another we are conscious of struggling with sin all day long . . . On our good days we think God must surely be pleased with us and is smiling at us. We forget . . . that all are righteous deeds are like polluted garnets in the sight of God. (Isaiah 64:6). On our bad days we tend to think we have lost the favour of God because of our sin. We forget that he no longer counts our sin against us because Jesus has already born that sin in His body on the cross. 
This is not to say that we should not take our sin seriously. We do need to confess it and repent of it. But the greatest motivation for doing that is to reflect on the fact that Jesus bore those very sins you committed that day in His body on the cross, and God has forgiven you because Jesus was crushed for those sins. 
So in order to experience the subjective reality of our justification we must every day look outside of ourselves to Christ . . . 'preach the gospel to yourself everyday'. That is what we must learn to do if we are to enjoy the present reality of our justification. That is what Paul did two thousand years ago when he wrote, 'And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me' (Galatians 2:20)" ~ Jerry Bridges, "Who Am I?" 

And I keep preaching to myself.

His mercy is new every morning. 

I will wake up and celebrate not just a new year, but I will keep on giving thanks for the new life that I live by faith in the One who loved me enough to lay down His life for me.

6 comments:

  1. I feel weak every day. I know it's only by His grace and new mercies that I can begin each day with a fresh slate.

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  2. We are all a work in progress. Keeping our hearts open to the message in the midst of failure is really the key isn't it? And really, I'm not saying you failed at all, we just feel like we do when things don't go the way we envision. And in parenting, on most days, they don't go the way we envision. Hoping your first day of 37 feels like a fresh start full of hope.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shelly. A work in progress and One He promises to complete! So grateful for grace!

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  3. I have to keep preaching to myself over and over too.

    So grateful for this!
    "The only thing that keeps on cleansing me is the blood of Jesus."

    Hope you had a nice birthday.

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  4. oh, how i needed to read this tonight rebekah. it's been one of those days. thank you for ministering to my weary soul. xo

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