Saturday, July 23, 2011

Going Lower

"I used to think that God's gifts were on shelves one above the other, that the taller we grew in the Christian character the easier we could reach them. I find now that God's gifts are on shelves one beneath the other, and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts." (F.B. Meyer)

"To receive God's gifts, to live exalted and joy filled, isn't a function of straining higher, harder, doing more, carrying long the burdens of super-Pharisee's or ultra-saints. Receiving God's gifts is a gentle, simple movement of stooping lower." -One Thousand Gifts

I am reading this book slowly, soaking it up. It's a lot to take in, a lot of meat and oh so good. As I grow more in my Faith and knowing and understanding God in ways much longed for, I think I am at the brink of understanding. Isn't the Gospel about humbling yourself? Being lesser than, not thinking less of yourself but of yourself less?

Living with my eyes on the world, horizontally, I am often disappointed. Comparing myself with others leaves me parched, starving for more and feeling less than or more than, thinking of myself, what I have, what I don't. Comparison. In some form everyone struggles with this. When I am completely free and have joy and contentment, my eyes aren't on me or others, but vertically, on the Lord. Every time I feel "off" in my spirit and discontent I look to see what I am "looking" at, and it is never at Jesus. I get consumed with life, the world and making the shift to get out of it is hard, but I am learning. Just the acknowledgement of where my hope is lies, the grip of it lessens.

I pray he takes me lower, for there I have seen His face, heard His voice and been in His presence. The times I have seen and known God was when I've been low, when I see my depravity... it makes grace so much sweeter. I pray daily for the gift of humility, for grace, for living authentic and in His power, not my striving. We tell our kids "YOU did so good"..."I am so proud of YOU". From an early age they learn how to jump on the performance treadmill and gain the glory for THEIR accomplishments. Of course I tell my kids this, but I am becoming more and more aware to remind them and tell them I am so proud of what GOD has helped them accomplish. Isn't just our mere breathing a gift of grace in itself? We are no more. We are no less. Everything, good and bad, comes from Him. It is so counter-intuitive to our culture, even the Christian culture.

Just some late night thoughts...

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