Monday, 10 July 2017

I am Empowered to Obey Phillipians 2:13 by Susan L.

  "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." NKJ
  "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." JCB

  Yesterday, the worship team shared the reading of the day's scripture. We were each given part of 1 Corinthians 13:18.
  I was given verse five. "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged." That's how it reads in the Jesus Centred Bible. The last part in my New King James reads, "is not provoked, thinks no evil."
  I felt convicted when I read the part about keeping no record so I need to explore what that means.
  In 2007 I was hospitalized following a major breakdown. After getting a copy of the hospital report, I read where the psychiatrist had written, "The patient is only able to talk about the bad that has happened to her."
  Yes. It was the first time I'd ever acknowledged some of the events that were crucial to me being there in the first place! The doctor's note, once again, reinforced the idea I had no right to talk about anything "bad". (I need to forgive him yet again. Sigh.)
  Why had I been silent for so long? Because I wanted to be a good person. I believed that talking about someone else wasn't nice. I believed I had no right to even accept the idea they had wronged me through their choices to do harm. But most of all, I believed their choices were my fault.
  That's one area those who choose to abuse have mastered, victim blaming.
  Lord, there are so many lost souls who really need You. Open every single heart and mind to Your immeasurable grace. I ask this in Jesus' name.
  I've tried really hard to not be a victim and now realize that what has happened in the past is not entirely my responsibility. I've tried really hard to find forgiveness simply because the Lord has forgiven me for so much. Not judging? There's some room to grow in that aspect. Like the verse says, God is working in me and giving me the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
  Without truth, there can be no honest answers.  Without truth, grace cannot be extended. Without truth, everything is based on lies. I was done with lying to God and myself. The biggest step, the first step I was empowered to take was into a new world of soul baring honesty. I was finally freed from the stifling beliefs about what a "good" person is.
 Seeking healing and freedom when discussing events that involve another is not gossip. Thank You, Lord for helping me to discern who to share with and for providing sound counsel. 
  Maybe that's what "convicted" me, the old teaching that I mustn't talk about others or I'm not a "good person".

  A sunflower appeared in my front garden courtesy of the neighbourhood birds. It's a red one, the kind with small, black seeds, and has at least twenty buds waiting to flower. The wind took it down on Saturday, fracturing and twisting the stalk near the root. It wasn't a clean break. If it was a bone, it would be called a green stick fracture.
  With hope in my heart, I carefully staked and tied the five foot tall plant upright, re-aligning the stalk as best I could. The wound was wrapped with a cotton strip like a bandage to hold it securely together. I wasn't sure if it could be saved.
  The half where the stalk had been completely severed was a bit wilted yesterday but with some generous watering and a rain last night it would appear the plant surgery was successful. The entire sunflower is now standing tall and healthy looking.
  It will end up being a wonderful feast for the birds who planted it.
  Lord? Thank You for sunflowers. Thank You that You have carefully realigned the pieces where I was broken. Thank You for the freedom and the time it takes to learn Your ways, the stake that has held me upright. Thank You that the wrongs of the past that once crippled me as a person have been wrapped in Your love and tenderness. Thank You that I will continue to grow and learn and learn to love better.
  "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Cor 13:7

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