How 2 Corinthians Chapter 4 is Currently Transforming My Life...
With only four more days until my 22nd birthday,I believe I can honestly say that this morning I received the best birthday gift I could have asked for, And it came in the form of an answered prayer...
In my private time/conversations with GOD, one of the things I've been asking for (aside from permission to be in His face & know Him intimately the way Moses, Elijah and David, etc. did) is for Him to help me see myself the way HE sees me. At the very least I desired for Him to extend my extremely limited vision of myself - I am my worst critic! It started yesterday. I was just sitting there in one of my classes (Shakespeare) and *BOOM* a piece of this verse falls into my heart..."But we have this treasure in earthern vessels..." I didn't remember what the rest of the verse said, I didn't even remember the NT book Paul said that in. So I turned to my best friend Google and typed in the part that came to me. There I found the verse in its entirety:
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God & not from ourselves" 2 Corinthians 4:7
That blew my socks off! I didn't even read the entire chapter right then. I was so taken with the revelation GOD shared with me in that one verse. But before I can share that with you I must first make a confession...
I am a recovering control freak. I loathe schedules and routines. Even though I am also a recovering procrastinator I despise inactivity, regression, and being still for long periods of time. Even when I'm being lazy I'm still somewhat active (unless I'm sleeping).
For these reasons, among others, being patient is something I struggle with. So when GOD requires me to be still and to let Him work I tend to become quite fidgety. And if I'm not careful I soon find myself going the way of Sarah and trying to take things into my own hands. Not. Good. Fortunately for me GOD often steps in and saves me from myself and puts me in my place. What an Awesome GOD I serve!
So anyway since I've been in Gainesville, more specifically since 2009, I have felt like my life has been at a standstill. And thanks to social networking sites (like facebook) its too easy to track the lives of others and to see the "progress" or the great things they're doing or have happening in their lives.
And more often than not I have felt left out, like I'm not doing anything or going any where with my own life. GOD has made it quite clear to me that HE has me in a preparation stage (kind of like how Moses was in the desert those 40 years before GOD called him to return to Egypt to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land).
What is GOD preparing me for? Actually I'm not quite sure. All I've been told is to follow His lead. Still there have been many times when I have forgotten that message of preparation or desired for that season to end.
Here's another confession:
I have the tendency to throw pity parties when I feel I have no control or influence on what's going on around me. I have often been frustrated with myself because I felt inadequate and my shortcomings and imperfections (remember worst critic) have too often caused me to feel that I cannot be used by GOD because HE can't even trust me with waiting patiently.
So here's the revelation- It is absolutely true that I am imperfect. I am a fragile and weak vessel, prone to error. But GOD is greater than me! HE can handle it.
Its crazy because I said this three days ago on twitter- "If you think your screw up can thwart GOD's eternal purpose & His divine plan for your life #youthinktoohighlyofyourself #please"
I was being really saucy on twitter that night! I went on to say-
"HE's GOD #andyouare??? Yeah. Thought so. Your mistakes. Your mess. Your shortcomings. Your imperfections. He loves you anyway #Hecanhandleit"
And even though I knew I was preaching to myself I wasn't really hearing what GOD was saying. But the seed was planted!
After reading 2 Corinthians 4:7 yesterday all the "you" and "your"s turned into "I" and "my"s...
HE's GOD and I am??? My mistakes. My imperfections GOD can handle them. He loves me anyway. Who am I to "attempt" to limit what GOD can do with me, a so fragile & weak a vessel??? Even if it took a miracle that's what my GOD specializes in! Duhhh Cara-Marie!!
So this morning when I only meant to glance at myself in the mirror I looked at myself, I mean Really looked at myself My eyes were opened to the GOD in me. **Did you know you could be so humble to the point that you discredit the work GOD has done and is doing in your life?**
I was doing that. But this morning for the first time in a very long time I saw myself and the work God is doing in me and through me and thought
"Wow I love me! Like really, I love all of me! I like the way I look. I like the way I act and despite my flaws and imperfections I'm elated that I'm myself and I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world. I'm content with who I am because I know its not just about who I am but who I'm becoming in Christ."
When I woke up this morning I found that GOD had gifted me with contentment.
I'm right where I'm supposed to be. So what if my life or body isn't the best or the most glamorous??? The Only wise GOD, the only living GOD, Creator of all things chooses to walk and talk with me!! And HE has had a purpose and destiny prepared just for me since before the beginning of time. How blessed am I!
Its surreal, the feeling this revelation has brought. I'm quite sure I'll need to be reminded of this day every now and again but I'm embracing this epiphany with my entire being.
I could go on and on about 2 Corinthians 4 especially verses 8, 9 and 18 but I'll simply leave it at this...
(Although life is filled with troubles) I am not distressed. (Since my hope is founded in Christ) I will not despair. (GOD sees me and is near me therefore) I am not forsaken and (even when I'm broken) I am not destroyed.
Oh no! My eyes are fixed on my Immortal and Invisible GOD and the spiritual realm I cannot see because I know that all I can see with my physical eyes is temporal (temporary and subject to change).
Loving you... And Wishing you all the Peace.&.Blessings that come from Knowing GOD!!
"(8) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; (9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" 2 Cor. 4:8-9
"(18) We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever." 2 Cor. 4:18