"A crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart." Proverbs 17:3 (NIV)
He doesn't test us to torture us. Just like how working out improves your strength, His testing increases our faith and trust in Him and challenges our motives.
Praise God that Jesus took the final test for us. He passed because there was no way we ever could. His real life blood dripped down that wooden cross for me so I would never have a doubt about His love for me. Yes, there are people here on earth we think deserve His love more than us - but that is not true. Ever. There are people in our lives that have affected our ability to believe in His love for us but that doesn't change the FACT that His love is not based on whether we believe in it or not.
The verse above has been floating in my head for weeks. I feel as if I am being tested. Not on a pass/fail basis, but on "Do you, Jennifer, trust Me or don't you?" The honest answer is "Sometimes". It seems so silly to question the trustworthiness of the Creator of the Universe doesn't it? Silly I am. Do I have the faith to change my current behaviors to pursue Him over my own comfortable habits? Am I motivated by my love for Him or by my need to be considered valuable? Again, silly... of course I love Him and I am valued. But do I feel that way? Not always. Does anyone? Only if they really believe and take to heart God's Word on who we really are to Him (see Eph 1).
I am having a hard time dying to my own understanding of what I need. Not that I actually know what my real need is... and like so many of us I need to believe Him and what He says about me.
Example: Today was rough. The kids were busy, unsettled and restless. They did not want to go to bed at nap time or bedtime. It was stressing me out. I became impatient and even yelled a few times. After over an hour battle at bedtime, instead of crashing in my own bed, I leaned on food. I had several "snacks" - not any of which were horribly unhealthy, but they certainly weren't included in my daily calorie allowance. I heard the Lord tell me I should just go to bed. I didn't. I just kept eating. I wanted to soothe myself instead of letting Him soothe me. I wanted my own choice of comfort rather than letting Him comfort me. I leaned on my own familiar sin instead of on my Savior and Friend. The testing that took place was "will you obey and trust Me to meet your need?" Not tonight. In my choice to go my own way I missed the chance to experience His best for me tonight.
This road is hard. God is always good. I love the fact that we have a new chance every day to walk differently than the day before. Maybe tomorrow I will skip. Or take my own advice and dance! I'll let you know what happens...
Thanks for your prayers. I hope this makes sense. As always, I would love your feedback. My sweet littlest guy is stirring so I'd better go tend to him. God bless each of you!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Who am I?
- Jennifer - Live Courageous!
- I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.