Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Limits of Unbelief

I just read a blog post here that really stirred me up. Go, read it for now, and you'll understand.

After I read that and dabbed my eyes I started getting really angry. But, instead of having righteous anger like the author of the blog post my anger was directed at myself. Just this morning I have been wallowing around feeling sorry for myself because I'm tired, I have all these full of life kids that are in my life to train up in the way they should go, feed, clothe and love.... I was deep in the pit of self pity. Just this morning I had been sitting on the couch feeling overwhelmed and so unable, along with a big dose of "I don't want to".  After I read that blog post, I was mad at myself for crying for starving babies in Africa and yet not being able to love my kids and be joyful in this place that God has put me.  I was actually believing that God could not change me. I was (and maybe still am) believing that I am stuck in this selfish/self-centered existence and that I will never be the person God made me to be.

I started ranting to God about this. And somehow, His still-small voice made it through all my hollering in my head and reminded me of the verses I read yesterday in Mark.

I was reading in Mark 5 and 6.  What stood out to me at first was the first six verses of chapter six. Jesus had been teaching in His hometown and the people there could not see Him for who He was (is) but they could only remember the little boy growing up in a carpenter's home, living a life very similar to theirs. They were deeply offended by Him and refused to believe Him. Because of their unbelief the Bible says Jesus was unable to do any mighty miracles among them. Unable! Their unbelief was so strong that it stopped the Son of God from doing what He does best!

As I read and contemplated those verses I jumped back to the verses in Mark 5 about the bleeding woman who touched Jesus in the crowd and was instantly healed. Her simple faith in Jesus made her well. She believed Jesus was who He said He was and that He could do what He said He could do. Her belief unleashed His power in her life. Because of her belief He was able to heal her.

Yesterday, as I read those verses and even wrote some of them in my journal, I asked the Lord to show me if there were places in my life where I was harboring unbelief. Even as I am typing this, I am realizing that He heard that prayer and is giving me at least a part of the answer right now.

Do I really believe Jesus can change me? Do I really believe that He is my strength? Do I really believe that when He calls me He will equip me to do what He wants me to do? Philippians 2:13 (a verse the Lord is wanting me to live and believe right now -- well, always -- but He keeps bringing it to mind lately) says that "God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him."

Lately I have been believing some lies. And for me, these lies are ones that often resurface in my mind.  I have been believing and rehearsing in my mind that I can't be a mom to all these kids, that I can't handle one more argument between the kids, that if I hear my five year old repeat herself one more time I will go insane, that I am not creative enough, loving enough, good enough, able enough to do this.

And I think, that just for a minute or two after I read the blog about the starving African babies, I was offended by God. I had Him in a box... at least in my life. Sure, He's able to send the blog author to Africa and enable to love and serve her own family as well as sick and starving children in Africa, but me? Change my heart toward my calling? Yeah right! I might as well put on my robe and go live in ancient Nazareth with the scoffers in Jesus' hometown. My unbelief limits what He can do in my life.

"And because of their unbelief, He couldn't do any might miracles among them..." Mark 5:5

Please root out the unbelief in my heart. Please forgive me for not believing You will give me the desire and the power to do what you want me to do. Please help me to believe this. Please give me the desire to be the mom you want me to be.... not the mom I think I should be... and please give me the power to do it. 

Thank you, Lord for bringing all this together for me this morning and not leaving me to wallow even deeper in my self pity. 

In Your Holy Name, Amen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just too cute

Ruthie sucks her thumb. She is my first child to do this, and I just find it to be the cutest thing ever. I may not feel that way if she is still doing this when she is 7. But until then, I will just smile and enjoy it.

Changing the Way I Think

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is." Romans 12:2

I need the way I think changed.

I can't do it.

Especially when I am choosing to listen to and believing lies.

Lord, help me to hear and believe what is true.

Please transform me.

Please change the way I think.

"Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace." Romans 8: 5-6