I am weary. Anyone know what I mean? I'm so glad to be rooted firmly in my faith and growing in the knowledge and wisdom of God, but it is hard work. This Friday morning I'm watching for Sabbath. I'll be watching all day, "more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning."
I've been captured by God again, breathed new life into, and one of His means has been reading One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and her daily posts at aholyexperience.com. He is drawing me to a deeper level of freedom, and the words He's used through Ann regarding gratitude and thanksgiving are reshaping my outlook. You can only feel one thing at a time. It's impossible to feel anger, rage, malice, slander (Col 3:8,9) from a thankful heart. So I'm practicing. I'm practicing replacing familiar defensive postures, quieting the voice that's journeyed with me through life to remind me that I can't be everything to all people and that I fail. I'm practicing watching and waiting. When I don't know exactly what to say, exactly what to feel, exactly how to respond, I'm waiting on the Lord. Waiting longer. Waiting more patiently. Waiting expectantly. And through the waiting and the thankfulness I think He's giving me one of my heart's desire - to see what He sees. To begin to love as He loves. And because I am a chosen one, holy and dearly loved, He has clothed me this day with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Col 3:15)
Over and With
In my first morning prayers, from The Night Offices by Phillis Tickle, I spoke from Psalm 149:2-5
Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise his Name in the dance; let them sing praise to him with timbrel
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph, let them be joyful on their beds.
~And adorns the poor with victory~
It's less about victory over-
It's more about victory with-
I think it's about the prepositions. To be clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, and gentleness requires bent knees. Victory in God's kingdom bends and bows low, kneels with the Christ who humbled Himself and served us all, the poor. There is only one victory that has been raised over - the sacrifice, the cross of Christ, the Resurrection - the Kingship of Jesus. I don't think I can have personal victories anymore. They all belong WITH Christ. Less victory over Something and more victory with Someone.
I'm learning so many things, this new sight I have opening me to miracle moments. I'm weary. But the most satisfying, joy-filled, enduring things my life has offered have come often with a work that leads to bone-weariness. And in my waiting and watching with Victory I am learning to be so thankful for weariness. Because in my poverty, He will fill me with His strength and power. I will choose the WITH of Christ instead of OVER every time.
Love you, Favored One.
*Ken and I bow together morning and evening, praying The Night Offices, Phyllis Tickle. We will move to Eastertide: Prayers for Lent, Phyllis Tickle, beginning Ash Wednesday. I have been using A Diary of Private Prayer, John Baillie, as well, and praying it with the boys before bed. In addition, I am reading Colossians daily, sometimes several times. Originally I was planning to for 20 readings through. Now, I'm reading it until God moves me on. Maybe a month, maybe a year. He knows. I pray you are encouraged in spirit and hope.
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony WITH one another, in accord WITH Jesus Christ, that together WITH one accord you may WITH one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6
Always WITH Christ. Never OVER.