Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Standing on the Rock

I mentioned a while back that I was going to take a Bible study at my church called "This is My Story". The first day of the class, Lisa Whelchel (Cauble), who created the study, shared her desire for this class to "combine the life-giving power of Bible study with the creative outlet of scrapbooking, the timelessness of journaling, and the richness of relationships."

Now I must admit I was a little skeptical at first. Lisa was created a scrapbooker... while I, on the other hand, was NOT. Actually that may be an understatement. Let's just say it pains me to even type the word.

However, after reflecting on Deut. 4:9, ("Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen the Lord do for you. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren") I begin to gain a heart for this study and more importantly, a passion for leaving a written legacy behind.

This past week's homework had us writing out our family tree, reflecting on favorite childhood memories, meditating on the most important thing God taught us on the road to adulthood and even studying how King David's life and faith were impacted by his heritage.

I will expand on all this at a later date because today's class was just as powerful and is forefront on my mind. We studied God's call on Moses' life and the conversations the two had regarding that call. Out of those conversations, we were left with three questions that have really got me thinking.

1) What makes me feel valuable?
2) Who do I give the credit to when I'm successful?
3) How do I respond when I feel inadequate?


Of course the Sunday school answer to these questions comes to mind first, but when I really take inventory of my heart, review my actions, and reflect on my attitude, am I living out what I say I believe?

How many times do we as women base our self worth on the size of our waist (substitute butt, hips or thighs), the kind of mother/wife we are or aren't, or the quality of our hair on a certain day?

Or, we look around and feel successful because we are the best dressed (substitute: skinniest, smartest, most talented, most organized, friendliest, most generous and so on) person in the room. But what happens later when that "object" of value is suddenly threatened, and it certainly will be because there is always somebody who is MORE of whatever it is we find significance in, and like Moses, we are in the desert?

Each stone of significance that I use to build a platform for myself is utterly useless. In fact, not only is it useless, but it actually serves as a stumbling block. The only way for me to stand on Holy Ground is to base my worth on the one true Rock and to find my value in His unchanging love for me.

I am so grateful that God started this process in me at the ripe old age of 21.

Through all four years of college, I stood on the stumbling block of a relationship, in which I wholeheartedly placed my significance. I was young and "in love" and willing to go to the ends of the earth for this guy. Both of us were Christians, but neither of us were living out a solid relationship with Christ at that time. He was very much into his baseball career and I was very much into whatever he did.

Through no fault of his own, I somehow allowed this boyfriend's place in my life to represent my significance. I became so wrapped up in our life together that I lost sight of God's validation and purpose for me. There were so many missed opportunities because my eyes had wandered from the correct Him.

Thankfully, though, our God is both a Redeemer and Pursuer. He was not going to let me get away that easily.

Rescue came in the form of a very painful break-up, shortly after graduation. It blindsided me and devastated the life I had formerly known and the one I believed I would have. But, in the desperation of the desert, I began to center my life around Jesus. I fixed my eyes on Him and sought His guidance. I allowed my self worth and value to be established by how He felt about me. And I began to revolve my life around the only institution He created, the local church.

And as I walked in His ways, the broken relationship was restored.

But, I'm not talking about the one with the boyfriend. My relationship with Jesus became my first priority and because of that He made me whole and gave me the life I never knew I wanted! He surpassed my wildest dreams and my greatest expectations. He gave me "immeasurably more than all (I could) ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within (me)" -Ephesians 3:20.

Not to say life is perfect. Or that I no longer stand on some stones that will someday have to be stripped away. But, "He who began a good work in (me) will see it through to completion" -Philippians 1:6, and because of that I am valuable.

And based on past history, I trust my Solid Rock to remind me of this on the days I get stuck in sinking sand!


mom22boyz said...

Sounds like an awesome Bible study! Thank you for sharing your heart. Isn't God amazing?!? It is hard to not be into ourselves, our busy lives, our kids, our homes, etc., etc...but He is always there to bring us back to what is really important! We all need to remember that we are a work in progress! God bless you!!

Shelley said...

Well, I came to read your "ode to the Toe" and saw this post...and I was there today at this Bible Study! You beautifully summed up what she said. I'm wrapping my mind around the 3 questions and asking God to reveal my stones that are/could turn in to stumbling blocks. Thanks for sharing your heart...

raenette said...

WOW! That sounds like a very interesting and unique Bible study. I would love to know more about it so maybe we could use it at my church. I am leading a Bible study right now and it is very good too but that one just sounds so unique. It has been a very long time since I have seen you. It sounds like you are doing so good. Isn't God so good that his grace was always with us and HIS plans are not always ours.

Love ya SISTA,

Sun said...
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Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Preach it, Sister Soldier! I can relate to all of that...I have based my self-worth on worthless things so many times. What a great study!

Liz*** said...

I'm so glad He never stops pursuing us! Where would we be if He had? That would be bad, sister! I love seeing the life He has blessed you with after all the mess you went through. Praise God!