Wednesday, February 17, 2016

a relaxed hope... a secure future

Relaxed and secure.  That is what everyone desires, right?  We all long for peace and contentment.  We all wish for hazards and threats to be removed.   We all enjoy laughing and playing.  We all benefit from creativity and imagination.  We were each made special and unique... with gifts to develop, to use, to enjoy, and to be a blessing for one another.  Relaxed and secure... comfortable in our own shoes, as they say. But how few of us are really relaxed and secure?  And isn't it foolish to think we could find any comfort in a most uncomfortable and unpredictable time and place?

The answer lies in our purpose.  For if we know and understand exactly what we were created to do, it is easier to stop festering and worrying over the bothersome unknowns that surround us.  And the unknown is definitely out there, isn't it?  This earth guarantees us the pain of uncertainty due to sin.  We are all too well accustom to the horrors that only mankind is capable of drumming up.  Yes, we live in an unsafe world that is full of volatile, turbulent, and scary moments.  We cannot change the reality that evil is here and present.  But we can depend on the One who has already overcome evil and has placed us here to do His good.  We can live content trusting that His reason for making us is meaningful and impactful.  Why?  Because He said so.  You likely know His Word as well as I, but let's refresh our eyes and rejoice together as we absorb God's truth again...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Every person desperately needs God's love.  As I think about this, inside I am reminiscing about how my forty-six years of life have played out.  How all my own trials and experiences have brought me right here - to my small writing desk - to type out God's eternal truths for you to read.  I realize that my King has already pre-planned that I would convey the importance of striving for His full restoration through LOVE.  He already knows who will absorb the words I write once I post them.  He knows exactly where my little article will encourage, and comfort, and bless.  All that He asks of me is to get up... to follow through.  To deliberately love others in His Name with my actions.  He wakes me up each morning so I will obediently make myself available and willing to reflect His image in the unique way that He gifted me to produce.  It is here that I realized what many have been telling me for some time... "Victoria, you are well-suited to write for Christ." Strange that I would come to think that, you say?  Not really.  In fact, a few years ago, I might have argued heavily against such a calling.  For you see, I am a huge introvert who has historically felt uncomfortable sharing and reflecting openly.  I am easily exhausted and overwhelmed by the bustle and drama of people.  (And let me tell you, if you want to experience bustle and drama, openly proclaim your allegiance to Jesus repeatedly in public forum and see what the enemy throws your way!!!  It's not pretty!)  Furthermore, I am a big, fat, ugly, broken, and obnoxiously flawed sinner.  I know that I am in no way the picture perfect personhood of Christianity, nor could I meet the expectation of others to become so.  This terrifies the living snot out of me and causes me to laugh at the thought of even associating myself with The Devoted Woman.  But... I am devoted to Jesus.  I am His child.  And I love Him.  I trust Him.  I long to be as much like Him as I am able.  And I know others need to know Him so soooo much.  So yes, I will write in love.  I will work faithfully for His honor.  I will give up myself, my career, my whole life to Him because He lovingly gave Himself up for me.  My mind is set above with Him.  My course is set.  My purpose is clear.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-3)  

Over the course of time, God has changed everything about my once big-deal, high-exposure, wealth-making career and turned my focus to this small, independent ministry that is absolutely, positively worth nothing of human value.  But here I have learned that humility is the doorway to all things heavenly and eternal.  For Christ is best found in our humblest places.  What a relief.  For today, I am just me.  I love my husband.  I love my family.  I love my closest friends.  But mostly, I love being near my Savior.  And somehow, simply... He is enough.  Hallelujah!

Relaxed and secure.  This is the peace I know serving my Lord.  No matter what comes, I know He will rein and remain forevermore.  I believe that He cherishes me most.  I am grateful for the joy He extends.  I have faith that He will see me safely through this life and bring me into His presence unharmed.  My hope is secure in His promised Kingdom.  No matter how bumpy, or broken, or burdened this time and place may become... I and here, today, in Christ alone.  My message is His.  My purpose is His.  My WAY is His.  My eternity is His.

Relaxed and secure.  Hallelujah to the King of kings!

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
(Psalm 32)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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