I have this quote on my wall that goes like this, "If God wants a thing to succeed, you can't mess it up. If He wants a thing to fail, you can't save it". I put it up there on the wall as a reminder to myself of the one who is in control. Because truth be told, often times I act like I think I am God and that I can/have to hold everything in place and make everything work out as I see fit. And the reality is, not only is that not true, but it's not how life works.
When I came back to Ecuador in January to begin my second year serving with my missions organization, part of what really drew me back in was the belief that God has some BIG THINGS he wants to do in my heart this year. I know that sounds so self-centered, especially coming from a missionary whose suppose to be all about the community, and people, and God moving in others, but one thing I've discovered over the years is unless God is working in me, I'll never allow Him to work out of me. Yes, I believe God is God and thus He can use anyone or anything (heck, He used a donkey...an ass...in the Bible......a comforting thought for me sometimes!), but when I'm not connecting with God and allowing our relationship to be first priority, I start thinking and acting like I'm the one who touches people, who heals them, who gives them ultimate comfort, who can save them. I don't know what you're thinking reading this, but when I read that last sentences over it's obvious to me that in those moments without God, I start thinking I AM God (notice the trend)!
The really ridiculous thing about all of this is that I am actually really bad at this whole people interaction thing! I would make a horrible God! Now I know there are some of you out there reading this thinking I know Jess and she's not that bad of a person at all, but that's actually where you would be wrong. The truth is, while I can act sweet and intentionally try to put others before myself, and really work to make the world a better place, the attitude of my heart and the thoughts in my mind are often so far from that sweet, caring, others oriented act I try to carry out. I want to be the kind of person who loves unconditionally, who showers grace and mercy on people, who forgives quickly and who points people to Jesus in everything I do. However, usually I'm operating out of a place where I am judging people, assuming I know best, proclaiming guilt on others, and working to make myself look best. If God looks only at the heart, I daily prove to Him how much of a sinner I am and how desperately... DESPERATELY.... I need his grace and forgiveness and love and mercy.
Which brings me back to the beginning, or at least back to the main point of this whole blog, thank God that He is God and that He is in control! While I may "get it wrong" all the time and kick myself and others because of my bad attitudes, God still loves me, He still sees me as His Child, I am His! And there is such freedom in that! When I am resting in that truth, all of a sudden I don't need to work hard to carry out my plans and make myself look good. Instead I can let all that go, press into Him and allow Him to carry out His plans and purposes in and thru me! And that's what life really is all about, isn't it? Knowing God and making Him known! I may not be perfect, but clearly God is still doing a major work in me! And for that I give Him all the glory! Amen.