Thursday, July 18, 2013

Remember Lot's wife...

I've been doing a 'Bible study' of sorts with She Reads Truth which sends you the Scripture and a reflection in your inbox. Very cool and convenient :) This particular study is about Women in the Bible. Even though I have heard all of these stories before, they seem to have come at a perfect time where I needed to be reminded of them the most.

One of the women I am doing my best to learn from is Sarai, Abraham's wife (later to be known as Sarah). For whatever reason, the Lord made it impossible for her to get pregnant. She and Abram lived their married life without conceiving. And she got tired of waiting on the Lord, so sent her servant Hagar to conceive with Abram so that they could have a son to carry on their family. Now, this isn't really the typical way things happen these days, but much can be learned from this situation. Because in the end, Hagar was resentful toward Sarai and no one was really happy with what happened. It was just bad news. Eventually Hagar and her son even got sent into the desert... but that is more to the story you can read in Genesis! 

So what is my point here? Sometimes we get tired of waiting on the Lord and don't understand what the heck He is doing, so we try to take matters into our own hands. I am guilty of doing this occasionally all the time. I get frustrated, I get tired of waiting to see what He is going to do, and so I try to do things on my own...and let me tell you, it never ends well. So I'm trying to learn from Sarai's impatience and try to be more trusting. But hey, in the end, God still loved Sarah and gave her a son in her old age. Good things come to those who wait! 

The second woman I am learning from is Lot's wife. I can't remember if the poor woman's name was ever mentioned, but almost everyone knows the story of the woman who turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back on her home being destroyed when she was specifically told not to. Even though the Lord saved their family from destruction and called them out of the city, she still looked back. Now typically whole cities these days are not lit up and bombed by the Heavens. But what do Sodom and Gomorrah represent? They represent sin, evil, immorality...all the crap in our past that maybe we are still holding on to. Maybe we look back because we are still struggling, maybe the temptation is too strong for us, maybe we look back because we just aren't ready to let go, and maybe we aren't as strongly focused on the Lord as we should be. Because if we were really walking in trust with Him, we wouldn't want to look back. We would know the Glory that awaits us if we were to keep pressing onward and not look back on our own Sodom and Gomorrah. When He calls us in His mercy from a life of sin, we need to run straight to Him, never looking back. 

"Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it." -Luke 17: 32-33

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wanting to be normal in an abnormal world

I just want to be normal.

This is something that I often (and I would venture to say many people) am tempted to think. On those days where I feel like I have this giant weight over my shoulders, or those times when I feel like I have too many problems to count, I find myself sighing these words and just wishing I could be "normal". I wish I could eat like a normal person and not have anxiety about calories....I wish my skin would be normal and not have these breakouts....Why am I not married like normal people my age? (might not necessarily be true, but if all of your friends have went to Franciscan it's pretty accurate!) ...Why can't my life be more normal??!

Well I'm convinced that no one is completely normal, and I'm sure everyone, at one point or another, has wanted to be "normal like everyone else". (As I'm typing this, the font size is "normal".... Who decided that this would be the normal font size anyways? But I digress.) Even though some things may be quantified as 'normal' such as blood pressure or other standard measurements, 'normal' is something that can be very relative. What's normal for me might not be normal for someone else. For arguments sake (and to satisfy my curiosity) I decided to look up the meaning of the word normal:

  1. according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle
  2. conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
  3. occurring naturally 
  4. of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development
  5. free from mental disorder : sane
So yea, based off these definitions, it's no wonder that people want to be normal. Sounds great right? However, what is normal for society today? In a world that is so divided on every issue, a world that is full of people of different faiths, cultures, ways of living, how can there possibly be a norm? Even though all these difference exist, our world still tries to tell us how to be normal. "Normal" nowadays is doing whatever your body tells you is pleasurable, obtaining all the latest technologies, being too cool for morality, and while you're at it, dieting, exercising, and being as close to a size 0 as possible. At least this is what the media and celebrities are constantly portraying as 'normal' and what everyone should be striving for. (Although we all know celebrities don't live normal lives ;p ) You see it on magazine covers in grocery stores, commercials, billboards, you name it. Especially as a woman, this can be very difficult. Whether it be my desire to have children or wanting to be physically attractive and well liked, it can be hard to steer away from the temptation to not wait until marriage or to be overly critical of my appearance. So what is a girl to do in this situation? Well, there is the option of giving into my bodily desires, maybe having more 'fun' at the time, and not allowing myself to eat desserts (for lack of a better metaphor), but in reality enslaving myself in chains to my flesh, not really living, and probably racking up years worth of emotional baggage....(doesn't sound too appealing) OR I can look to the cross and cling to Christ in every moment where I feel that I am at my weakest. I can lean on Him for support and find my strength in His gaze. The other things that we do to try to feel 'normal' really only satisfy that feeling for a short amount of time, and sooner or later, those feelings are going to come swirling back. Only in Christ can you really find that fulfillment, that love to fill the holes in your heart. Instead of looking to the mirror of this world to find normalcy, let's look to the mirror that can be found in the cross, and see ourselves in His eyes.

So to the world, eh, I don't want to be normal. But to Jesus, I want to be a normal face that sees and loves Him every day, striving to find my identity in Him alone. And He wants the same for you.


"Look into this mirror every day, O queen, spouse of Jesus Christ, and continually examine your face in it, so that in this way you may adorn yourself completely, inwardly and outwardly, clothed and covered in multicolored apparel, adorned in the same manner with flowers and garments made of all the virtues as is proper. . . . Moreover, in this mirror shine blessed poverty, holy humility, and charity beyond words, as you will be able, with God's grace, to contemplate throughout the entire mirror." -St. Clare of Assisi