I asked Him,
“Lord, why does it seem I am only a spark and they are a flame? The temptation toward the sin of comparison strikes again.
I see them shining like stars in the universe as they hold out the word of life. I long for that. Not applause, but tangible evidence of Your beauty coming forth from my life. I want to be beautiful.
Their expressions of Your life through them make my heart sing. Their songs, their words, their art – are stunning! And, I celebrate them!
So, what are these feelings that tend to haunt me – even as I celebrate?
They are familiar.
I think they are inferiority.
“Daughter, you are Mine. You do trust my love? It drives out the fear from the middle of infeariority – all the dark feelings are rooted in your flesh. You do right to ignore them. Perhaps you’re asking Me to take them away?
As you know, feeling the pain of your human condition – that familiar groaning of your spirit – it has benefits. To keep you longing for and seeking Me. Seeking your True Haven. You have to constantly war against the enemy – and the earthly mentality, subjecting it all to my Lordship.
That is what I mean by denying yourself. The feelings are splinters of your cross, really, bearing them is a gift for you and for others.
Remember Daughter, beauty isn’t performance or the applause of people.
Beauty is trust in My love.
It is in the daily dying to yourself that you truly live. That is beautiful to Me.
This is what grumblers fail to understand. The unbelieving souls who, rather than denying their flesh the right to self-pity, find fault and want to fix things by human strategies rather than trusting Me to be their God.
I Am Counselor, Comforter, Keeper, Savior, Shield, and Defender of all who trust Me.
You must keep working out your salvation with fear and trembling as I work in you to do the work that is My will for you.”
This is what God promises, to work in me that which He has called me and set me apart for.
I rest in His promise. Again.
And I wonder . . . did Joseph war against haunting feelings while he was a slave in Pharoah’s household, wrestle down bitter feelings toward his brothers who sold him? Or while awaiting his release from prison? Were the sons of Korah groaning inwardly before they penned the words of surrender in Psalm 44:22:
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
Or Paul? How did he feel as he brought the words forward in Romans 8:35-37? I believe he fought the darkness inside of himself too, yes, even him.
No doubt David warred against his flesh as he ran from Saul, as he longed for Absolom. His warfare penned in the Psalms. But God gave grace to endure. Just as He does with me today. With you.
And Jesus, my King, as you knelt in the Garden, you yourself felt the resistance of flesh’s fear, desiring to escape the suffering . . . Praying and praying and praying, then surrendering.
You are my example of winning the war.
Yes. I am a sheep.
And I surrender all. Again.
For the glory of our Father.
And this makes me stronger in spirit, the weaker my flesh.
The decreasing of self, means the increase of You. Have your way with me, Lord. Grant me your strength to fight the good fight of faith.
It reminds me of that unreligious “prayer” that made me laugh a little the other night, the one from within the story of the redemption of the professional genius-fraud, Frank Abagnale Jr. isn’t so unreligious after all.