It’s never easy for me to learn the more important lessons, and there is an accompanied discouragement when I realize God is teaching me something I was confident I’d already learned. But I’m learning about discouragement in a way I could’t have had I not been discouraged. I could go into talking about what lessons I’m relearning; I could go into what the Lord is teaching me about discouragement, but what captures most of my contemplative energies is how The Lord works all these things together.
Most of us are familiar with Romans 8:28, that God “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Previously when I had read that I read that God is good. God is good. This is true. And it is good of Him to work all things together for our good. But when I read this verse lately, I read God’s redemptive work in my life. God works all things together for my good. All things. The good, my bad, and my ugly. When I read this verse lately I read, “Savannah, I’m working those things you did in ignorance, those things you did in your flesh, those things you did in disobedience, together for your good.” How He does this is a miracle and a mystery. That God can take the filth I’ve laid at His feet, the injurious blows I’ve ignorantly dealt, even those things that I’ve willfully done against Him, for my good …
The redemptive effect this knowledge has on my past is completely, utterly, all-encompassing. The weight of pressure it takes off my performance in the future is equally relieving, yet exponentially more difficult to express in standard blog format. The past ten years of my life I have tried to reconcile apathy and faith – trusting the Lord to do what He says He will do, yet doing to the utmost what He has enabled me to as I wait on Him. I am always afraid. I am afraid to do, because I so often do wrongly. On the other hand I am afraid of being apathetic. My fear bears witness to where I put my trust. It evidences my failure to trust that God works all things together for good.
I’m slowly learning, by the grace of God, how to trust Him, and learning how perfect love casts out fear. God doesn’t ask me to be perfect (the whole purpose of Old Testament law was to show me that I can’t be perfect!) He asks me to love Him, to seek his kingdom, and the rest will be thrown in. It seems so elementary a principle, yet it has somehow managed to elude me these past 24 years of life. I’ve managed to bury the truly important things under my perception of myself; how I fit into things, what I’m responsible for, what I am obligated to. Even though self-awareness and self-knowledge seem like estimable qualities to desire, they’re just subtly disguised versions of pride. I just want to know Jesus more. I want to forget myself. So much so that there is nothing left of me, and only Him in me, the Hope of glory.
At the end of the day, the Lord redeems. He works all things together for my good (being one who loves Him). May I ever love Him, because He is good. May I ever seek first Christ and His kingdom. Nowhere is my love better spent than on Him and no pursuit offers greater rewards than to seek His Kingdom. Let us love.