Twenty seventeen started off differently than I expected: working through anxiety, stress, fears, several deaths between family and friends and some personal health struggles. Definitely not my idea of welcoming twenty seventeen warmly. This year started with a deep groaning and the Lord working through some thorns and bramble in my heart, namely pride.
If there's one thing that God has been teaching me over the past few months it's that I am not God. I am limited. I am weak. I am dependent, and I need Jesus more than anything. But I am a stubborn sheep that likes to run away, and the way my Shepherd saves me from myself is by breaking my legs and carrying me.
I think we all experience these moments in life, when we just don't understand why we go through suffering and trials until we see it's greater purpose. It leads to a deep sense of humility and an admission: I am not God and that is okay. I'm learning to allow suffering, fatherly discipline from my Shepherd, anxiety, and fears point me humbly towards the One that understands and knows everything.
I started reading a well recommended book yesterday, Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul by Hannah Anderson. The introduction alone was like a balm from the Lord to my soul. Something she wrote struck a chord that's been reverberating in my heart over these past few months. I'd love to share it with you:
You're not God. I'm not God. None of us are God.
How freeing it is to recognize that there is a God and we are not Him. As I've walked through fears, anxiety, trials, and sorrow in the beginning of twenty seventeen, this is the way that the Lord has comforted my heart, and it's how He can comfort yours if you're walking through similar things.
We can have peace in the midst of different situations, because we are not in control. We can have peace when we're fearful, because we have a good Shepherd that leads us beside still waters and through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). We can have peace when we're sorrowful and mourn, because we have a God that comforts the weak and those that mourn (Matthew 5).
My prayer for us today is that we would humbly recognize in the good and hard circumstances of life that we are not God and that this truth would bring us peace and grow our faith.
If the Lord's doing this work in your heart too, these links might be helpful on the journey:
Dying to Self in the Age of Self-Love from Theology for Women
The Best King of Self-Care is Care for Others from Hare Translators
Four Reasons to Slow Down from Desiring God
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Hey There! I'm Madi,
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She Laughs Without Fear