Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Perspective and Wisdom

"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth." - Psalm 86:11a (NIV)

I was saved when I was a child. I attended church every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and most Wednesday evenings. I was bombarded by adults telling me that the Bible says do this and don't do that, God likes this and not that. But they were sinners, as am I. They weren't the best role models for me but I never bothered to open my Bible away from church and study the best role model - Jesus! - until recently. My perspective was that the Sunday School teachers, the youth group leaders and the pastor knew what they were talking about. I mean, some of them had gone to Bible college, some of them had been teachers and leaders for years - surely they knew exactly what God wanted for and from me. Right??? Wrong!!!

Each of us is living our own story. God is the writer and director of each of our stories, like it or not. He tells us so in Hebrews 12:2. None of our stories, our lives, are or ever will be the same. We may experience similar events - graduation, marriage, jobs, children, grandchildren, death, etc. - but my triumphs and tragedies are my own. The choices I've made or will make to deal with each event may be completely different from yours. What does this have to do with perspective and wisdom? Everything!!

After I became an adult, I strayed from the church and from God. I made decisions based on my own perspective, my own wisdom. I thought I knew how God wanted me to live, after all, I grew up in church! But I was wrong...I made bad choices. I was unhappy, angry, unsettled, disconnected. I started going back to a small church (no big church for me, I said, because you get lost in the crowd - I was wrong about that, too!!), was even the church treasurer for a few years, but nothing changed, I still didn't feel connected. So I stopped going to church again. Then my marriage started to flounder. At one point, my husband walked out. Then God stepped in. Maybe he'd had enough of my bad choices, I don't know. But he used a friend, someone who wasn't a Christian, to help put my marriage back together and start me back down the road to serving Him. It didn't happen overnight. It took a few years and several  personal growth seminars to make me realize that I was leaving God out of everything. So, after one of the seminars, my husband and I decided it was time to get back into church, to get back into God's service. We hadn't attended church in years, but we knew the small one we had attended before wasn't right for us. We decided to go to the grand opening of the new campus of one of the "mega" churches in our area....and we found our home! The connection was immediate; I couldn't believe it!! And we jumped right in - attending every Sunday, serving in the nursery and joining a small group. But I was still relying on the pastor and my small group leader to tell me what God wanted in my life. I was too busy to study His Word on my own. That is, until about 6 months ago. God placed it on the heart of one of the ladies in small group to have herself held accountable to do Bible study by texting her study to us every morning for two weeks. And then He laid it on my heart to do the same. Me!! The person who had never opened her Bible except in church and small group!! And, so it began, and was it ever eye-opening! God began to work in me, to convict me and to show me how He wants me to live my life. He began to give me His perspective and His wisdom. He began to replace my unhappiness with His joy, my anger with His peace. He filled me with the desire and excitement to open His Word each morning and seek His guidance for my day. HIS perspective, HIS wisdom, HIS guidance, HIS plans, HIS joy, HIS peace - everything I need to live my story according to HIS direction. What a difference He has made in how I deal with the triumphs and tragedies that life sends my way.  I can't speak for or make your choices for you - you have your own story to live - but my story, going forward, will be guided by God, through my study of His Word, using His perspective and His wisdom because my own is terribly insufficient. I pray that you will choose to do the same.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the story You've written for me, both triumphs and tragedies. Thank You for the guidance You provide for me through Your Word. When I am weak, You give me strength. When I am fearful, You give me courage. When I am worried, You fill me with peace. May I always lean on Your perspective and Your wisdom to guide me through my day. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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