Monday, September 6, 2010

You Are Stronger

"It is written, Christ is risen!  Jesus, You are Lord of all!"

This song has been running through my head a lot over this past week.  It could be the fact that since I need to learn it for HeartSong, I've been listening to it a lot.  More likely it could be that this song is, as a good friend would say, the story of my life right now.  "You are stronger, You are stronger..." I am so thankful that God is stronger than I am, than my circumstances are.  A week after the first HeartSong meeting of the year, and I think that I'm finally believing that God is stronger.

Our first meeting was three hours long, and I didn't come back to my dorm room until close to midnight.  One piece of information after another piled up, and I came back to my room overwhelmed and ready to rest my mind, when Rachel, my roommate, wanted to hear all about it.  It was kind of nice telling her how everything went and what we did, but the more I talked the more I asked, "God, you put me here; do you really think I can do this?"  All week, I made plans to get a couple days ahead on homework, and every single day those plans didn't happen.  I would get all my homework for the next day finished, but I would still feel like I failed somehow because my plans didn't get fulfilled.

This is something that happened to me a lot last year, too.  I would make plans, then not fulfill them, and then give up.  I thought, if I couldn't meet God's standard, why even try.  Then I would "confess" to God, saying I would do better tomorrow, and then the next day I would fail again.  I kept thinking, "Why am I reading my Bible?  Why am I praying?  I need to get all my work done first, than when I'm free from sin, I can be with God."  I felt so guilty all the time because I was stuck in a rut of sinning, "confessing" and promising, breaking my promise and sinning again, "confessing" again, sinning again.  There was no way I could have gotten out of this rut without God's grace, but in my mind there was no way I could get God's grace until I got out of this rut.

I still struggle with this now, and last week is evidence of that.  I keep wanting to please God so He will look on me with favor, but I'm completely missing the point of grace.  God loves me and will keep His promises to me, even when I fail to keep my promises to Him.  I can't truly be made right with God until I allow His grace and His Spirit to enter into my life and change it.  He is the only one that can get out of this rut, and He is begging me to let Him in so He can fix it.  But I'm always saying, "No, let me fix this house first, then You can come in."

In Luke 10, he tells the story of Jesus visiting Martha and Mary.  I have always identified more with Martha.  What was she doing that was bad?  She loved Jesus so much that she wanted the house to be clean and the food to be ready and delicious when He came.  Mary wasn't doing anything except listening to Him; wouldn't there be time for that once everything was prepared?  But Jesus says to Martha, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."

That one thing is God's grace.  Last year and last week I was worried and upset about many things, and I didn't understand that only one thing was needed.  I only need God's grace, and when He enters in, His grace overflows to all areas of my life, all the areas that I'm worried and upset about, and takes away my burdens, the burdens I can't carry myself.  He is stronger than I am; He is the only One who can save me.

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written: Christ is risen
Jesus, You are Lord of All

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
~Jesus (Matthew 11:28,30)

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