Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1 Peter 1:7...

I went and looked at all my past blog posts and I realized that I have about 4 saved blogs that I never published, probably because I was attempting to write when really nothing was coming out.
I have something to write about. It's about faith. This seems like of ironic, seeing as I am T-minus 4 weeks away from going to middle school summer camp who's theme is "Faith Factor."
This has been such an immense year of growth for me, spiritually, mentally, and in the way I relate to people.

I just got back from high school camp, which I had also attended a year ago. It was at this point that I realized how much God has stretched me and has begun to mold me. It's like I finally woke up and realized that God really does have a bigger plan for my life than anything I could ever come up with. The point where I had this revelation was actually before camp even got underway; it was on the bus on the way up. Our bus was extra slow because of an engine problem, and also, for whatever reason, the air conditioning was malfunctioning, and basically we sat on a very hot bus, 2 to a seat, for 4 1/2 hours. During this time, especially since I was sitting in the very last row, I had to listen to 4 hours of complaining from a variety of students. Needless to say, by the time we got off the highway, I was already exhausted. However, I didn't snap at anyone and tried to stay as pleasant as possible. In fact, when I felt myself getting to that point, God put a song in my heart and I just started to sing, because I knew that I had to praise God for every situation I'm in, rather good or bad. I was just as hot, hungry, annoyed, and tired as every other student on that bus, yet I managed to control my emotions (with God's help).
When we finally arrived at camp and stepped off the bus, I looked around at all the chaos that Garfield and the Liquid Staff had to put up with and instead of thinking of myself and how things were not going properly, I was filled with compassion. Odd, I know. What a weird situation to feel compassion at? Nonetheless, I had compassion, not only for the staff, but also for the students. I just started praying, asking God to fill all their hearts with His joy, because I knew at that time, there wasn't any other person who could bring these people joy like Jesus can.
This was at the point that I realized how selfish I had been last year, and how much God was just living in me and not through me. I try to think that I stayed as positive as possible during camp, aside from the 4 hour window on the last day when I was so disappointed with myself, especially since I had messed up my ankle.

Bringing this all back to faith, I've come up with a new definition of it, as it applies to my life. Faith isn't just saying that you believe in something, and it's also not just a religion. You see, I had faith last year, but just because I knew I had to; because I wouldn't be a Christian if I said I didn't have faith. But having faith is so much more than just saying that God will work it out. It's truly believing that He will; it's letting go completely and being entirely vulnerable with the One who knows you like no one else does. It's handing over the reigns and saying that you just can't do it anymore, and allowing Him to chip away the things that weigh you down so that you can become that person that He sees every day. It's realizing that you are good enough, that you matter enough for God to take an interest in your life, not because He's God, but because He truly LOVES you. And I don't just mean loves like is said between husband and wife in passing; I mean love as in He is absolutely, 100% crazy about you and wants nothing more than for you to give yourself over to Him so that He can use you.

I couldn't be used by God until I gave that all over to Him. It wasn't until I laid flat on my face before God and told Him that He wins, that there is nothing left of me, and that Satan would no longer have a foothold in my life. It wasn't until I realized that everything I was doing was for other people. It was because I was so concerned with not screwing up not failing, that I had forgotten the reason why I was doing those things in the first place. My significance is not found my performance, it's found in His arms. It's found in the One who picks me up and carries me to His secret place, in His pavilion in His tabernacle; it's found in the One who meet me where I am, amongst my filth and sin, and tells me that I'm beautiful.

Though my faith is tested so many times, and often, I fail, I can pick myself up again because I know that my satisfaction is not found in my performance, but in the knowledge that Christ loves me, and that it is through fire that gold is purified. "These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold; though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."1 Peter 1:7