It's been a while, huh? Nearly six months to be exact. Where have I been? Too much to explain. Suffice to say, God began a work in me on April 29th, 2017...and I'm still in his workshop. I don't want out of his workshop, mind you. Important things happen there: Rough edges are chiseled away, self-reliance is crushed in a vise, sin is exposed with a floodlight and self-righteousness is sawn in two. All necessary tasks in God's workshop.
But here's why I've been gone: Life in the workshop is hard...really hard. So hard that I literally have not been able to do a single thing but survive the workshop. In fact, a late-summer entry in my catalog of sustaining verses was Psalm 118:13: I was pushed hard, so [hard] that I was falling. But, the Lord helped me.
And helping me he is.
He's offering grace when I'm ashamed, strength when I'm weak, comfort when I'm discouraged and peace when I'm afraid. And friends, these are NOT just spiritual catch-phrases, I promise. They're real! I'm experiencing their truth every day.
- I AM afraid...even as I type this. But Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me (Psalm 23:4a).
- I AM discouraged...right now. But Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:8).
- I AM ashamed...of many things. But You are ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life(Romans 6:21b-22).
- I AM emotionally AND physically weak...consistently. But He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control (Philippians 3:21).
Why did I have the freedom to write today? I'm not sure. But here's what I know: God's grace is everywhere in his workshop. It's like the sawdust that lingers in the air once the electric saw has been turned off. It sparkles in the light, I'm breathing it into my lungs and it is sustaining my heart in what would appear to be a hopeless scenario.
Pray for me as I just prayed for you...and I hope to talk to you again soon.