Saturday, July 3, 2010

Let the Healing Begin

Yesterday morning David and I were taking our morning walk and I asked him, "What would you say you have learned so far on this journey?" He shared several life lessons that God is teaching Him through this fundraising/becoming a missionary/moving around the world process. And then he asked me the same question.

Oh how I love a lesson learned. Unfortunately, I have not made it to the mastery stage of any of my lessons. I am still flunking the tests, and I fear I may never "get it!" And then I remember that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it...and I look forward to becoming all that He made me to be, in His time.

Of this I am sure: God IS at work. I know this NOT because I see progress in myself, but because I am increasingly aware of my shortcomings. Right now He is hard at work at on my pride.

Conviction is a gift, even though it stings. In fact, if I stopped feeling convicted I think I would worry. It is God's tool and it leads me to Him. Conviction works like this: When God decided it was time to deal with my pride, words that I had spoken for years suddenly rang harshly in my own ears. Attitudes that I had cherished suddenly felt repulsive in my heart. Behaviors that used to be comfortable suddenly offended me. In a lot of ways it seemed like I was getting worse, but in reality, I was simply being awakened to how prideful I've always been.

Now the healing can begin.

I know that a loving God only put His finger on my pride so that He could free me from it. It is disturbing and delightful to stand in the light of His presence. Now that my eyes are opened to the ugliness of my sin, I can no longer casually overlook it. Unfortunately, neither can I immediately overcome it. So here I sit.

I believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, I can learn humility. I also believe that my flesh has to give Him room to work. I am not instantly humble. But now, when I walk in pride, I receive the gift of conviction and I have a choice to make. Will I embrace the conviction or spurn it? Will I persist in my pride or turn from it? Will I confess my pride as sin or defend it? Moment by moment, thought by thought, action by action, these are the choices I must make. And as I said before, I regularly get it wrong.

Lyrics from the band Tenth Avenue North say it best:

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

I long to be free from my pride. Pride makes me deaf to the wisdom of others. It blinds me to the grace of God. It keeps me from intimacy. It leads me to despise the very people God has called me to love. I know that humility is freeing and life-giving. Still, the flesh dies slowly. Sacrifice seems costly. And pride creeps in daily, looking for safe harbors.

Oh Lord, heal me. Free me from the bonds of pride so that I can live fully in your light. I want to live for you.

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