This past week I was fortunate enough to hear Beth Guckenberger, and a few other incredible people of faith share about their faith. I’ll be honest, I battled and am still battling this conference. The timing of it with personal things and work things, the title claiming it was for children’s pastors (hey, I’m not one of them), and just an overall bad attitude. I am one gajillion percent certain that the evil one is celebrating my bad attitude while everyone around me has quickly tired of it. I’m even tired of it. Therefore, to fight the enemy, I need to share some of the nuggets I heard over the week that are taking root in my heart and ripping apart the bad attitude (trying to anyway).
Beth Guckenberger is one of my heroes, one of those real, down to earth women you want to be around because she is so in tune with the Lord that you want to be in their presence. She started our conference with this question: “What is it YOU want me to hear from YOU?” Y’all, I KNOW I heard birds chirping, maybe it was locusts or crickets, but it was static and nothing decipherable was coming out. She led us through a prayer experience-where I stewed in my bitterness instead of opening my heart to hear what God wanted me to hear. But I’m home now and I’m upset with myself over a wasted opportunity to fully worship; to express my love and adoration to the One who made me and to beg for His forgiveness for my bitterness.
Beth talked about how God’s people had light amongst them… I imagine a warm summer evening with fireflies in abundance. Isaiah 58:8-14 says,
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
I desperately want to be the person who calls out to the Lord at all times, being sure He is with me. I don’t want to be the bitter person who is unsure of life or of God’s presence. I want to be a firefly, to be the light of Christ to those around me. Not in competition with those other fireflies, but in unity.
So how, how do I release the bad attitude and fully submit to the Lord’s purpose for me? I must acknowledge my need for Him. I must submit to His sovereignty, not being dependent on what I bring to the table. I must humble myself and ask for forgiveness from those forced to be in my world lately. I must remember to give myself as much or more grace than I would others. I must remember to follow Colossians 3:12-14 (oddly enough it was these verses Jim and I selected for our wedding):
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
That’s a lot of “musts” but they are necessary; you know what’s even better? It’s all fully possible when I focus on the Lord and release everything over to Him. Will you join me in praying for me to be able to do all these musts? And to humbly seek out help when I’m struggling to be who He created me to be? Is there something God is calling you to do that must be done? Don’t you want to be firefly, full of light for Him?