I spent a lot of this summer feeling very sad and lost. Only a couple of months ago, I had been accepted to seminary and preparing to go in the fall. When I realized God had other plans, I was upset and confused - Why was I so convicted about applying to school? Why was the application process so easy and go so smoothly? What do I do now? Moreover, I did not want to tell others I would no longer be attending seminary because of my pride. I thought people would think less of me for changing my mind, that I was wishy-washy and going back on my word. Made vulnerable by my pride, I bought into the lie that I would be judged by others for having a faith so small that I would be so easily convicted about going to seminary when really He did not.
My pride was like a thick-walled fortress. God started with a small gap in the wall; He chipped away at it as a mouse would chip away at its hole, just large enough to fit through. Having found His way in, God started working on my heart, little by little chipping away the stones. He did not take a sledge hammer to it and break it into a thousand tiny pieces; instead, he chipped away at it slowly, quietly, steadily, cleaning up after it and removing the dust as He went. He did not bother me with it very much so I ignored it and even forgot about it.
Soon, large parts of the wall and ceiling started falling down. The entire fortress was compromised before I even knew what was happening. No longer a gentle chipping away like a miner would mine carefully for precious elements, He overtook the fortress so completely and tore down larger chunks. I could no longer ignore it any longer. He soon commanded that I actively take a part in tearing it down; if I refused, He continued to tear down for me as I cried and clung to it, afraid to let it go. I was afraid of being completely left out in the open and transparent without the fortress, my pride, to protect me from naysayers, from those who want to see me fail, from those who oppose me.
Like a child crying, “I don’t want to,” while still picking up toys out of obedience, I sobbed as I tore down the walls myself.
And at my lowest, He finally said, “Stop crying. I am here, child. I am in control.”
It was in this moment of clarity about His sovereignty that I chose joy over sadness. I realized that it was my choice to work on tearing down my pride, to allow God to sharpen and humble me, and to be happy and content.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation
I am to be content.
- Philippians 4:10-13
Lord, I can’t wait for the day that I will get to sit at Your feet, made clean and pure after physical death, that I may be clean and pure when I get to spend eternity with You.