I wrote my last blog from a confused and scary place in my heart. I ended it by praying,
I pray that God will show me the lessons to be learned, and that I will take them to heart to grow spiritually rather than falling back into the worldly sins for which I am seeking to repent. I also pray that God will help me be less of a jerk toward others in this world while I navigate this spiritual challenge.
I am happy to say that I’m feeling much better already, and God does answer our prayers (Matthew 7:7) . I want to write about how He answered this one, just in case maybe I’m not the only spiritual Little Kid who is so new to all of this that it’s still hard to really get how this personal relationship with God actually works.
- Show me the lessons to be learned. God is doing this, and doing it still. It started with Him giving me the desire to learn rather than to flee and with me being ready to accept that from Him. Having received that desire from Him, I also needed:
- Faith. Believing in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior doesn’t just mean, “believing, except when it’s hard because I feel confused.” Believing means continuing to have faith even when confused (or hurt, or scared, or angry, or any other worldly emotion), or maybe especially at those times. That’s what FAITH is. This is another of the lessons learned.
- Evidence of God’s continuing presence in my life. Coincidentally enough, in today’s sermon at my newly adopted church the Preacher stood outside to record a part of it in advance, to make the point that everything – everything – is God’s work. God created everything and God sustains everything. The trees in the Preacher’s backyard aren’t the Preacher’s trees; they’re GOD’s trees. The mountains are GOD’s mountains. The tiniest blade of grass is GOD’s blade of grass as much as are the Heavens and the Earth, and God is who sustains them all according to His will.
- Lesson for me: I can see, and am in awe of, God’s amazing creations that fill my life every single day. They are all the evidence I need. I don’t get to dictate to God which evidence He provides me on any given day. He is there. He is the creator and sustainer of all things. Nothing happens but by His plan. One day He may reveal Himself to me with a firehose of God-power, and another day He may reveal Himself to me by (e.g.) the beauty of the predawn bird symphony that awoke me this morning. I don’t get to choose. That’s God’s choice. And, Praise God, they are all awesome.
- Spiritual Growth: That is happening. All the things I am writing here are parts of my ongoing spiritual growth.
- Avoiding Sin. I believe something I was already guessing about when I wrote the first Blog post, namely, God wants me to take part of the responsibility for not committing the sins I have vowed to repent. Yes, He could just make them all go away, easy-peasy for me. But that does not really change my relationship to that sin. I must have the ability to make a choice (note: Adam & Eve) and choose not to sin in order to truly have changed.
- Being less of a Jerk. That is my responsibility, not God’s. I am responsible for my own behavior toward other people on Planet Earth, and God has expectations of me regarding that. I need to claim that responsibility and do the right thing, not be lazy about it and expect God to do it for me.
So things are looking up since that last Blog, and I’m okay.
Nobody ever said it was easy being a spiritual Little Kid!