Tuesday, August 28, 2007

For God's Grace IS Sufficient...

Just the other day in an un-named deaf discussion forum - there were two threads pertaining to spousal abuse and mistreatment in the physical sense as well as the emotional and mental sense. This seems to be coming to the forefront of my mind almost daily whether it is on Dr. Phil, on the internet or even in the news. As some of you may or may not know, after I seperated from my husband of 9 months - yes months - I lost my house and was stuck with bills illegitimately put in my name. In matter of 3 days I became homeless with an infant and thousands of dollars in debt. One of the members of this forum pointed out to me - that all of those things are just material things and if I wanted to place my self-value into those things I was going to continue to live an empty life and even though have not seen nor heard from my ex-husband in 4 years, I was still continuing to allow him to control my thoughts, actions, and decisions.

This morning it all seemed to come together during Brother Jamie's sermon which seemed to hit the nail directly on the head. The specific verse I am going to refer to is in Phillipians Chapter Three when Paul says, "For these things are rubbish," in reference to the worldly wealth that we strive to attain so that maybe our children and grandchildren may have an inheritance. Those things are great ideas as they provide for the future, but they are nothing, rubbish, refuse, and filth compared to the riches that God provides. So many times when we find our selves in hardships and financial struggles, we often believe that God is going to provide financially, when the truth is that God may provide for us in the relationships that we have, the grace of having hope in our lives knowing that we will live eternally. So often I find myself wondering if I just entered into the lottery, I could possibly win extraordinary amounts of money and that my financial worries and hardships would be solved for several years, often telling myself - it woud be OK if I tithed the 10% as recommended by the church. But the truth is, its greedy and Im trying to justify it any way possible.

You see I have realized that God has provided for me immeasurably in the last 4 years. When I thought I was homeless - I am reminded that I am seeking shelter in my parents home. When I feel that I am financially incapable, I am reminded that I have sought and found work. When I feel that I have come to the end of my road - God shows me a path to follow, where there are opportunities waiting to be fullfilled. I have put too much emphasis on the wrong things, prioritizing my life backwards. I am reminded of the illustration that a professor uses to show the fullfillness of ones life. First he fills a jar with sand representing the little things in life - hobbies, bills, and commitments. He asks the students if anything can be added, they reply no, the jar is full.
Next the professor fills another jar with pebbles representing the larger things in life such as school, work, and family. When he fills the jar, he again asks the students if the jar is full - they again reply yes, the jar is full - nothing else can be added. Next he fills a thrid jar with rocks, a thrid time he asks the students if the jar is full - they reply yes the jar is full. He asks them - are you sure? The students said they were sure. Then he demonstrated-
He added in the pebbles and they filled the gaps left by by the stones, the students looked on. They again said the jar was full - the professor demonstrated further -- he poured in sand which again filled the gaps left by the stones and pebbles. Then the professor announced - now the jar is full because we first put in the largest most important things first - God and family, then followed by lesser but still important things, such as school, work, and bills, then followed by less important things that we find joy in such as hobbies, commitments, and friends. So you see - that if we prioritize our lives correctly, putting God, faith, and family first and foremost, the other things in life will fall into place, then we realize our lives are TRULY full.

Jamie has often said "For Gods Grace is sufficient" I dont think I really understood the meaning of it until today when things finally came together in my mind. Gods grace is sufficient to see that I have provisions. My life is what I make it, I dont have to put my self worth into material things that I once thought were important - they are - but not nearly as important as they once were in my mind. I still have my self-respect in knowing that I am not out ruining other peoples lives for my own self gain. I am not out continually giving up my body for a little pleasure. I still have my daughter, and more importantly, I still have hope and faith in God that I will make it.