“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Yes, I have repeated these words over and over again. I shouted this in love to my Savior who gave me another chance to see His blessings.
I almost emotionally derailed my trip to Morganton. From there, my husband and I with two friends were headed to the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. I know. . . how could I have been so distraught about a gas crisis and getting stuck at The Cove! Woe is me!!!
The trip to The Cove was fabulous! We took the Blue Ridge Parkway. Need I say more? At one lookout area, I met a painter who was trying to capture the lushness and fluctuating light on the mountains. I saw God’s beauty in a new dimension as he tipped the brush and dabbed paint to highlight and enhance. What a joy!
But the best was yet to come. Two and half days we sat at Dr. David Bruce’s feet and learned more about Jesus’ teachings from the book of Colossians. The instructor titled his study, “Living in the Promise of Eternity”. I cannot begin to explain the importance this topic had on me. From beginning until the end I saw my name written in a lot of places. It was especially geared to understand how to navigate life through complexities and challenges.
The gas crisis only stirred up another crisis that was going on within me. Our God is magnificent at getting us in the middle of the stew and then stirring up the stuff sticking to the bottom. That stuff rising up was almost to the point of charring. As a cook, you know when that happens you have almost ruined the stew.
Almost ruined it, but didn’t by the saving grace of Jesus who quickly turned me around with Scripture. God’s Word never returns void.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Luke 12:25
Part of the study of Colossians was on growing in faith by being strong in life and meeting trials and difficult situations head on. The key is knowing God’s Word which settles one into knowledge and understanding. In my moment of gas-crisis-panic, I failed to be settled by the truth I know in God’s Word. And God used every failed attempt on my part to bring me back to His Word, to ground, and re-center me.
I loved Colossians 2:5 when it says above all to lead “orderly and firm” lives. Dr. Bruce reminded us that it was a military term to keep rank and be firm in our faith.
I broke rank when I got overwrought over the gas situation. What a lesson I needed. Over the days at The Cove, I realized that I needed to watch out for spiritual perils and stand firm. The only way to do that is to put God’s Word in my mind and pray fervently for strength and courage in unsettling times and events.
The most beautiful thing I learned was how to be victorious over sin. My gas-crisis-panic was a sinful act of distrust. But the Word is clear about what we can do to be victorious over sin.
1. Starve it – don’t feed emotions.
2. Crowd it out – by positive graces.
3. Activate the Word in your life.
4. Apply the blood of Jesus. Pray for the power of the blood to cover sin.
5. Live in the Power of the Holy Spirit through prayer.
When we do these things, we can starve all those pent up emotions and channel them into worship, singing, and praise, glorifying God’s name. Then all will see Jesus on our face.
Trust me I saw many people at The Cove who wore Jesus in humble, beautiful ways. What a testimony! They displayed the heart of Jesus, exercised faith, operated from a servant’s heart, saturated themselves in prayer, and spoke about Jesus’ life and work as real and tangible.
Lord, bend that proud and stiffnecked “I.”
Oh to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
Oh to be lost in Thee:
Oh that it might be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me.
If the stew gets stirred up remember Jesus will help you pick out the charred pieces until the stew becomes palatable and tasty. He’s a Master Chef at correcting mistakes. Trust me. I’ve met Him in the kitchen many times.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me when I don’t love myself. Thank you for new mornings and new chances.
In Thee I place it all,