So I tend to hold off on telling people what God has been teaching me until I get the pretty, nicely wrapped up testimony that warms, encourages, and/or challenges people’s hearts. I think with my closest friends I tend to do this less. With my Best Friend I actively try NOT to do this…I ask Him questions and wonder what He’s trying to teach me all the time. When it comes to God, a sister said I was introspective. That’s good right?
So right now I’m going to tell you what I’m wondering to try to fully fellowship with y’all.
1. Why does God LOVE ME SO MUCH?!??!?!?!?!! I really don’t understand. How am I worthy of this love that’s higher than the heavens and deeper than the oceans? I fail all the time and when I look at Jesus’s ministry of purest compassion and love, I tend to get discouraged before I get encouraged. Yeah, He’s God and I’m human so I’m bound to fail, but still, it’s so hard to live this life in which I am called to represent Christ on earth to those who do not know Him. I seem to find myself having a messed up version of what it means to love someone. Then I look at Christ and it’s the purest, most overwhelming love. Why does He love me that much? “I do not deserve the grace that you have given or the promise of Your word/ Lord, I stand in wonder at the sacrifice You made”
2. I feel so guilty. I went to NYC with a friend to do touristy stuff like the Empire State Building and museums. [btdubbs, I loved the American Museum of Natural History, I felt so nerdy in the Hall of Biodiversity]. I feel like my reasoning to go on this trip was misplaced and I felt like I spent way too much money. Yes, money is fleeting and it was a vacation so it’s expected to spend a lot. Not to sound all ‘good and holy’ or whatever that means, but after seeing the bill after one meal I wished I had just bought a hot dog on the side of the street and donated the rest of the money to mycharity:water. The guilt is still eating at me, and I realized at some point that maybe God was trying to repeat the lessons I told ya’ll about in my last post. Maybe this is something to learn from, to walk in grace. It’s hard to accept right now though even though it’s past and there’s nothing I can do about it. As I struggled with this guilt, I was walking in a crowd out of South station to get on the T, and a woman stopped me among all the people around me to ask for money for her bus ticket. I honestly had $2 cash on me which was not the $40 she needed, and I just told her sorry and walked away. However, the second I left I doubted myself. I could have given her those $2. Or I could have figured out some way to use my debit card to help her. I felt so convicted because I truly felt like when I looked into her eyes that I was looking at Jesus. That sounds really weird now that I’ve typed it, but it’s true. Then I was reminded of this: ‘ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ ‘ -Matthew 25: 44-45. I think I’m being harsh on myself, but if I say I believe all this and can’t live it out, how can I truly be His follower?
3. I don’t speak my mind when I should. This is something He’s grown me a lot in, but apparently I still have a lot of room to grow in. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” -James 1:19-20. I feel like I am patient in a weird way since I think that everything will work itself out somehow whether I say something or not, but instead it continues to bother me until it boils up inside and I explode usually to my mom who puts a healthy perspective on the situation for me. I need to value my opinion more instead of just trying to please everyone. There needs to be some sort of balance here between trying to serve others and not letting my own voice be forgotten.
4. YET among all my questions and struggles right this second, God is so amazingly patient and good. When I was taking a cab to get to my bus from NY, I was sitting in the back pondering everything I just mentioned…on the verge of tears with the guilt that was eating at me. Then right when I was about to fall asleep, the cab driver started asking me questions. I don’t know how it happened or what led to it, but it eventually led to me sharing my interpretation of the Gospel and why I became Christian 3 years ago. To the Pakistani cab driver who has a master’s in religion, who I will probably never meet again in this world, I hope I will meet you in heaven one day. Talk about God giving you the encouragement when You start to wonder why He put you in these situations.
I guess now that this is written I realize I don’t openly share my jumbled thoughts much because I don’t really feel like I need tons of encouragement right now from you all. I’m not moping or distraught as it might sounds above. I definitely do want to receive your thoughts humbly. However, I have found the ‘right answers’ in the Bible and in prior experiences. Right now, it’s just getting all that to my heart again and only God can do that, so it’s just a process right now so don’t worry about me. Hope that came out right…
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs. Which I sang today in church thinking how the song says “I called, you answered”, but now I find myself thinking how God rescued me before I even realized I needed His rescuing. WHY DOES HE LOVE ME THAT MUCH? To save me before I knew I needed saving?