Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Patched Up?

"And Jesus said to them, '...No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made...'"  Matthew 9:16, ESV

Is there an area in your life that you constantly struggle with?  A bad habit you just can't seem to break?  Or an instinctive reaction you can't reign in?  Perhaps it's not what you do, but what you don't do that eats you up.  This, I can relate to.  My biggest struggle?  Being consistant in spending time with God.  I could try to justify myself here, but it would only be to look better in your eyes.  And since God's opinion is the one that matters (and I'm pretty sure I can't pull the wool over His eyes), I'm not even going to go there.

So what do you do to overcome?  Because, seriously, don't we all get to a breaking point?  No matter how large or small the issue, eventually something has to give!  At this point, I have a record of reacting in one of two ways.  I either wallow in self-pity (sob, sniff, whine- "God why do I find myself here again?  Why can't I overcome this?" ) or I snap into business-mode and get to work on a solution (on a crisp yellow legal pad- "5 Habits for a Consistant Devotional Life"). 

Hold the phone.  "5 Habits for a Consistant Devotional Life"?  Sounds like a sermon title.  Or blog post.  Too funny.  The irony is that it does actually sound good and helpful.  The problem is...

It would be a patch.  When I have a problem, a sin, a habit that threatens to drive me crazy it's so, so much easier to pull myself up by my boot straps, bind myself in a corset of principle and get to work. Two problems- 1) I'm doing the work, and 2) I'm writing the action plan.  And it doesn't matter how pure my motives are or how much the action plan is backed by scripture.  If I justify myself with those two thoughts then Satan has me exactly where he wants me.  Depending on myself.  Depending on my ability... to do what I should, to do what I know is right, to do what I sincerely want to do.  And all of us (God and Satan and I) know how incredibly not dependable I am even on my best day.  So I'm only fooling myself... and even that only lasts for a few days or a week... however long I am able to keep a good thing going.  Applying head-knowledge principle (no matter how bible-based) does not bring true and lasting change.  It's a pretty piece of lace sewn onto a raggity pair of jeans.

So the problem is much, much larger than a hole in the knee or a torn pocket.  What I need is an entirely new garment.  I don't need to dig through my scrap bin or google "how to darn socks".  I don't need to create an action plan or make lists or set goals. In the frustration and frantic of trying to do it myself, I make Jesus invisible.  But He's right beside me and He has is the solution.  He's holding a brand new outfit, made just for me!  All I need to do is turn to Him.

He loves me.  He knows and is writing my story.  He's with me always.  And He is making me new.

"But me he caught- reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning...He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved- surprised to be loved!  God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him...What a God!  His road stretches straight and smooth.  Every God-direction is road-tested.  Everyone who runs toward him makes it."  Psalms 18:16-20 & 30, The Message

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  1. katie, you impress and inspire me! not only with your spiritual writings (which inspire me the most) but also all the cute projects you attempt and win over!! keep up the great blogging. love you, susan

  2. Hmm-interesting thought on corseting one's self... Bless you!

  3. Thanks for sharing...very well spoken :)


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