Our team journal is written for you today by our Social Media Manager, Kelly Gwin.
Why do some days seems so much worse than others? Why do we have days where we're just so full of joy, praise is in our mouths, and kindness and wisdom seems to come effortlessly in the Lord, and then the next day it seems it's taking everything in you to not scream or cry on an hourly basis. Am I the only one asking these questions? I sure hope not.
One of my focuses in studying God's Word right now is Psalm 119, and I see this consistent theme. A pure heart. The Psalms are bursting with pleas and praises concerning the heart: this deep desire to not only KNOW God's Word, but to LOVE IT in a real, deep, transformational way. As you read through chapter 119, you'll see this pattern in an especially bold and obvious way. "Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes" (v5), "my soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times (v20), and it just goes on and on. The writers are asking and pleading with the Lord to change their hearts, open their eyes, and teach them His ways, while simultaneously praising Him and expressing, with as many words as they can muster, how deeply they love His ways, His commandments, His works. They seem abnormally in love with God's law, yet seem to feel this overwhelming need of revelation.
This is the tension we live in as Christians, and I'm convinced this tension only increases with growth. At one point I had surrendered my life to the Lord, had given my heart to Him, and saw life in His Word, yet the strength of that tension was nothing compared to what I feel now. I have a deeper and more real desire for Him to change my heart and am more aware of the fact that only He can do that, not me. My love and affection for His Word has gripped me in a way I only pleaded for before. Yet, I become more aware of my sin, grow in knowledge of my desperate need for Him, and find myself in that same position again. Crying out for help. I continue to fail, fall, and fumble. The truth still remains that our hearts are "deceitful above all things and desperately sick" (Jer. 17:9). From the garden we have believed lies and fallen prey to our own sinful hearts in spite of our love for God.
So what can we do? The answer is nothing. And praise God! He has done, is doing, and will continue to do all that is required and more for us to walk that line of tension and find the balance. All we have to do is BELIEVE that truth. It's funny how He set it up that way. We look at HIM, surrender to HIM, believe what HE has done, and HE does everything else. We give up. Stop the striving, stop the performing, and believe that He is who He says He is, and all the other things happen automatically. His commands become your attitudes. His rules become your freedom. His standards become your inspirations. The reality sets in that this is exactly where you want to be: so aware of your vileness and weakness, yet finding yourself walking that narrow path.
So I throw my hands up. Throw them up in defeat knowing I can't do anything for myself. Throw them up in desperation as I continue to plead for change. And I throw them up in praise for the Victory that is already mine in Christ. We will keep having bad days, but oh how much more thankful we will be to know Him at the end of them.
Kelly is a worship leader, treasurer, and all-around multi-tasker at her church, while running a business as a fashion consultant and raising three little girls with her husband. Laughing, time with other women, and a completed to-do list are some of her favorite things outside of her passion for the work and Word of God. If you ask her when Christmas starts, she'll tell you it's before Thanksgiving.