There is nothing in my life that I can't credit the Lord with. Even the hardest of circumstances bring results that can only be accomplished by Him. Its not easy to serve the Lord, there is, however, deep, complete, and overflowing peace and joy in it.
Today Pastor taught out of Acts 21:1-16. Here is the link, if you are able to listen you won't be sorry, as always, the word of the Lord is challenging, accurate, and timely in all of our lives: http://www.legacychurchyuma.org/media.php?pageID=5
I have always admired the Apostle Paul and the way I look at him, and most of the others in the bible, has changed so much since I have become a mama. I think so many things are so much more real, he poured himself into discipling and training up others to be like him in serving the Lord and spreading the gospel of Christ with ferver. He spoke truth and refused to allow anyone to come between him and the will of God being accomplished in his life. In the portion of scripture above, twice other Christians try to persuade him to not go into Jerusalem because the Spirit reveals to them that Paul will suffer there. Paul lovingly rebukes them in confidence that he is willing to endure suffering for the will of God, even death. He wasn't fearful because he knew God's promises are true and he was going to finish out the race the Lord had mapped out for him with no doubt that he held nothing back. He was beaten, jailed, mocked, spit upon, called a traitor, shipwrecked, and martyred. All of it he accepted, joyfully enduring it for his Redeemer and counted all he had in this life loss compared to the love of the Father. He shared and taught about the Lord for the sake that no soul in his path go without the opportunity to know the truth that would set them free and always cared enough about the church body and it members to speak truth to them (even when it seemed harsh) for the sake of their growth. In his final moments of ministry he confidently embraces the end of this life to rejoice in welcoming the promise of eternity with our Father.
All of this puts the whole "house and white picket fence" dream into a clear perspective. There is no fulfillment in that, if God chooses to give us that we will enjoy it and if he allows us to live on breadcrumbs we should also enjoy it. How I would love to be able to say like Paul that I have learned the joy of contentment with what I have, and that the primary and ultimate source of that never be the "things" I have or have accomplished. I want to always be content because first I have God, everything else is give or take. I want to learn to love and long for the will of the Father as Paul did, as Christ taught him to do. My Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Holding nothing back, remind me always Lord of the Cross and the beautiful work done there, not just for me, always for Your glory. May my children go so far beyond what I expect or hope for them in serving you and may I not ever stand in the way of Your will for them. Ever grateful for your will, longing to know and serve You better...