Today, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the steps I can take, rather than on the roadblocks restricting what I can do to live out my faith and calling in God. In my quiet time this morning, I read through the story of the Crooked Manager in Luke 16: 1 – 9 (The Message) and the following verses encourage me greatly:
8-9 “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”
There are little and yet significant ways I can live out my faith, within the constrictions I find myself in. If I look for the steps I can take, opening my eyes to the opportunities placed before me, I will “live, really live”, rather than succumbing to the darkness of depression in living “squinty-eyed in greed and distrust” (see: Luke 11: 33 – 36). I mustn’t compare myself to Christian women who are much more free to live out their faith both within and outside their homes, and rather than alone, in partnership with their husbands. I must not let what constricts me determine my self-worth, nor allow me to believe that God is punishing me and purposely setting me up to fail. Rather, I should recognize the blessing in “adversity”: the opportunity afforded me to “concentrate [my] attention on the bare essentials”, helping me to “not complacently get by on good behavior”.
This afternoon I took one small step forward, seeing and seizing an opportunity afforded me to follow my calling in Christ, praying for God to multiply the meager gift I gave. And in so doing, joy and trust has started displacing the fears of “not enough” and “all alone” that I shared about yesterday. As I am following His calling to “live wide-eyed in wonder and belief”, my “body [is] fill [ing] up with light” (see: Luke 11: 33 – 36, The Message), rather than darkness, as I’m learning to “Trust in the LORD forever, for Yah the LORD is an everlasting Rock” ( Isaiah 26 : 4 ) and trust in His Word that promises me He will never leave nor forsake me, for “God’s words are pure words, Pure silver words refined seven times In the fires of His word-kiln, Pure on earth as well as in heaven” (Psalm 12: 6-7). I pray that you too will be blessed by the knowledge that God is present in your own “adversity” and that He has placed you where you are called and destined to be, to bless and be blessed as a daughter or son of the Most High King:
Psalm 139: 16 (NIV)
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Ephesians 2 : 10 (NLT)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.