1 Corinthians 9:19-23
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words, tangled up in lies
You are the Savior and you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful.
I have no more excuses, no more justifications. Made clear once again: I am a sinner through and through, and my bitterness is just the result of my ungrateful, entitled heart. I have nothing else I can say in defense…because there is no defense.
I don’t see the beauty in me yet, and it’s hard to picture it developing; but I can hope on it, count on it, on the promise of Philippians 1:6, the vision of Jacob’s life as the ladder in Genesis 28:12. If God can and did make something beautiful out of Jacob the grasper, the deceiver, the ignoble…then surely He can do the same in me. If only I will desire it, if only I will want it.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
— Jeremiah 29:13
“To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” — 1 Corinthians 6:7
I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, in the presence of the godly.
For not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them.
Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:11)
The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
I don’t often think of God as being in the darkness—after all, he is characterized in the Bible as light, as shining, as one so holy that we cannot even bear to look at his face. But here we find another clue to his character.
He is the God who is with us, always. He is the God who beckons us to come near, even and especially in times of darkness, in times of despair. He is the God who stays by our side, even when we do not see him and are blinded by the desolate conditions surrounding us. He is the God who, contrary to our persisting thoughts of being alone, fills up and envelops the darkness, though we may not identify this truth.
The people draw away from the darkness, but Moses draws near to it, knowing that God is there. I have fears of the unknown, and by all means wish to avoid difficult circumstances, and I am sure Moses does too; but regardless, he draws near because he is assured that God is there…and his desire to be with God transcends any fears he may have and makes the darkness a mere and petty distraction to the King that he wants to meet.
(I want to live like that.)
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; i will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
How can a young [wo]man keep [her] way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Things on my mind:
- This exam I have to take in 7 hours
- Wait, I mean the two exams I have to take in 7 hours…drat
- Fall schedule. Do I really want to try French again, or can I just be happy with the conversational level at which I currently speak? What am I aiming for, anyway?
- Committees and crews and all these responsibilities that are flooding past me, things I need to dedicate to but am really just too lazy to commit to…
- Lost all my bookmarks on Chrome an hour ago
- Having one of the incoming freshman girls over starting tomorrow, starting an hour after my exam and I need to clean and do the huge stack of dishes that is accumulating because my whole apartment has finals…
- Cafe Zeb is really nice. Studying there forever from now on.
- I miss last year already, but it’s really time to just grow up.
- What am I doing?
And then, per usual: what good timing. “I was anxious and overwhelmed…but God helped me overcome, but God helped me overcome, but God helped me overcome.”
Okay, okay. Even as I sit here typing away trying to complain and manage things on my own, I somehow end up being preached to by the music that’s playing in the background. Okay. I surrender. It’s yours. Let me be content in you and in whatever you take me through, wherever you take me.
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.