As I have been gathering my notes for this, I find myself in a sticky place where I have to look at the ways God has convicted me personally and decide how much is beneficial to you and how much is sacred to me.
I have found in seasons of grief and loss resulting from the choices of others, there is a blessed gift of conviction that feels like anything but a blessing at the time.
There is nothing quite like receiving the loving comfort of the Lord in times of sorrow and then realizing the gentle hand wiping my tears is also beginning to pry into some areas of my soul that would have happily stayed hidden and buried.
Because as I grieve, God sends messages through His Word.
Through a Bible Study.
And then another.
Through a sermon or a devotion that comes in my email.
In one season of loss, I ran into one word repeatedly expressed in multiple ways until I could no longer avoid the fact that God was speaking to me in my circumstances…a word that I was forced to face as conviction…
Here I was, asking God for help in processing how to move forward with life and what is going on and where is He in all of this and I kept running into the theme of….
While it was so easy to see how the offending party certainly had erected some idols…
the studies and the sermons and the scriptures constantly cropping up seemed to point to …. uh..my wounded spirit.
So I found myself responding to all of this evidence of needed self-examination with the spiritually mature and godly cry of…
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
But sure enough, I started to fill in the blanks of open ended sermon questions like…
What is the thing that if it isn’t going well, your whole world is falling apart?
Stuff like that.
And my heart was definitely being convicted.
I began to look at the deeper levels of my sorrow and loss and I realized that somewhere along the way I had begun to set some things up on little pedestals.
I would never have thought I worshipped them until I lost them and their worth to me became so evident.
Good things that had become main things.
My “success” in life depended on the success of my people and circumstances, and if my people and circumstances failed; then I failed.
I had determined what success looked like and suddenly the cruel waves of other’s decisions and choices washed away the sand castle.
I realized that I was grieving the loss of what I thought life should be like.
Are you noticing a pattern in the above statements…
my people….my circumstances…I had determined…I thought…
But what did God say?
Tearing down idols is hard work.
You have to put some muscle into pulling them down.
But when you are frail and thin from a hard season of grieving and sorrow, raw from too many tears and too little sleep, set aside from the comfort of others because you have been seeking solace in the Lord…you are in the best possible place for God to show you the good things you had begun to invest your worth and value and security in.
And then He shows Himself to be the best thing.
The only thing.
The only ONE.
The Rock and Solid Ground.
The Firm Foundation.
Idols are funny things.
They can look like being a good parent or a dedicated employee or in a happy marriage or your excellent reputation or even “the real deal” in your spiritual walk.
They are anything that takes the place of the only God worthy of all glory and honor and praise and notoriety and fame and set themselves up as the main thing keeping us steady and giving our life purpose and meaning.
So for today…do an idol check.
Answer the simple question….
What is the one thing that if it isn’t going right, your world falls apart?
Thanks for coming back today…not a fun part of the series, is it?
I hope you will come back tomorrow <3