The past few weeks have been somewhat of an introspective journey. Searching the depths of my soul while being faced with the reality of life. I have wrestled, avoided and bawled my eyes out over the things that matters to me. In the end I am left with the simple statement… ‘nothing else matters really’. So for this entry I would like to share on that topic… this blog entry is very personal to me and kind of scary because for the first time in a long while I will be bearing the deepest parts of my soul, and that in itself urks me a little. So here goes.
I find myself at a place that seems awful when perceived at a glance. A life that seems like a dead end…so allow me to paint my life for you. So here I go putting on my culture-tinted lenses. Lets start here: I am 26 years old, single and living in a room at a friends place. I am in a dead end job, literally and I am somewhat failing at starting up my earring venture. My heart is failing me right now to be honest. I try and smile and keep my head high, but in the quiet of my bedroom the accusations linger…when no-one sees the tears well up and I am at a loss. I have nothing besides a wod of debt and I have just failed at being a success by the worlds standards.Why you might ask…well simply because I have left my life for six months and decided to do a Bible school internship.
The past few days of looking at my life from that perspective has broken my resolve and resistance. To make matters worse my parents came to visit and my mom is probably the most frail I have ever seen her. She has been ill for a while and seeing her that way has made all the lingering accusations in my heart unravel all at once. Leaving me with a lot of sadness and helplessness. In my culture you are supposed to be at a place in your life where you are able to a) take care of yourself and b) take care of your family. I have failed in both regards. I make it through the month and that’s it. In fact making it through the month is really God’s mercy. The ever faithful accusation stirs in my heart ‘He actually does not care’… leaving me in a tangle of fear, worthlessness and brokenness.
I have found myself to be in the place of deep doubt and losing sight of what really matters. Last week I kept getting this phrase: ‘what would it profit a man if he gained the world but lost his soul?’ Which is from this passage of scripture: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16: 24-27)
I have been just chowing on that truth and pondering upon what really matters in life. So yes I am a failure by the standards of this culture. I have nothing tangible to cling to as my success, no trophy to lift in my hands and say ‘look at me’…more than that I have come to acknowledge that my heart really longs for that acknowledgement. I also want to be labelled successful…but does that matter to the Lord? Thinking about this I envision Jesus looking me in the eyes, smiling and gently wiping the tears from my eyes…saying ‘no…all that matters is that you love me wholeheartedly’. Surely the grass will fade and this earth will pass away…how I carry my heart in this age determines how successful I truly am for all eternity. Some skeptics out there might think…blah blah blah… that’s okay I pray that the revelation will lay a hold of you someday.
Again the truth is etched deeper into my heart. Jesus is returning and before he does, life will grow difficult and unbearable. In the end when he returns I want to be found as one who is faithful even in the storms of life….even in the lack, even in the face of accusation. In my quiet time I open my bible and read truths over myself. In the doubt I ask the Lord to fill my heart with these truths and I speak them over myself. Truths like,
Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. if a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised (Song of Solomon 8:7)
or love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame (Song of Solomon 8:7)
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-10)
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
Nothing matters other than loving Jesus and striving to consider him my success. To be successful is to love him and walk in love even when it hurts. My success is being able to lean upon him when I am so broken I can barely get back on my feet. My success is allowing Holy Spirit to touch the tender, deep parts of my fainting self. My success is allowing Jesus to lead, to take his hand and follow. More than anything I have been validated as successful the day he died and rose again. The moment he took his rightful place next to the father…the day I said yes to my only life in him.
For where there are deep trials there is testing…and in testing there is fire. Fire refines my faith. So as I go back to my room at my friends place, I am reminded of the truth that in the father’s house are many rooms and that’s where I will live forever. Where I live physically and emotionally right now really does not matter. So now I gird my heart and wait for the return of Jesus…even if I leave this earth before he returns I am sure of one thing….when I see Him I will fully know how successful I truly am…and that my friend is all that really matters.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1: 3-5)