Sunday, February 24, 2013

Resisting Gifts & Retreat Rejoicing {Lent Day #12}

"My dear," she said after a time, "have you a perfectly distinct, settled view of what Christ is to the human soul?"

"I do not know.  I understand, of course, more or less perfectly that my salvation depends on Him alone; it is His gift."

"But do you see with equal clearness that your sanctification must be as fully His gift as your salvation is?"

"No, I said, after a little thought. "I have had a feeling that He has done His part and now I must do mine."

"My dear," she said with much tenderness and feeling, "then the first thing you have to do is learn Christ."

"But how?"

"On your knees, my child, on your knees!"

~Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

{So...I know that Lent isn't traditionally practiced on Sundays, but that's okay....}

Lord, forgive me for thinking that "now I must do my part" and then getting worn out in my efforts, not to mention prideful.  I cannot achieve sanctification, just as I could not achieve salvation, but I confess that I've thought and acted as if I could. Forgive me for resisting your gifts and for striving so much ~  as if working for them would make me worthy.

"Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12: 1-2

The weekend was so wonderful, and as usual, I came away feeling as if the greatest gifts and blessings were given TO me rather than coming from me.  Maybe I can share more about that soon.  I'm really overwhelmed by specific ways the Lord revealed Himself through the women at the retreat and through the order of events and the scriptures and how He wove it all together to reveal His power and grace.  Wow. Just wow.  

{And I love how He wove Hebrews and one of my favorite passages from Stepping Heavenward today.  Just grace upon grace...}

Joyful tonight....and sleepy.  Good night.

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