And there are so many people and so many needs. Some need to be taught how to add rational algebraic expressions and write essays for college applications. Some need to be encouraged. Some need healing. Some need counsel and direction. Some need to be listened too. Some need apology. Some need forgiveness. Some need confrontation. Some need prayer. Some need referrals. Some need grace. Some need truth.
And I needed freedom from the resentment that was resulting.
I wasn't coping too well and wanted to totally avoid my Bible and my prayer journal. I especially wanted to neglect them, because I knew that Jude and Revelation were next up in my endeavor to read the thing cover to cover. What weird books. What could they possibly have to say to me in my weary and bitter state?
Deciding to read them anyway, I only felt worse. The revelation to the churches had me completely depressed, because at the end of each message to each church, there is a promise "to him who overcomes." The promises are really incredible...
To him who overcomes...
- the privilege of eating from the Tree of Life in Paradise
- the crown of life
- a portion of the hidden manna
- authority over the nations and the morning star
- clothed in white garments
- Jesus will speak the overcomer's name to the Father
- being made a pillar in the temple of God forever
- knowledge of the name of God, city of God, and new name of Jesus
- a seat with Jesus on the throne
The problem was that I was not overcoming. Not the stress, not the bitterness, not the tears of sadness or frustration, not the fatigue, not the to-do list. Those things were overcoming me, which clearly rendered me without any of these beautiful promises now or in the future. Those things are obviously only for those really special, strong, godly, always joyful, always energetic, always grateful folks. After many years of trying, I know I will never be in that group.
Why did you want me to read this now, Lord? I thought. I was already feeling so inadequate and miserable and hopeless.
And then He gently reminded me of something I had JUST READ in Jude ~ and not only had I just read it, but I had written in down in my journal the day before. Sigh...
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, authority before all time and now and forever.
Why is it so easy to continually fall back into self-sufficiency and self-salvation mode despite the clear teaching of His Word?
He is the overcomer.
He is the one who keeps me from stumbling.
He will make me to stand in His glorious presence blameless.
He, not me.
He put on flesh to make this clear. May He also give me a heart of peace and worship this season.
He is able.