There has never been a better time for Christians to be on display. The state of the world, the social unrest, widespread disease, alarming economic instability & employment—these are the times when believers should be armed and ready to be the light to a dark world.
Unfortunately, I feel ill-equipped to illuminate anything these days. I often find myself between polarizing extremes. I begin in worship and quieted thankfulness then read headlines and worry creeps in. I start my workday encouraged and productive and the smallest disruption or external pressure has me teetering between self-doubt and anxiety. I look around my humble environment and depression brings not only comparison to others, but questions of God’s remembrance of me.
10+ years ago, I remember telling a friend that I always considered myself emotionally stable—even keel, level-headed, and rational. Today, not so much. These confidence-eroding feelings come frequently, and if I am honest, regularly within a 24-hour window. By bedtime I am so mentally drained; I desire sleep simply because it quiets my mind. Sleep allows me to turn off my thoughts.
I have decided this has to end.
Ladies, there is so little we have control over. So much of our lives and environment we try to own/decide/choose–things God has preeminently declared His power over. His omnipotence should free us from the emotional ebbs and flows that beset us in these times. Many of us feel physically exasperated for lack of control; lack of understanding what is really happening in our world, on our jobs, in our lives. There is no simple solution to fixing a broken world; There is no magic medicine we can prescribe. But we can fix ourselves. We can focus on our responsibilities in these times.
Today’s sermon was about Preparing the Way of the Lord. A reminder that Christians must work out our salvation in such a way that we can ensure Christ is honored in his soon-to-be return Philippians 2:12-13. We have a responsibility to prepare the way of the Lord Isaiah 40:3-5. This morning I thought about how much power I have given to feelings of fear, selfishness and even self-righteousness. There is so much room for improvement in my life; so many uneven sinkholes that God would not be proud of if He were to return right now.
My pastor asked the church to assess ourselves. Determine what crooked paths need to be made straight, what mountains and valleys need to be leveled, what ways do we need to decommission – or better yet, what ways and behaviors have we omitted that we need to commission in search of righteousness and holiness?
Realizing that I have more improvements than I would care to ever say, the charge was to begin a list. To write down areas of improvement…ways of unrighteousness that have NOT prepared the way for God’s return. I am going to be brave. I am going to share them here.
Praying that God will complete the good work that he began in me.
What about you? Are there habits, behaviors, attitudes that God would have to work “around” to return to you/His people? In what ways can you manage yourself to better prepare the way of the lord?