Well, I'm finally here! I made it to the beautiful country of Turkey. It is truly fabulous. I haven't gotten out much yet, but I plan to do so this weekend. I'll do an entry later next week on some of my favorite things here. I have a confession. There are times in life when I feel inadequate in comparison to other believers... and this is definitely one of them. Satan attacks each of us in a variety of ways, and I'm feeling it more so today than others. He has attacked my thoughts with doubt & pride and as a result it's a struggle to see what God is doing with my life. Right now I'm working with some amazing people who have experienced a unique variety of life's joys and pains. In an entire lifetime, most people never experience a portion of what these believers go through in a year. When I sit in a room, surrounded by people who have given up so much to live a life that many in our society scoff at, I suddenly feel extremely small in comparison.
But that is the beauty of God's grace. He has made each one of us different and we're each wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14, 119:73). I have always been the competitive type, and in my opinion, many of us with that "competitive gene" also tend to compare ourselves to others. That tendency in sports is helpful. In school I looked to others to see the standard level of playing and strived to meet the standard and hopefully surpass it. In life, this approach can be extremely dangerous for the Christian since our standard is not found in others; it is found in Scriptures.
When I start hearing amazing stories from these people, I begin to question my identity, "What is wrong with me? Why am I in Raleigh? Why don't I do that with my life? Why am I only an admin. assistant? Is this degree I'm working towards worth anything? Why am I not doing something more meaningful?" I forget the goodness of God and how in His sovereignty, He has me in Raleigh for this time in my life. I forget how He has been gracious and how He has not only provided for my physical needs, but He's also blessed me with an abundance of joys! When I doubt myself and my circumstances, I am also doubting my Creator and Sustainer.
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to stop focusing on the future & learn to enjoy the present more. I think that this "Stop & learn formula" could apply to this situation as well. I need to stop comparing myself to others & learn to love His standard more. And the only way to love His standard more is by knowing what His standard is.
So today during my downtime I've been reading and praying through Scriptures. Tonight as I am ready to lay my head down to sleep, I rest not in my competency (or fret in my lack thereof). Rather I rest in the hope of a God who redeems. I rest in the truth that God is good and His love endures forever. I rest in the knowledge that I am His and there is nothing that is outside of His control.
I'll leave you with an old hymn that I've been singing in my head this evening:
On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand: by Edward Mote
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly trust in Jesus' Name.
Chorus: On Christ the solid Rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood Support me in the whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound Oh may I then in Him be found Dressed in His righteousness alone Faultless to stand before the throne.
Much love - B