Welcome to the new year! It’s been a week, so hopefully you’ve had a chance to take a step back and think about somethings you want this year to look like. If you read my post last week, you saw that I have a lot of things coming up this year, and I believe you have some big things too. Work might get increasingly busy, relationships might be stressful, our physical health may be struggling, and some of us may experience unforeseen struggles. It’s exciting for the newness of life, but at the same time, these changes can be scary and we will have conflict that will happen in our lives. Sorry for the bummer, but it’s the reality of life. Many people have the idea that following Christ means that all our struggles go away and we’ll never have to face problems, but that isn’t the case. Jesus even tells us that, “in this world we will have trouble.” That’s always the most encouraging thing to hear when it feels like you’re walking through hell. We lose hope during moments in our lives, and this always gives us a choice. In these moments, we can let these struggles consume us, turning away from God or letting our temptations rule us, or we can have faith. Today I want to talk about faith and more importantly, how we can have faith in our creator in the middle of our struggles.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Being dehydrated is one of the worst feelings. We need water to live (hopefully you know that, and if not, you’re welcome!), without it we suffer. The reason I thought about this is often in our walk with Christ we become dehydrated, we forget to fuel ourselves with the one thing we need in order to survive. My sister Beth was over at a family dinner and she made the comment about hydration saying, did you know that being thirsty is the last sign that you’re dehydrated? Not the first sign, the last sign. That made me think, the moment I start to need water, when I start growing thirsty, I haven’t even noticed my body suffering before that point. The same happens in our relationship with Christ. I want to let that sink in. We go through our lives seemingly getting by, without even realizing we are starving. We are in need of being hydrated in Christ and don’t even realize it.
“So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.”
Everything is rooted in one thing. Our roots formulate our ideas, our passions, and our desires for the future. Each of us has our foundation built on something. So what are you rooted in? What drives you, pushes you forward, causes you to think about it all the time? I think many of us want to have our roots growing in the presence of God, but we fear actually giving up control. So our roots stay in our own power. Sure for a time they seem to be growing well, but eventually we will find that we become dead inside. We put on our good face and try to make it on our own, but once we have a chance to be alone we feel the hurt rush in. We feel weak because we are weak; our foundation is rooted in the wrong source. I’ve been thinking about this because before I can go and do anything I need to make sure my roots are growing in the right place. I think about this because I never want to feel dead again, I never want to rest on my own power because my strength is weak. I’ve been thinking about this because I had remembered the time I had Lawrence the cactus.
The past couple of weeks have been tough, I have felt this sense of spiritual drought and I have been questioning what my purpose is. It’s not the first time this has happened, or will it be the last. Whenever I find myself in this situation I am reminded of one simple thing, I am valued. It’s a sentiment that I am able to cling to because it is true. I think this is a sentiment that more people do not know, which is tragic. So often the enemy tries to tell me that I am not capable of accomplishing anything or that I am unworthy to serve my savior. In some way or another the enemy says this to all of us, when we are moving up or in time of darkness. We hear these lies everywhere, whether through entertainment, someone we trust, or from our insecurities. For a long time it was easy for me to believe what people would say about me, causing me to look down upon myself. It’s an awful feeling, but it’s an absolute and total lie. I know this because I began to block out the enemy and focus on the truth.
I want to share some scripture that has helped and continues to help me fight this sense that we are not worth it. I have a passion for others to know they are valued and help them find their true purpose. We have been created for so much more than a simple life, our creator designed us to be people that make a difference. He built us with purpose because he knows we will be able to achieve it.
You are a valued part of the body.
In 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31 has Paul describes how the body is made up of a multitude of parts that makes it what it is. Each part is unique and serves a purpose, our body is not made up of one part because if it was, we would not be able to function. What Paul is showing us is that the anatomy of the human body is an allegory for our individual contributions as the church. Each of us have talents and gifts, some big and some small, but each one of us contributes to the world and to the people we are around. I am unique, there is no one else like me out there. You are unique, there is no one out there exactly like you. We work together, we enjoy being in each other’s company, we have the power to build each other up. We need each other because we make up the body, we can’t do it alone.
You have a higher purpose, you just might not see it yet.
To show you what I mean by this statement, we are going to look back in the Old Testament and talk about a time when Solomon built the temple. To make this even more in line with how you may be feeling, we will be looking at a man named Huram Abi, ever heard of him? Most likely not, and that’s because he is only mention in a few verses. In 1 Kings 7:13-14 we see that Solomon sends for one of the most skilled bronze workers, enter Huram. “Huram was highly skilled and experienced in all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.” What happens next is we see a description of all the ornate work that he achieved. Then that’s it, that’s the last we really hear about Huram, but what he created was renown in many places. He was good at what he did and did it to the best of his ability, and we still know from history the majesty that the temple had in its’ time. Huram didn’t know all the glory that would be given to God in this temple or the lasting effects it would have, but he was used to create something incredible.
You must be in pursuit of God, for his vision to be revealed.
When I discovered that little revelation, I was so encouraged reading that small piece of scripture. I had read that part before and had heard Pastors talk about the temple, but never thought about someone that seemed so small in the large picture. My thoughts then went to the fact that if God can use a simple bronze worker, who had not been able to have the relationship with Jesus like I have found, how can God use me to step into my potential? What I believe is that as we make a daily pursuit to hear what God has to say, read his word, and lay down our selfish nature; we are able to walk into the vision God has set for us. I am a unique being who doesn’t know what the future holds, all I know is that in my pursuit of Christ, he will use me. I believe that he will use you, you just have to run after it.
If you are feeling like you are wandering in the desert without purpose, I understand. I understand because I have been there. I know what it’s like to believe the lies from the enemy, I know that struggle it is to fight against it, but keep fighting. You are unique, you may not see the impact you will have, but as you pursue Christ things will become clear. I say this to encourage you, because I have to tell myself this each day. I am valued by Christ. You are valued by Christ. Believe the truth, seek after your relationship with Christ, and always remember that even deserts experience the beauty of a sunset.
Thanks for reading,