Sometimes when I just want familiarity I put aside the shiny new things and reach for the old torn worn and written upon. This year I’ve been reading the chronological bible because this is something I’ve wanted to do for years. This bible is full of interesting historical elements blended in with the books of the bible in the order they were written. But this morning I reached for my old bible because I felt like I needed to be reminded once again of things I already know.
I opened the bible to Isaiah 45. I scan over the underlined words from the year 2018. The notes in red pen on the side margins remind me this morning, ” who are we to question what God is doing in our lives.” I wrote that down yet at the moment I don’t at all remember the specifics of whatever day in 2018 I felt moved to write those words in the margin. I’m glad I did though, because I am finding that I need these spiritual markers on this journey.
The Word says I am being perfected by God. “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
St. Teresa of Avila calls this The Way of Perfection. In her book by the same name she shares with us some 400 plus years ago directions on the achievement of remaining on this path to perfection, this upward call of God. The essentials that she lays out are, fraternal love, detachment from material things, and true humility. I can break down easily and often.
I can stall on a matter of simple obedience. I’ve noticed though, God seems to eventually bring me back around to what truly needs to be done or not done any longer. As if God is saying we can’t go any further. And we are not yet there at the goal that Paul speaks of as he sits in a prison cell writing words to the Christians of Philippi.
Isn’t that humility? Contained and confined behind bars of iron for St. Paul and for St. Teresa it was the walls of a convent. Self disappears. The strong hands and quick minds are nothing.
Our strengths and weaknesses are nothing to God. He doesn’t always allow us to do what we are really good at doing. The same thing with our weaknesses that we want to hide away in a closet. I know God will do this, He will pull out that weakness from the far end of the closet and hand us that bright blaring red sweater and He will say, yes wear that.
Humility is when I pull out the old bible because I feel weak and disturbed in my soul. A head full of history and verses written chronologically mean nothing to a child who needs a Heavenly Father’s comfort. I didn’t need the world’s history. I needed my history with my God.
When I opened Isaiah 45 I was reminded that God goes before me making crooked paths straight, He breaks the gates of bronze, and cuts bars of iron. He shows me treasures hidden in darkness. He gives me knowledge of who He really is. He holds my hand and calls me by name.
How does God comfort you? You can answer below, I love your comments.