Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 23

I just finished reading Henri J. M. Nouwen's book "The Way of the Heart". It's idea is to connect with God through prayer, wisdom and silence using ancient spiritual wisdom to heal our troubled modern souls.

On solitude Nouwen says:

"Solitude is the place of purification and transformation; the place of the great struggle and the great encounter...the place of our salvation."

One of the stories in the book reflects that of St. Anthony who was basically considered the father of monks. He was born around 251 and when he was around 18 he heard this scripture and felt these words were for him personally: "Go and sell all that you own and give it to the poor then come and follow me." Matthew 19:21.

After a while he withdrew to the desert and lived 20 years in complete solitude with God. During these years he endured many trials but he reigned victoriously through his unconditional surrender to Christ.

That makes me wonder have I surrendered everything? Have I truly surrended everything to Christ? As mom's especially do we want to believe we turn it all over to God but really don't because the idea of lack of control over our family's life is hard to stomach? I am sure that's the area I struggle most in. How to give it all to God and not take it back. Every time I hand it over to God I tend to try and grab it back. And then there is the question of my hidden past. Things that happened as a child or as a young adult I haven't surrended either. Well I have but I have been known to pick them back up. I am working on keeping them at the cross.

But then I realize how prideful this is. I think pride is one of my greatest downfalls. I am not talking about pride that puffs me up and gives me an air that thinks I am all that. But when I try to handle something that God told me to give Him that certainly is pride even if it's not premeditated. Even if that's not my motivation, if I give something to God and take it back - then the underlying motivation whether I acknowledge it or not is pride. I don't trust God to handle it, or I think I can handle it better or I think this one thing won't matter to God, etc. And perhaps besides pride this can also be unbelief. I would argue with you today that I believe but if I continue to battle with God over an area of my life is that truly faith or is somewhere in my heart a shadow of unbelief that He won't do something or can't?

I want to live a life completely sold out to Christ. I want His spirit guiding my every thought and step. To do that, I cannot take anything back. I have to completely surrender to God and not take anything back. It has to be His. I have trust God to handle it.

Today's Reflection: Lord as simple of a process as it seems, I tend to make things so convoluted and difficult. Forgive me for having a prideful and unbelieving heart and for stepping in and trying to take control. Help me step out. Transform me into the daughter of God you want me to be so You may be glorified. Help me see that You are here always - guiding each step as long as I turn towards You and pay attention. Please convict me when my flesh wants to step in and take control. You are the Author and Finisher of my faith. My complete all in all. I believe You can do all things. I believe. Please help my unbelief.


Tammy M. October 24, 2009 at 9:09 AM  

Thanks Leah for sharing your thoughts. I believe the most powerful prayer we can utter is for God to increase our belief. It changes everything. God's richest blessings to you friend.

BluePixo Entertainment October 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

What a great blog.
This quote:
"Solitude is the place of purification and transformation; the place of the great struggle and the great encounter...the place of our salvation."

Reminded me of a quote which I like a lot
"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." This is so true.


Tanya October 25, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

This was very touching! Good luck
with your journey:)Btw I have a
award waiting for you on my blog!
Please stop by and accept it.

Allison October 25, 2009 at 10:22 PM  

I have been praying that alot lately - I believe, help my unbelief. You are doing so good!

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