טֹוב לִשְׁמֹעַ גַּעֲרַת חָכָם מֵאִישׁ שֹׁמֵעַ שִׁיר כְּסִילִֽים׃
|Stet...at the top.|
Life right now is so good,
life right now is wonderful...absolutely amazing!
I feel like I am back to being the ole' me...things have begun returning to normal. God has brought me out of the dessert and into the 'land of milk and honey'!
My prayer times have been the highlights of these past few weeks.
I have been encouraged by my time with the Lord! These sweet times of prayer have overflown into all aspects of my life, including my conversations. These conversations with old friends (Ben, Lacie, Scott, Josh, Kim, Allen, Cole, Allyson, Clayton, Charrissa), new friends (Tieben, Cash, Nick), and complete strangers (John, and others) have been such a blessing!
These two things alone make 'my life grand' (cue George Strait), but couple them with the opportunities that God has given me recently to invest or help others, and how much time I have had for running, and for travel, and you see why I am in the clouds.
Now that we have all the house keeping and updating portion of the post out of the way, I can inform you that this is not a post about how great I have been. Rather, it is going to be a quick writing about something I have been reminded of recently. It is going to be about a verse in Ecclesiastes, and how that verse is pertinent always...even when you are 'at the top', or you 'have the whole world on a string'.
"It is better for a man to hear the rebukeEcclesiastes 7:5 ESV
Sometimes, when we climb higher and higher, when we are freed from previous struggles, when we are walking in God's guidance, we feel invincible. We feel untouchable by those previous hindrances and hard times, and it can become easy to walk void of concern of those times returning.
I have been here before...I have found myself within the oasis beyond the dry sandy dunes more than once. And I did not properly guard myself against past temptations, struggles, and sin. I felt fixed and spent my time praising God for the deliverance and gifts (a good thing to always do), BUT, I failed to spend much time asking for continued perseverance and strength. I failed to ask for a continued refinement. I failed to seek a continued change in my heart and life.
In these failures, I lost some of the humility that brought me to the true realization that God changed me, and that it was not me changing myself. With the loss of this understanding, I began to try to fix my oneself again...to only find that I had slipped back into the same places I was before, and now with a gilt, and a shame that pushed me all the further into the dessert.
So, this time. These glorious days of refreshment, have been filled with praise, (oh have they been filled with praise), but equally so they have been filled with prayers for continuation, for strength, for refining fire, for wise rebuke, for a sincere and humble spirit, for a contrite heart.
And how God loves to answer prayers!
He sent me rebuke for a wise source, a strong sister. She shared with me concerns that she has had for sometime. These concerns were concerns that I too have had, but had thought I had been doing well within. Turns out I may not have been doing so well...so in this time of being so high...so strong...so victorious, God has given me a spot that I know I can not fix. He has given me an area that I know only He can change! And how humbling it is that He brings it to me now!
It is so good to find rebuke from wise friends who desire my refinement as a christian man, as apposed to words of flattery from all the world.
Thank you for the helping hand,