"...'How can He but, in giving [Jesus], lavish on us all things - all? (Way Translation)' To freely give means lavishly. What do I need today? Strength? Peace? Patience? Heavenly joy? Industry? Good temper? Power to help others? Inward contentment? Courage? Whatever it be, my God will lavish it upon me. Sometimes it helps to look at something which is already given to us lavishly, and then turn the thought [of our current need] upward and ask for and believe to receive just as lavishly that which we so much need [today]. ...if God is ready to give not just a little, but lavishly, whatever we need for victorious life, then it follows that what we need [will] not fail. When we fail, it must be that we have put some barriers between ourselves and our supply. I think it is here that we need to direct prayer, prayer against barriers; and these are nearly always made of self-love in one form or another. God save us from that and enable us to receive that which You so lavishly [promise] to give." -- Amy Carmichael
I struggle with this. I hate that I do because at the root of it is small thoughts about God. But, the Lord has shown me that, though I know He is sovereign and good, I really do think that I've messed up enough to somehow shortchange God's plan or cause Him to penalize me for my mistakes.
Sin has consequences, this is true, but His word says that He is good and does good always; that what is meant for evil by others He means for good; that He causes or allows all things. The only conclusion I can come to is that the path I am currently on is a good path. Not necessarily because it looks good to me, but because He says it is.
My portion and provision now is Him lavishing His love on me.
This is truth.
Not yet being at my goal weight is meant for good. Being unmarried now is good. My roommate situation is good. My work situation, the make up of my family, my struggles in relationships is good. All of it is the working out of God's purposes and answers to prayer. Somehow, someway, though I don't see it or understand it - God's perfect and good will is being done. My sinfulness didn't stop God's grace and mercy from redeeming me and it can't stop anything else. My weakness and struggles and failures and sin are tools in His hand to mold me and make me into a reflection of His Son.
This is truth.
It doesn't make sense - but when I look across humanity I see that these are the primary tools He has to work with in everyone. Obedience, faithfulness and holiness are learned or acquired through our weakness and struggles and failures and sin, as a gift from God. We are a perpetual work in progress - but a work that is planned and carried out by a good and sovereign - and a VERY in-control - God.
So why do I think that my sinfulness and weakness and struggle is unique? Why do I feel I've somehow fallen out of bounds? Why is all I wrote above and know to be truth so hard for me to put feet to and live? Why, when I read words like "lavish", my heart tells me that it applies to everyone but me?
I don't know.
What I do know is that it is a faithless way to be. My current way of thinking (in spite of what I know to actually be truth) doesn't require me to step outside of myself, my circumstances, my physciality, or my intellect, i.e., it does not require faith. And I guess that is the point. Faith requires me to believe, to expect something bigger, better, more than I can logically expect, attain, or feel I deserve. To my flesh that is asking for disappointment. But He promises that Hope does not disappoint. My oft-disappointed heart is afraid of Hope and is opting for small thoughts of God and fear instead.
That is my reality right now. But, I realize, this is not the true reality. I pray that as God continues to remind me of His truth, it will change my heart and allow me to echo and believe and walk in these other true words from my friend, Amy Carmichael...
God can. God will. Lavishly.