August 29, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope

I was listening to James Dobson's Focus on the Family yesterday. Lucy Swindoll was on for the second day as guest speaker talking about how we are really called to do only one thing, reflect Christ in all we do. No matter how small we may be in the eyes of the world, if we shine a glimmer of Him to those around us, it can have a tremendous impact. She shared about her family, her mother, father, brother Orval, and other brother Chuck, the pastor and Bible teacher who I've listened to and admired for many years.

She described her brother Chuck as an eternal optimist saying he simply refused to dwell on the negative, something that perked my ears because I tend to be a "half cup empty" kind of gal. She said one year in seminary he walked into Hebrew class to find the chalk board filled corner to corner in Hebrew. It was the test they were about to take. Later she asked him if he failed the exam and in his calm optimist fashion he replied, "Yeah I failed, but I won't always fail." He later became president of that seminary.

His response to a very stressful and intimidating experience brought tears to my eyes because it is so easy to feel like a failure. The moment I take my eyes off God and fail to see what He has done for me, my self-esteem plummets. The instant I forget to listen to His still small voice lead, guide, and lift me, the enemy's lies begin to overtake, as I sink deeper and deeper into the pit of despair.

What a comfort to know that though we may fail, we won't always fail because Christ has lifted us up. He has bridged the gap from our frailties and faults to His healing and holiness, and when we apply this to the trials of life, we have great hope that drowns out any despair. For instance, our little Dani may be disabled, but she won't always be disabled because in heaven she will be healed. My biggest trial, heartache, and life-long challenge is only temporary because my happiness does not hinge on whether she is disabled or not, it stems from the hope I have in God and His Son Jesus who loves me enough to die on the cross for my sins and the sins of the world.

Think for a moment. What failure or disappointment has overcome you this day? Have your eyes drifted from God or your ears grown dull to His sustaining whisper? If so, choose now to abandon the lies that condemn and focus on the truth that through Christ you have victory and hope! Remember God's love that gave it's all so that you can walk through life with a joy that shines His light for all to see and receive.

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

by Stuart Townend

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocing voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that helf Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I knoww that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast inJesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom


Anonymous said...

You are so right! I think part of the problem is that we tend to get isolated from one another as well as from our Lord. We feel like a ship adrift and alone on the dark sea without rudder or sail. Our eyes become fixed on the finite rather than the infinite! We need each other to help lift our eyes to the deeper reality that is constant in the lives of those who are hidden in Christ. Then . . .the world and its challenges is no longer intimidating; we are not overtaken by events in our lives, we are held securely in the palm of His mighty hand . . .and we have LOTS of company there. Praise God!

Diane Waisner
Walk in Wisdom Ministry

Cheryl Barker said...

I love this song -- how thankful I am for His vast love!

Have a blessed week, Nancy!

Catie said...

I've listened to some Focus on the Family things. How did Lucy Swindoll say we should reflect Christ in all we do?

Nancy said...

Lucy tells many stories and didn't list ways to reflect Christ so much but rather emphasized the fact that we don't need to be big mirrors, just little reflections of Him in our simple daily life. We don't have to be public figures or have a popular name, just simple folks living a life according to God's commands. It was powerful.