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Saturday, August 24, 2013

a silver thread in the tapestry

I was about 13 years old when I gave myself completely over to Jesus; giving Him my life, giving Him my heart, my dreams, my everything.  What I hadn't fully comprehended was that those things weren't really ever mine in the first place...wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Everybody gets to a crossroads in life.  Whatever decisions this crossroads may present, it can be difficult to determine the Lord's will--especially if it seems to be a "neutral" situation in which either decision would be morally acceptable.  I've wrestled with more than one of these.  I've been confused, crying out to God, weighing out the pros and cons of both paths, trying to figure out which road would be the most profitable to trod.

A friend was recently relating to me about one such crossroads that he had come upon; he shared with me a thought that the Lord gave him that helped him to choose which road to take, that instead of asking, "What would be the best for me to glorify God?" taking into account his family, his talents, gifts, abilities, potential-- that he would ask, "What would be best for God?"

That was about a week ago. A couple days ago, my dad took me out for breakfast.  I had forgotten to even tell him about this, but it was brought to my remembrance when we were talking about the crossroads that I was looking down and he looked across the table from me, straight in the eyes, and said, "You need to ask yourself, 'What's best for God?'"

My perspective changed.

In my mind I saw my life--a tiny dot on the map as my perspective zoomed out until I saw the earth in it's entirety, suspended in seemingly eternal blackness and emptiness, yet bathed in a beam of golden radiance.  Rather than simply analyzing the few years that would span my life, I saw a glimpse of the Story of God that He's been writing before time began.

Instead of looking at how I can glorify God best in my life, ask how can God use this life that He has made to best glorify Himself?

In my past few years of "surrender" and "sacrifice", my perspective was off.

I thought that I was giving God my life, I thought I was surrendering my dreams to Him, my gifts--I failed to recognize that everything that I have was a gift from Him in the first place. Or if I did, I did not use it as the lens with which I viewed my future.  I thought it was my sacrifice, my act of worship.  I failed to realize, that it's my reasonable service of worship.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

~Romans 11:33-36, 12:1-2

Do you see it?  Everything comes from God, every gift, every talent, every opportunity, every ounce of potential that you have in your being, every breath that passes through your lungs, every drop of blood coursing through your veins, it is a result of God's unfathomable mercy upon you--His gifts to you, all things come from Him.  When surrendering this next breath, this next step of life, I'm just giving it back to Him.  Instead of asking how I could be used best for His kingdom, as though I have something to give Him, instead I fall down at His throne of grace, hands high, quaking in awe that He might use me to bring about His glory on the earth, by any means that He decides.

My life is but a snapshot, a glimpse, a vapor that makes up a tiny fragment of God's greater masterpiece; His story.  It is a gift that He has so graciously given me the power to do with as I please.  But if I'm willing to give it back to Him, and obey, He has the perfect place for it.

It's the golden brushstroke to portray the radiance of the sun, or maybe it's the grey one that He wants to use in the shading.  It's the perfect rhyming word in His song, the next step in His dance, the silver thread in His royal tapestry--I am a piece of His artistry!  My part is small, my part could seem insignificant; but my part and your part, and every one else that is willing to surrender to Him--all of us together, supporting each other's pieces, following the direction of the Divine Artist, will make up an eternal and heavenly masterpiece, to which nothing could ever compare.

Can God do without me?  Yes.  He doesn't need me.  He could easily find someone else.  I'm nothing special.  But He wants me.  He wants me.  He wants me to take part in His heavenly painting, His dance, His tapestry--His story.

It's just reasonable!  It just makes sense!  It's not some great act, not some magnificent feat that I would "allow" God to use me--it's simply reasonable, expected!  He desires me and He wants me to desire Him. He gave me this gift that I might respond by placing it back in His hands.  Because I love Him.

I have nothing to give Him but that which He has given to me.  

Jesus, all I have to give You is what You have already given me. 
Here am I; I'm Yours.  

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