Among about a hundred other resolutions I have declared this new year, I have determined to do a daily bible study. When trying to decide which direction I would go, I wanted to find a study that I could download from iTunes and listen to on my iPod in conjunction with opening up my bible and digging in. I've gotten to know myself pretty well in the 36 years I've been living with me and I know what works and what doesn't. So, browsing on iTunes, with Beth Moore my main target, I came across:
Stepping Up, A Journey Through the Psalms of the Ascents
I had never even heard of the psalms of the ascents and since I love learning a new thing, this is the route I chose. The funny thing is that I have learned that God never leads me wrong. He knows what I need to hear and how to boost my faith. The introductory session was inspiring and, yes, brought me a few stinging tears. Just me and my iPod praising God in the chicken house. I couldn't wait to get the workbook to go along with it. For one, I am a visual learner and when I write things down, they tend to stick. The other thing is that there is hardly anything I love more than a workbook. It is just that fresh unmarked page, the blanks waiting to be filled in like a canvas of fresh snow awaiting my footprints.
I have a love of office supplies anyway, give me a highlighter, some pens and anything I can staple or tape and I'm a happy lady.
The journey that I've been on for the past week has been eye opening. I'll share my lightbulb moment, if you don't mind.
I've tried and failed, tried and failed, tried and failed my whole life. This trial and error has occurred with everything in life imaginable, from weight loss, to organization, to my marriage, to parenting my kids. Then in the middle of scanning through the psalms of ascent, (Psalm 120 - Psalm 134) I landed my eyes on a verse that jumped off the page. I've read it before but it was fresh and new and completely speaking to me.
Unless the Lord builds the house, it's builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stand guard in vain. Psalm 127: 1
I think I get it now. It's only taken 36 years but I think something new has happened in my heart. I've been trying to do everything myself! God has always been my close companion, but my stubborn will has left me solitarily fighting against life in vain.
Any period of adjustment is sure to bring some strife with it. Surrendering all to God, will certainly be a leap for someone as willful and headstrong as this ol' girl. But I think I've been caught at the right time, because I'm tired. The futility of all my efforts has left me piled up in a heap, sucking my thumb and finding my happy place.
I read something to my bible class a couple of Sunday's ago that I think is pretty darn enlightening. When a baby giraffe is born, it struggles to stand of those long wobbly legs. As soon as it has it's feet under it, the mother giraffe pushes the baby back down, forcing it to have to struggle to stand again. She will do this repeatedly, and in doing so, strengthens the baby's legs!!
So while I may find myself down right now, I know I've been knocked on my butt for a reason. God picked the exact right time to have me down for the count and ready to surrender all my STUFF over to Him. I am so excited and scared to see where my journey will take me. For now, I'm settling in to the realization that I must surrender and I have complete faith that in doing so, my life's work will not be in vain.