So it just occurred to me how much I really benefit from listening to good, solid teaching about God. Maybe it's partly because I'm alone here so much (well, taking care of a two-year-old and a six-month-old... but as far as adult conversation and socialization goes, very alone) and it fills some kind of gap in my life. Or maybe it's just because it keeps me on track spiritually - helps me to remember my priorities, which are very easily forgotten. In any case, the more I listen, the more "right" I feel. So with that in mind, I've just decided that my "thing to work on" for the month of April is this: I'm going to watch a sermon at cornerstonesimi.com every day, blog (maybe) about what I learned and what really stood out to me or touched me, and see where I am at the end of the month. I have a feeling this will effect a great deal of change in my life. We'll see soon enough.
Today I watched the second half of the sermon entitled "Jesus Is More Than Enough." Two things really stood out to me. First, the thing where Paul had the thorn in the flesh deal going on, whatever that was. He prayed that the Lord would take it from him, but his answer was "My grace is sufficient for you." God/Jesus told him that his strength was made perfect in weakness, and then Paul wrote that he would boast more in his weaknesses because of the way it magnified God. I may be misunderstanding (often a possibility with me) but when I read that it seems like it's saying that the fact that we are weak and fail in certain areas only increases the display of the goodness of God. His mercy and strength and patience are just HUGE, and it shows when we fail and he continues to love us. I also think this verse is about being honest and real about where you are, so that God can meet you there and work on you.
Also, the pastor talked about how important it is to know the REAL Jesus; not some Jesus we've invented in our own minds. What he cares about is our holiness. And stuff that we go through (like Paul's trials) serve to increase our holiness in some way.
Also, we really don't have anything to offer God. But he doesn't need anything from us. (The verses the sermon covered were the ones about the loaves and fish that Jesus multiplied.) So that's what we can give to God as an offering - our nothing. Our helplessness. And he pulls us through these things and strengthens us and makes us more like himself. So everything - marriage trials, hunger, sickness, financial troubles... whatever. We're weak, but we give him our struggles and let his strength be made perfect in our weakness.
It was a great sermon! I feel really... hmm, good word for this... positive. Hopeful. My trials seem small right now, and the reminder that God brings us into various trials in order to benefit us and make us more holy... I needed that reminder. It makes everything make sense. Gives everything a good and divine purpose. I feel so much better right now - I feel so trusting. I'm very happy right now.
I've been struggling today with loneliness. Wes worked all day, was home for a little over half an hour (almost all of which he spent with me and the girls, though! Yay!) and then he left again to hang out with Noah and Kevin. I knew he was going to go, but still, I was a little depressed when he left. But he needs that time, and I need to trust God with my husband. (We've been having some communication issues lately and I'm frustrated and want to work through them, while Wes is more of an "I need time and space" kind of guy. So my patience is being tested as well.) Anyway, all that to say that this sermon was exactly what I needed! I feel more attached to God now and I think I'll be able to back off and be less flung about and tormented by my emotions. Or, in other words, I think I'll be less needy and dependent on Wes and other people to fill my needs and help me work through my feelings, and more dependent on God. Which, of course, is exactly how things should be.