tonight at bible study beth moore shared some verses from isaiah 58 concerning the outpouring of ourselves to God's glory. the message struck me, as she talked about moving OUT of recovery (from strongholds, addiction, emotional health) and INTO service. 'recovery' is not a state of being. it is not a place that we should be in for long drawn out periods of time. at some point we need to get over our issue and move on with God's desire for our life and pour our lives into others.
having struggled with depression for a lot of years off and on, i realize the point she is making. just like i cannot stay in a place of 'i am depressed', i cannot stay in a place of 'i am recovering from depression' forever. i have to deal with my issues, yes; but the point is not to stay in this place for longer than needed. stepping forth into a life that gives to others and holds nothing back is the ultimate step of faith, trusting that God will sustain me. i fondly remember the way i felt when i used to do youth and collegiate ministry. when i had no strength, patience, will or desire to look beyond myself and care for others i was given the strength, patience, will and desire to do so once i stepped out and did the thing. in the niv version of isaiah 58 verse 11 says that he will 'strengthen your frame (build you up and help you stand-these parentheses mine)' and 'you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail (you will never run weary of doing good)' when we spend ourselves on others.
i am a pretty selfish person. i like 'things' more than people sometimes. i would rather someone be interested in my life than the other way around. i like sleeping in on the weekends more than getting up and heading out to do community service. i'd rather go to a movie in the evening than hand out emergency blankets to the homeless.
you get the picture.
but this heart attitude is not what will bring the harvest of God's glory to the world. it will only bring destruction (like the life outlined in chapter 59). this was a hard pill to swallow, but please pray for me as i digest it. my life has been called to be something else than what it is, and it's high time my good intentions became good deeds.