Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finding Fault

Romans 15:13
"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace, because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

There is an air of discontent about me in recent days. I find myself waking up and thinking that I just don't want to get out of bed and face the same old routine. Normally I am very content with having one day flow into the next with very little variation. I have grown very wary of change. But there are seasons of discontent it seems, and this is one of them.

I find myself longing for the summers of my childhood, when we visited that enchanted island, walked on pristine beaches and played in the frigid waves. Summers with that sense of timelessness and no responsibilities.

When unchecked, the discontent spills over into an impatience with myself. I look at my life and my heart, see the faults and failings and want to give up. I examine closely the work I love best to do, compare it with others and find it sadly lacking. "What place is there for me," I think, "when so many others do it so much better than I could ever hope to?"

Without much enthusiasm I opened my little devotional book to today's reading, and there was Romans 15:13 - a verse I had memorized some time last year. It had spoken volumes to my heart back then, and I began to feel a stirring as I read the devotional passage:

"I think that many of your troubles arise from an exaggerated anxiety, a secret impatience with your own faults; and this restlessness, when once it has possession of your mind, is the cause of numberless trifling faults, which worry you and go on adding to your burden until it becomes unbearable. I would have you honest in checking and correcting yourself, but at the same time patient under the consciousness of your frailty. Remember that Jesus our Lord loves to dwell within a quiet heart, and to come to those who are at peace with themselves; restlessness and anxiety hinder our seeing Him, even when He is beside us and speaking to us."
Pere Hyacinthe Besson (1829-1896)

I know that I tend to be very hard on myself; some have even said I am a perfectionist (who me?). It is especially true about the creative things I do. When Michael Neale was here he told a little story that made me weep. He had been on the verge of having some of his music recorded. At the last moment, the company decided they wouldn't be able to use his music after all. They were "going in a different direction." He was hugely disappointed.

Later, during a time of worship, he heard the Lord speak to his heart. I cannot remember his exact words, but the thought was, "Who are you writing your songs for Michael; who is more important to you than Me?" He said the tears just began to flow. Then He heard the Father whisper, "Michael, I love your songs."

I thought of that this morning after I read my devotional. Then I read a post at Ann's that beautifully reinforced what the Father had been speaking to my heart.

When I am tempted to compare myself to others; when I wallow in self-pity and find fault with what I've done and who I am, I am denying what the Father says about me. When I bring my offering to Him, with no other motive than to bring honor and glory to Him, He is well pleased.

I don't know why it is so difficult for the human heart to receive such unconditional love. We have only to look at a cross to know the depth of that love.

I come today asking forgiveness for my own foolishness, knowing I will receive grace and love beyond anything I could ask or think. Make me new Lord, and fill me with your Spirit so that I may love You more.



  1. I too experience that "air of discontent" from time to time, so I found your blog very refreshing today. As always, you seem to know my heart from afar and your words and scripture speak to me. Bless you for sharing your gift of writing with me. It is so obvious to me that you are filled with the Holy Spirit and that is a blessing indeed!

  2. Amazing! That you found those words again just when you needed them. I can't say I feel discontent, but I do feel frustration and times and wish that things could be different in our lives at this juncture.

  3. You, Linda, are a very sweet and dear
    lady. You have a God-given talent for
    expressing your thoughts and feelings
    through words. Your life is valuable
    to Him and to those who love you.
    You are blessing those who read your
    blog with great encouragement.
    Stay in His presence and dwell on His
    love for you and this, too, shall pass.
    Warm regards,

  4. I so understand what you are talking about
    I want this summer to be magical
    a special time with the grands and fun for
    I have myself all worked into a tizzy
    I am going thru some kind of midlife crisis about church
    it has always been 'my place'
    now I feel like a visitor
    that is not sure I want to be there
    Not my God or HIS church...
    just my building that we have been at for 36 years
    raised kids in and served in
    I feel like I am under water and fighting for a breath
    all that was unedited thoughts straight from my fingers
    funny to read it and go
    so that is how you feel

  5. oooh, this is a good one, linda.
    God is really working in the words today.
    Glory to God

  6. oh, me too, linda. me too. keep serving him through the written word... what are your dreams? i pray they may come true. love you.

  7. linda,
    this makes me sad. I know that you are strong, but like Emily, wonder too what you truly wish to wake up to.
    Isn't life just such mystery.
    and your writing is beautiful.

  8. oh, linda, your heart is so beautiful. God sees you. He sees the struggles and the goodness in you. i have been praying for you, sweet friend. I have been through another few weeks of crazy busy, but you are always on my mind and in my prayers!

    sending you love.

  9. It's funny. This morning I was just reading about Hudson Taylor, and a period of time which he went through where he was very depressed and discouraged. God sent him a letter from a friend which helped him to focus on Galatians 2:20 which helped Mr. Taylor to come to a place of focusing on letting Christ work in and through him rather than trying to do better on his own. So it's happened to the best of us and always will. Bringing our focus to Jesus is almost always the best remedy. I say it all the time; doing it is another matter. Keep pressing on, Sister.

  10. Linda, I am visiting from Emily's blog...your devotional was for me too. Thank you for listening to Him and letting Him use you to touch me.

  11. Isn't it amazing, before the foundation of the world, our Father knew you needed and were going to read that passage the day you needed it!!!

    One thing that may help when you feel discontent trying to intrude in your life is cranking up the praise music.

    Thank you for this powerful post.