“If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” Philippians 2:1-2
Connection, Intentionality, Gratefulness = we need each other, we have to step out in faith, and we need to choose to be grateful in every circumstance. When we choose to live this way we will be blameless, we cannot be put to shame. Well that sounds nice. Oh, but this requires sacrificial living? And not complaining? Or arguing? Or ….
“Surrender. And obey.” these are Jennie’s words on page 192. She goes on to say that if we want to know God’s will for our lives then this is what that looks like. How simple.
Connection, intentionality and gratefulness play such a big part of this surrender, this obedience. I have had difficulties with the connection part of this equation. I have a tendency to isolate myself, especially when I feel threatened or misunderstood. I will then look for ways to prove myself instead of seeking connection – asking for help (that’s easy, right?) or sharing my burdens. My bff once said I was a stuffer and she is right, I will stuff things instead of confess or share. This is not healthy. We need people, we need support and accountability and togetherness. Just this week I shared with two different people, my bff and a wise, discerning man of God. The result was pretty incredible, things I couldn’t see was seen by him and as he spoke truth I felt a wave of peace wash over me. I can’t even imagine how much longer I would be struggling had I stuffed instead of shared.
This connectedness spills over into intentionality and into gratefulness. “We were not built to live for ourselves” – Jennie. This whole complacency thing can be a battle. I must confess that at the beginning of the quarantine I was looking forward to sitting back and having time to do what I wanted to do. Now that didn’t work out too well because I had to (got to) watch my granddaughter the past two months which I wouldn’t trade for anything but in the back of my mind I was still wanting to use this time to do my own thing. The more “my” plans have been disrupted for better plans the more grateful I have become over the things the Lord has given me to do during this time.
Build your team of people – your community. Be intentional – step out in faith. Be grateful – live life surrendered and sold out to Jesus even if everything doesn’t go the way you planned, when hardships come. Our hope is in Jesus, it’s still all about Him.