To the imperfect person in me…

to the imperfect

It’s been quite a long time since I have written a blog post. I was busy with work and family but it’s not the actual reason I couldn’t blog. Whenever I opened my laptop to type, I struggled to find words. I stared at the laptop screen and it stared back at me. There wasn’t any message on my mind to write. I felt emptiness. I felt strange. And slowly a fear began to grip my heart… what if I can’t write a blog post anymore, what will people think about me? Will their trust be broken? Will the followers unfollow me? Will people ridicule me? Isn’t there any message God wants to put on my heart this time? So on…

My blog posts are birthed from my life experiences, daily life happenings, my devotion time and my insights on how I see things through the eyes of faith despite the struggles of life…and I always make sure I publish a blog post once in two weeks at least. During this season of my life, I felt God is telling me to slow down a bit, listen to Him, keep aside the perfection mask, be myself, and write the message not out of the obligation to write but out of the joy which He gives to my heart and a sound nugget of wisdom through His Word.

In the zest of blogging, I lost sight of the fact that it’s not about me but about Him (I confess). I am only a source of His message and when He nudges my heart with it, I am to share it with others. Many times, our desire to be known, accepted, and valued makes us forget the true meaning of our Calling. Instead of making Jesus our focus, we focus on our fame, our validation and our perfection. We strive hard to get things done in a perfect way, fearing the opinions of people, and trying to measure up with each effort. But the truth is, God doesn’t want us to be perfect, to be wrestling to give our best, to measure up with others or to safeguard our social status. He simply wants us to be ourselves, the imperfect, broken vessels, whom he can use for His glory.

In today’s world, every TV show, every commercial and film tells you that you are not enough. You’ve got to strive hard to come up to the measuring scale of this world. Your personality, your skin colour, your skills, your education, your clothing style, your standard of living have to match the existing trends and systems. We being so influenced by the world, often forget to understand that our true value and worth isn’t based on our performance or people’s opinion about us or the social image we cling to but it is based on what God says we are, how He sees us and wants us to be.

We only need to be genuine in the work He has entrusted to us. We need to do things His way. Our calling, our purpose, our gifts and potentials are all about Him. And He knows how to use them the best way possible. We only need to be obedient to Him, not striving for perfection and accomplishments but striving to see His will be done in and through our lives.

When I released myself from the perfection trap, it took the pressure off and I was able to write this message to you with a sense of freedom and joy inside. And all my fears turned into convictions knowing that He is faithful to complete the work He began in me. I regained the confidence that by His grace and strength alone I can do everything.

I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]! Psalm 57:2

Can you remember a time when you thought you were doing what God wanted you to do, but it didn’t turn out the way you desired? Was your confidence shaken, not just in yourself, but in God too?

It’s easy to lose confidence when things aren’t working the way you thought. But let’s not our goal be perfection but realness.

If you struggle in the areas of your performance, trying to be perfect and precise in everything you do, fearing the opinions of people and striving hard to measure up, my encouragement to you today is just get yourself released from the perfection trap. Always remember that God accepts you the way you are. He wants to use your brokenness, realness, your flaws and your imperfections through which His power will be made perfect. Your imperfections will bring Him more glory than your perfection.

Linking with: https://blessedtransgressions.org/category/thankful-grateful-linkup

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Don’t pass by on the other side!

 

DJ8PBJWWAAA78fX.png largeToday I am sharing Devotion on Kelly Basham’s blog  Blossom in Faith as a part of Petals of wisdom devotional series.

Jesus tells a beautiful parable in Luke 10:25-37. It’s a story of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, and while on the way he is robbed of everything he had, including his clothing. He is beaten and left half dead alongside the road.

First, a priest comes by but he shows no love or compassion for the man and passes him on the other side of the road. Next, a Levite comes by and does exactly the same thing. He too passes by on the other side of the road without showing any mercy to the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by and helps the injured man.

Please read the entire Devotion here: http://blossominfaith.com/2017/09/14/following-in-the-example-of-the-good-samaritan

Thank you!

Elizabeth Livingston

 

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A Legacy of God’s Faithfulness!

god's faithfullness

My Mom wrote an encouraging note on my diary when I first began my journey into mission work. The note is in Marathi which is my native language.

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Dear Rani (it’s my nickname)

My best wishes to you for the path you have chosen to serve God. The path you have chosen is God’s will for your life. He will be with you and will provide for you. Cast all your cares upon Him. God will be with you. You will be leaving me soon. I feel a little sad about it but I am so happy that you are going to serve God. I feel so proud to see my children in ministry. Don’t worry about me. Just keep me in your prayers. May God help you in everything you do.

Your Mom      

She also wrote a few Bible verses for me to meditate on and stay encouraged. Psalm 55:22, 121:7 & Isaiah 41:13

My mum is one of the best gifts of God to me. She is my encourager, inspiration, my role model and my friend. Her life, devoted to God’s work and His people, always amazes me. Her sacrificial service to her family, her loving relationships with others, her wisdom in dealing with family issues, her courage to face trials and overcome them with the help of God make me love and respect her more and more. Being raised in an orphanage, she has bestowed much love and care upon her children.

From 1999-2002 she continuously suffered with a kidney related ailment. For almost four years she has been in and out of hospital. She would get so sick that she needed to be taken to hospital in the ambulance. Our family went through a difficult period. Our school, studies and upbringing were all affected. I, as a 12 year old girl, would always fear her sudden death. I constantly stayed with her, taking care of her the best way I could because I didn’t want to lose my mom. Whenever I returned home from school, I dreaded seeing people gathered around my home because I feared that my mom had passed away. The fear of losing her, constantly hovered over my mind.

Being brought up in a Pastor’s family since childhood, I knew about Jesus and his miracles through stories, songs and skits taught in our Sunday school and church. But I never knew Jesus personally. One day I got the news that my mom was seriously sick and might not survive for long. She was admitted into hospital. That time I was alone at home and I wanted to pray for her life. I held her saree in my hand and started to pray for her. With tears rolling down my cheeks and a weight on my heart I said to Jesus, “I need my mom, please don’t take her away.” I sobbed saying only this one sentence as I didn’t know what else to pray as a 12 year old girl.

My mom’s health condition began to improve gradually. Doctors were astonished to see her speedy recovery. She was discharged from hospital in only a few days’ time. Slowly she regained her health. Her medical reports were coming back “normal”.

I only knew about Jesus, but now I could know Him, experience His love for me and my family, realise His faithfulness in my life and understand that He hears us when we call to Him.

Since 2002 till this day, she has enjoyed good health; no hospital stay, no major health issues, and she is the most energetic person in our family. She is the source of blessing and encouragement to everyone who meets her. Her smile, her talk and her life principles are impacting people around her. I thank God that she is still with me and has been a great support to me in all my ups and downs. She is the legacy of God’s faithfulness in my life.

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Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19

 

His Immeasurable Grace

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Recently I have come across a beautiful hymn written by Annie J. Flint.

She was born as Annie Johnson. Shortly after that was orphaned so she was raised by the Flint family and so became known to the world as Annie Johnson Flint. She suffered a lot in her life. She developed rheumatoid arthritis till she was twisted up in bed for many years. She had cancer inside her body. She was bedridden and lived with diapers. Then blindness started to overtake her. Before she died, from head to toe there were so many boils and marks on her body caused by constantly lying in bed that she needed many pillows to just cushion her body. She was a beautiful hymn writer and this is one of the most beautiful hymn she wrote.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

No matter how hard your trials are whether they are physical or emotional, God will bestow His immeasurable Grace upon your life to get through them. He never leaves His children abandoned in their sufferings. He gives more grace when your burdens grow greater, He sends more strength when your labors increase. He adds His mercy to your added afflictions, He multiplies His peace to your multiplied trials. And the grace of God which sustains you becomes your testimony at the end of the day.

A few days back I was having a talk with my friend who is going through a situation similar to mine. Her 5-year-old daughter is suffering from Rett’s syndrome (a severe & rare neurological disorder and it’s a lifelong condition). She was sharing with me how challenging her life has become with each passing day. It breaks her heart to see her child suffer. It’s a very overwhelming experience for her as a young mother. But she has also shared how God is strengthening her to remain hopeful and joyful in the midst of her sufferings. She says, “it’s because of His grace alone that I am able to come this far believing and trusting Him to unfold His plans for my daughter’s life in His time”. I was so encouraged and blessed to know about her faith.

Indeed, God never leaves His children abandoned in the trials.

In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy, when I called to you for help. Psalm 31:22

We might think He has left us abandoned but He is always with us. In the midst of our sufferings, when we look to God for His strength, He helps us to get through those difficult cicumstances. When we rely on Him for emotional strength, we will have great courage to face our trials with boldness.

It’s because of His grace alone that we can stand firm in the midst of our trials and praise Him despite how we feel.

It’s because of His grace alone that we can hope for good and not for worse.

It’s because of His grace alone that we come to His throne with faith in our heart.

It’s because of His grace that we pray the same prayer again and again without getting tired of it.

It’s because of His grace that we can see God is at work and He is able to bring us through those hard days.

It’s because of His grace that in the midst of utter darkness we are able to see His light and hope to comfort us.

It’s because of His grace that we rise out of our ashes believing that He who promises is faithful.

If you ever find yourself in the valley of sorrows, rest assured that He is with you. He will strengthen you to get through all challenges no matter how hard they are. Remember, out of His infinite riches He is able to bestow His immeasurable grace upon your life. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9