It's been awhile since I've written. God's really put me in a contemplative mood toward several passages of Scripture and issues He's working out in my life, and it's just hard to put it into words. I only have a few minutes this beautiful Saturday morning before the rest of the family comes in to figure out why it's taking me two hours to "shower", so I better hurry. Just wanted to share my random thoughts.
Some of the passages of Scripture that have really jumped off the page at me lately are ones I've heard since I was a child but honestly, never fully understood. One is the famous "To live is Christ, and to die is gain", written by Paul in the Philippians, and the other, also written by Paul, is "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12). I would really like to be able to say of my life that "to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." But what practically does that mean? What does a life look like that "IS Christ"? And as I think about my great and numerous weaknesses that plague me every day, how in the world can Christ's power rest on me in the midst of them?
We went to see the Amish last week. I have always thought the Amish were so cool, so amazing, and for some reason I have always deeply respected their life-altering commitment to their beliefs. I checked out a few books from the library about the Amish and have really enjoyed learning about their lifestyle. I think Brian was a little worried that I was going to suggest we sell our house and move in with the Amish, but I'm not that far gone. :) God brought to my attention that what I admired about the Amish women was their discretion. Their quiet godliness, their purity of heart, their dying to self to live every aspect of their lives for what they believe God wants from them. In conjunction with the "to me, to live is Christ" and thinking about Christ's power resting on me in the midst of my "infirmities", and watching these people live their whole lives centered around God, has had me asking hard questions of myself. Am I truly living Christ? Is His power obviously resting on me in my weaknesses? Am I whole-hearted about loving His Word and obeying it completely?
Please don't think I'm crazy, but while I was researching some of this I came some wonderfully challenging blogs from young women who are committed to purity of heart, mind, and body and are doing some seemingly "over the top" things. There is a 7-day Skirt Challenge where women are challenged to wear only modest skirts or dresses for 7 whole days and see how it makes them feel. The goal is to examine your heart and see if when you put on your clothes, you are thinking about glorifying yourself, being comfortable, or glorifying God. There is a "purity of heart checklist" for when you get dressed in the morning. Some of the questions are so deep: "What does this outfit say about my love for God? Am I seeking to promote self, or Him?" Now, I am not saying that you can't try to look your best, or shouldn't try to look your best. But seriously, those are great questions that really get at the heart, not just the outside.
I have been challenged this week. I've realized a lot about myself and feel God wanting to make some pretty radical changes. I hope His power will rest on me while I endure the challenge!