Jesus doesn’t take us aside and explain things to us all the time; He explains things to us as we are able to understand them. The lives of others are examples for us, but God requires us to examine our own souls. It is slow work— so slow that it takes God all of time and eternity to make a man or woman conform to His purpose. We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We don’t even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage?
I want to look inwardly with courage. And it does take courage. Every time I look inward without prejudice and preconceived notion of what I'll find, I'm disappointed and shamed. I see the work God is doing in me, but I also see the vast stretches of my soul yet to be surrendered.
The theme that God is dwelling on in my life at the moment is loving others. He's teaching me to reach out in love, putting aside all my petty fears, sensitivities, and feelings of personal inadequacies. When I love someone with God's love, it isn't about me. It's about God. I don't need to be perfect or talented or beautiful, I just need to be available.
Now the real trouble comes when God puts the unlovely in my path. I'm finding that he often doesn't warn me ahead of time either, just plops them down in front of me and watches for signs of a reborn Reese. Oh how I flounder and fail! I faced this test on several occasions recently. Even in the midst of it I couldn't be bothered to see beyond my own needs and desires. I must decrease and he must increase in me! "Lord, don't leave me here like this! I want to be a light for you!"
But here are some of the lovely people God saw fit to adorn my life with. We meet for breakfast once a week, several of us taking turns hosting. Last week it was at my house and I basked in the friendship and girly company my friends provide. I am blessed.