Qualified for Greatness: Advent
How was your day today? I hope that it went well!
Today was my second day at my new job, and I really enjoyed it. It isn't riveting work, but it's work, and that makes me happy.
Honestly, I'm more happy about the fact that I was finally able to flip my sleep schedule. Depression and Insomnia make it really easy to stay up way too late and then be unable to wake up in the morning. But, due to taking care of the dogs for my parents while they were in town this past week, I was able to slowly adjust my schedule. And, well. It's working.
It's working really well.
Like, I'm yawning while writing this and it's not even 9 pm.
Anyways, small miracles aside (thanks, God), it's going well.
I'm trying to get myself back into writing for fun. To get back into reading. To remember to eat enough. The things that make me feel like a person again. I fall into depression cycles so fast that I can barely even notice it. I only notice when I start to try and reconnect with the things that I like to do again do I notice that I dropped them.
Maybe like this.
I continued that Advent study again from the Bible app. And it's still really good.
I love this passage from Isaiah. It was the focus for one of the missions trips I went on when I was in high school.
Each verse of this passage could honestly be deconstructed into a full thing. With multiple main points and multiple things to talk about on how to do so in the real world.
I'm not going to go into excruciating detail. But, well. It could be a good idea to think about how to best actually live out these things in your day to day life. Legit. Make a bulletpoint list for each of these verses and write out a few things to live it out. It'll be good for you.
One of the biggest things that stuck out to me during this read of this passage though was actually in verse one. As it is a passage that I'm pretty well acquainted with, it's been a while since I've done a reading of it. You know? "I don't need to read the story of the woman at the well again, I've done that plenty enough."
We honestly need to get away from that idea that "I've read that enough, I don't need to read it again." But, also to be honest, we're human and we will fall into that trap.
Anyways.... verse one.
I read the AMP version of the Bible. I just really like it. Isn't easy to read out loud, but it is really good for showing you the alternate/deeper meanings behind the Greek/Hebrew words that was lost in the English translations.
I bring this up because of how it expands upon one of the words in this verse. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted. He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound."
The word I want to focus on is qualified.
We are qualified to spread the Gospel.
Please actually sit on that.
I know that, personally, there are a lot of times where I feel that I shouldn't be talking about God. Where I should just keep my mouth shut, because I don't want to step on toes. Why should I be the one sharing the story of how God worked in my life when there are perfectly better people over there?
But, you see, that's not how God sees it.
We. We. WE. We are the ones who are called to proclaim the word of the Lord. And, not alone are we called to serve God, we are qualified.
I know that it might pretty much mean the same thing. But, I don't know, something about saying that I am qualified hits me a lot different than saying I'm called. Like, "I'm called to be a youth minister" could be something I say to remove responsibility. Like, I'll be there one day, but not now, so no pressure. But, like, "I'm qualified to be a youth minister." is a completely different ball game. I know that I still need to train, but it really boosts me up to remind myself that, while I may not have the irl experience, I have the personality and traits that were given to me by God to make me qualified to have that as a goal for myself.
It really is quite a difference if you think about it.
This also hits me in other ways. "I can't help them, I don't know how!" Okay, you may not be a doctor, but you are qualified to help people. You life story qualifies you.
I have been raped. Multiple times.
I say this because it qualifies me to help others who have been through that. And it has helped me out.
I found an underclassman once being attacked by an upperclassman while I was in college. Due to my past experiences, I knew how to see the red flags in their interactions. On top of that, the same man had actually tried assaulting me earlier that day. Because of my life experience, I was qualified in multiple ways to see this was not a date, and that she needed help. And therefore I was able to help. I got her out of there, walked her home, prayed with her, and stayed in contact. I knew to stay in contact, because I knew that was what I had needed in my own life.
I stayed in contact with that girl. Shared my life story with her. Shared how God changed my life. Shared my struggles and how God was there for me. Shared how much happier I was with God.
And she is now baptized and a believer.
Because I recognized that I was qualified for the situation and stepped in and shared God. Even though it was scary and even though I was just a girl trying to walk home from a church event.
When you start to doubt your ability to serve God, or start to doubt that you can't actually help others... remember, you are not just called, but you are qualified.
You are qualified for whatever God puts in your path.
Anyways, the questions that accompanied this passage in the devotional....
How hopeful do you feel about the next year?
Have you planted your heart with some big dreams and hopes?
Or have you left them empty to be filled with weeds and rocks?
I actually feel really hopeful about the next year.
I have a job, I have a community that supports me, I have friends, I have a goal. My body feels less agonizing than it has in quite some time.
2019 had a lot of pain. A lot of tearing of things that I wanted but weren't helping me. I wanted to live alone, but I needed to move down here. I wanted to support myself, but I needed to stop being so stubborn and prideful. I wanted to do all the things I used to do, but I needed to remember that times change, and so must I.
But, now that the year is coming to a close, I see now that 2019 was pruning so 2020 could flourish. I live down in Florida after much fussing. I have a church community that actually supports me after clinging to a community that no longer really wanted me. I found a goal to work towards after refusing to look at the pain once done to me that made me shy away.
I have started to actually remove all the weeds and rocks, and have slowly started to plant seeds again. I'm still removing some of the bigger boulders, but I'm getting the land ready for seeds after far too long of trying to pretend the rocks were aesthetic and that I didn't want flowers anyways.
Obviously, I don't know what the next year will actually hold. I'm not God. But God is good. And God has been uncovering quite a bit. I look forward to what comes next.
The other passage for today was once again from Luke 1.... so I will just get to the question.
Which of these [traits of God mentioned in Mary's Song] will you plant in your heart, and allow your tiny hope to grow your anticipation and desperation for Jesus to arrive in your own life?
Verse 49. "For the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is His name"
God does all of His amazing wonders.... for me. For you.
Everything He does is for His glory and for the glory of His Kingdom. And we are His Kingdom. We are the ones He does His amazing works for.
He brought Jesus to Earth, for us. Removed our sins, for us. Created the earth in all of its majesty, for us. Made the sunset, for us. Made rainbows, for us. Put your best friend in your life, just for you. Gave you your pets, for you. Put the idea and science behind smart phones into the world, for you.
It's amazing what He does for us, big and small. But they're all for us.
I gotta remember to remind myself of all of the great things He is doing in my life, day after day. The big things, the tiny things. They are all miracles done just for me.
Yes, everything God does was does for the glory of God and to point back to Him. I'm not gonna start going prosperity gospel on you.
But, the thing is, when He points you back to Him through His works, He is helping you out. And by helping you and doing great things for you, He is pointing you back to Him.
It makes sense in my head.
Keep your eyes on God. Don't allow yourself to be swept up in the zaniness of commercial Christmas and forget to remember the peace that God came to the world to bring. Spend some time with God. Pray and make sure to listen for a while. Remember to notice the things God is doing to watch out for you, and thank Him for them. And, remember, you are qualified to spread the Gospel. And you are qualified to help others. And those two are so, so often one and the same.
Go out and love, and be that "great thing" from God for someone else. Lord knows we all need a little more Jesus in our lives, so be that to someone else.
Peace be with you.
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