September 10, 2010

Verses that make you say, “Ouch…”

Posted in Spirituality at 7:15 pm by Katie

My quiet times have been pretty sparse as of late.  Early mornings, full days on campus, late nights, and tons of grad school reading make it very easy for me to push my time with God to the very edge of my plate, where it generally sits, untouched, every day.  Spending time with the Lord has been an area I’ve struggled with since becoming a Christian almost a year ago (wow…it really has been almost a year…crazy).  I really enjoy my time spent in the Word…when I have proper time to devote to it.  It’s when I get in the mindset of, “Oh, I have to have a quiet time today,” that I lose focus and it just becomes something to check off of a list.

However, tonight I was fortunate enough to get home around 5 instead of around 6 (PTL…seriously).  Literally, I looked at Hannah as the show we were watching ended and said, “Is it 6:30 or 7?”  She replied, “5:30,” and we both kind of did a happy dance.  So, I decided I’d use that extra hour with the Lord.

So, I did a couple of days in my One Year Bible reading plan and then switched over to my email.  I get several spiritual things a day, and when I got to the K-LOVE Encouraging Word, I paused.

“So why do you keep calling me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” – Luke 6:46, NLT

Ouch.  That one hurt.  But, it’s true.  During the course of the day, I constantly find myself seeking the Lord for wisdom, advice, and strength.  But when I get an answer I don’t want or don’t like, I tend to ignore it.  It’s like I think I get a free pass.  But then, I go right back to wanting God to help me out, again and again.  There are so many times that I don’t do as the Lord asks me.  It’s like going to a friend with a problem, that friend giving you advice, and then you completely ignoring it and doing it your own way anyway.  (Funny story, I’ve done this several times…yeahhh.)  If someone did that to you, you’d be hurt and frustrated.  So why, then, are we treating the Lord the same way?

After mulling this over for a bit, I went on, and found this in the Proverbs 31 devotion for today:

“Be on guard.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be courageous.  Be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13, NLT

I thought this tied in kind of nicely.  It’s like the extra encouragement to do as the Lord is asking me.  Be strong.  Be courageous.  Stand firm in my faith to Jesus, and do as He asks of me.

This also appeared at a time when I feel as though I’m not doing as great of a job of standing firm in my faith as I should be.  I came from being on project, completely surrounded by people much stronger in their faith than I am, who were being these amazing models.  Of course it’s easy to be firm in my faith when I’m surrounded by 40 other people doing the same thing.  But project isn’t real life (as sad as that is).  With transition and moving comes finding a new church and a new set of friends.  While I love the church I’m attending here in Columbia, I haven’t had the chance to get as involved as I’d like yet.  Such is the life of grad school.  I’m looking forward to a small group women’s Bible study starting up in the next couple of weeks, one studying Ruth.  But I do miss that fellowship that I had all summer, and so that makes it hard, especially when working in the world of higher education, which is not exactly spiritually friendly.  I’m not saying that I’m in some crazy hostile environment, and some people would even say, “Not spiritually friendly?  You’re in the South.  You still do a large group prayer before football games (which I love, by the way).”  But there are very few people that I’m going to sit down and feel comfortable having a spiritual conversation with.

On that note, I’m about to enter the world of higher ed graduate work and do some studying, after I take care of a few other things…including the pitcher of Splenda-sweetened tea that is awaiting me.  I mean, I am in the South after all…

Love & prayers,

Katie

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