I think one of the reasons I’ve postponed this final lesson was because I have honestly enjoyed this study enough until I hated to see it end. When I joined the study, I misread how long it took and thought, “What could anyone talk about for that length of time?” Now I’m finding myself a bit depressed and wondering what other online journeys of discovery are out there.
In the meantime, this final lesson ended without the usual series of burning questions, but instead a simple but profound inquiry:
What have you learned after completing this study?
I’ve reflected quite a bit lately about the whole idea of my insufficiency and God’s sufficiency. I spoke in one of the earlier lessons about my own struggles with perfection, and I’ve come to some final thoughts about where my mind has gone over the course of completing these 16 lessons.
1) When we have children, we think they are perfect. We look at them and say, “I might have screwed things up, but these kids will get it right.” Only as they grow do we begin to realize that they, too, are in need of the Lord’s touch to heal and deliver. They have flaws, some of which we as parents intentionally project onto them, and they have places that only God’s touch can change. Our task as parents is to love them, especially through these rough places. I sometimes hear myself in frustration say, “How many times have I told you…?” , “How long do I have to…?”, “If you don’t _______, I’m gonna…!” Then I think about how many times the Father could have said the same, and worse, if the truth be told. It is amazing how gentle our Father is with us through the 1st chance, the 2nd chance, and then the 999,999,999… chance.
2) Paul was right when he talked about forgetting what is behind him and pressing forward toward the mark of the prize. I could spend days, months, and even years thinking about all the negative events in my life that shaped my own insecurities, anxieties, and outright fears. Much of where my life has been would be inappropriate to share in this forum, but what surfacing those memories has awakened in me is a celebration that I am still here. Still being around means that the Lord thought enough of me to block me from circumstances and the natural consequences of all my many screw-ups, and there is still work for me to do-work that the Lord says I’m worthy of, in spite of myself.
So as I allow these two things, among others, to marinate, I also consider my two recent prophets, Jen and Kysha, who spoke of the big and amazing things that would happen in our lives. Only 3 months into 2008, we are stepping into areas of incredible anointing and favor. Everything that has happened is fairly overwhelming and frightening for me, I must admit, as I try to take it all in. I look forward to sharing it all over the weeks to come, but let me say that I imagine this is how Moses felt following his encounter with God in the burning bush. As the author stated, Satan will seek to turn our acceptance of a task into an issue of pride—except for the fact that I am now well in touch with #s 1 and 2 above.
The passage that accompanied this lesson had strong images for me, especially the image of Moses standing on the mountain, looking at the Promised Land and knowing that he would not step into it. Only when we come to grips with how undeserving we are in some areas can we embrace how much God really is to us. Otherwise, we become convinced that our prayers, our giving, our words, our this, our that, landed us in high places.
So, what did I learn? To cherish season I’m in. I’ll celebrate my 42nd birthday in one week. The world would say that I’m at a point in my life where I should be miserable, thinking about all that I’ve not accomplished, all that is yet to be done, and everything that I’m not. Yet with heightened awareness through this study that this life really isn’t about me anyway, I’m excited about moving forward and doing the best I can, and then truly resting in Him for that BIG gap between me and perfection. God bless you all.