But even stranger than that, why would I not give up any of those times of questioning/pain/doubt?
Once again, Father Jacques Philippe has the answer. I finished reading "Interior Freedom" and it was so good that I got another one of his books called "Searching for and Maintaining Peace." And in the first chapter I found this:
Apart from Me, you can do nothing, Jesus said (John 15:5) he did not say, "you can't do much," but, you can do nothing. It is essential that we be persuaded of this truth. We often have to experience failures, trials and humiliations, permitted by God, before this truth imposes itself on us, not only on an intellectual level, but as an experience of our entire being. God would spare us, if He could, all these trials, but they are necessary in order that we should be convinced or our complete powerlessness to do good by ourselves.
While it took me a while to figure this out, but this is why I don't regret all those times of being a whiny butt and all those times where the baggage took me under and I couldn't get out by myself. I'm not proud of those times, and I don't wish to go back, but I needed them. Had I started with this surrender, I would have been pretty proud of myself for being such a wonderful Christian. I wouldn't have understood how much I needed God, and how much I am completely incapable on my own. And further, I would not have understood when others went through the same problems.
Father Philippe goes on to talk about the fact that once we realize that we can do nothing without Him, it brings a certain peace of heart where we can allow Him to work in us. He used the example of a lake and the more calm and peaceful it is, the more it can reflect the beauty around it. And so we need peace to reflect God.
I admit that in the last couple of weeks that I have been struggling a little with peace. The last couple of holidays have been worse for me in October, as I hope for something to change in the last second so that these holidays will be different and added to it, I start comparing my childless life to all my friends' cute kids in Halloween costumes. Wouldn't you know that we talked about Peter walking on the water in Bible study this week? I was reminded that Peter walked on the water just fine when his eyes were on Jesus, but when he looked out at the wind and the waves, he started to sink. So I'm trying to get my eyes away from all of that and back on Him, and things are settling down and I can go back to enjoying all the cute kiddos and the good things in my life right now.
Okay, it's late and I was up early working out, so I'm starting to ramble. How about a couple of visuals of how well my stirred up heart reflects Him compared to the way a peaceful heart does.
|Still beautiful, but only reflecting a few bright spots.|
|A little ruffled, but as the calmness increases, so does the reflection.|
|There it is. May I someday reflect God like this!|