For the longest time I thought I was independent and capable. I was good at my job and took great pride in knowing the answer to any question thrown at me. I was good at school, at least at maintaining a 4.0 during graduate school, knowing how to write a paper that would please my professor. I was a generally good person, not making any major life mistakes and was respected for the choices I was making to follow The Lord.
But I see now that I was self-righteous, leaning on my own strength, conceited and keeping God at a distance. I could not let myself be vulnerable before others or The Lord. My prayers for the most part were shallow because I did not trust my heart before the Father. While I was at MTI the last five weeks, God said, “No more. I want your heart. I want your dependence on me and not on yourself”. It happened all of a sudden. One of the guys who was at PILAT as a drill coach said something to me at supper that struck me to the core. It wasn’t meant that way at all but it was like the curtain was thrown back and I saw my heart for what it was- a sinful mess. I went back to my room and wept. I had been doing a pretty good job of keeping up the front that doesn’t allow anyone into my heart during the first two weeks of training, but going into the last three that wasn’t possible. Every day we examined our lives, learned about how we fail and we try to act like we know more than God but fall on our faces before Him. By the end of my time at MTI, I felt more weak, vulnerable, and incapable than I ever have before.
But I discovered God’s mercy. When I am weak and open, He pours His strength in me. As we wept over the things we are grieving and our goodbyes, I thought, “There is no way I can do this. It hurts too much”. But God was right there to say, “Keep my eyes on Me. I will go with you“. So I cling to Him, in these days when I can’t keep my head on straight as I try to remember all I have to do and buy and pack. I cling to the Rock when I feel like my entire world is shaken, when I can’t imagine life without grocery stores, internet, Christian radio, my family and sibling time, and church community.
I know that the pruning is not done yet and I am so thankful that God does not leave us as we are!
The discipline is not pleasant but I yearn for His work in my life so that I am not left to my own devices. He is Good and He is Faithful.
From The Valley of Vision: “O God, make me worthy of this calling, that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me and I in him”.