Less of me. More of You.

          We are in the midst of our last week with J2013. The week of debrief offers an ample amount of time to reflect on all that God allowed us to learn and experience throughout the summer. Here's a bit of what Shirley experienced throughout the past two months.

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“. . .  With less of you, there is more of God and His rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by The One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you are content with just who you are in the Lord – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that cannot be bought.”-- Matthew 5:3-5 (MSG)

            The ways that the Lord is ever-present and sovereign in my day-to-day life never ceases to leave me in awe of His character. On the first full day of debrief back in the States, our team opened up our morning by reading My Utmost for His Highest. In the devotion for that day, Oswald Chambers wrote about what it looks like to walk daily with Christ, rather than praying to the Lord and begging, “God, show me Your Will for my life.”

In May, I graduated from Cedar Falls High School, and will begin college at the University of Iowa this fall. The Lord has not called me to school with a loud voice, but He has not said no either. I don’t know what He wants me to do with a Social Work major. I don’t know what occupation He has in mind for my future. He just hasn’t showed me what the next ten years hold, or even the next ten days for that matter. I don’t know what His plans are for my life. But He does, and He promises that these plans will prosper me and give me hope.  I don’t know what God’s Will for my life is… and why would I ever want to? He is with me each moment and is faithful to shed light on my next step. That is enough. He hides His plans so that I can walk with Him daily and soak in His beauty and sovereignty. Walking freely in what the Lord has for me in each moment provides peace that passes all understanding.

In John 11, we read the story of the death of Lazarus. Jesus was told that his dear, dear friend was sick, but instead of traveling to heal him immediately, He waited for the moment that would bring His Father the most glory. Jesus loved Lazarus so deeply. He wept at the thought of Lazarus lying dead in his tomb. But He patiently waited to resurrect Him in the Lord’s divine timing. God is faithful to reveal His Will to me in the same way; at the time that will bring Him the most glory. He loves me deeply and intimately, just as He loved Lazarus. Even if I was lying four days dead in my grave, the Lord could still use me for His beautiful purpose. And the same Spirit that called Lazarus out of the tomb is inside of me, guiding me always.

-Shirley