Written by: Amanda Dodd
Stripping us clean. Covering our sins completely. Bringing back those who have wandered. These are thoughts I have pondered recently as I have reflected on my purpose in the Kingdom during this time of isolation. When everything started in March of last year, I didn’t realize how the Lord would use my brokenness and loneliness to bring me closer to Him. It is hard to imagine a place of loneliness with six people in one home--four being seven years of age and younger. However, I realized that I have been in a place where my lack of being present with the Lord has affected all areas of my life. We are all prone to wander, but I have been like the Israelites for some time now. I have caught myself fighting for joy and looking for temporary happiness to fulfill this longing in my heart that can only be met by the Lord.
A couple of months ago the Lord brought me to a point that I realized I had tried to carry out an external fix on an internal heart change. I had made major changes in almost all areas of my life--some of which I brought upon myself and some that were out of my control. Either way, every time I made a change, I had a glimmer of hope that it would fix all my problems. I have even looked ahead to things, Lord willing, that will come in the future to make life better. For example, my husband works night shifts and has a very unpredictable schedule. I thrive on routine so his job has stretched me in ways I didn’t think were possible. I keep waiting for the day that he will no longer have to work nights so that it will be the end-all fix to happiness. With this mindset, I have set myself up for failure. Not one single external change will be a constant joy without seeking the Lord always.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 says, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”
No matter what happens in my life, I want to seek the Lord with a joy that is contagious. During this quarantine I broke apart the word coronavirus. A virus is highly contagious and the word corona is the outer rim of bright light around the sun that shines most brightly during a solar eclipse. This is what I crave for my relationship with the Lord--to have a joy that is highly contagious and shines most brightly during a time in my life that requires suffering and perseverance. The Lord is our joy and our strength, but we have to choose it daily; and to be honest, we have to choose it hourly on most days. I have to keep His word hidden in my heart, and I have to meditate on it day and night. In order for the Lord to refine me, I want Him to search me, know my heart, test me, and know my anxious thoughts. I want Him to rip out anything in me that offends Him in order to lead me down a path of everlasting life (Psalm 139:23-24).
During this time I have also seen that true wisdom starts with humility. My pride has hit me square in the face. Because of the chaos around me, I have tried to cling to any bit of order and routine. Proverbs 19:21 states, “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but the purpose of the Lord prevails.” I didn’t realize how quickly my attitude changed when something I thought was right was not best, something I planned did not happen, or something I thought was fail-proof failed. Wisdom comes when I align my heart with His plans for my life. And the wisdom of the world looks so different from the wisdom of the Lord. Oh how these lines are blurred in my heart so many times!
Although I have lacked joy, humility, and wisdom, I am thankful we have a God who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love!
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