Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What burdens have you been blessed with?

You have been blessed with a burden, my daughter. And I envy that. I admire you.
--Freedom Writers

I shared this movie quote with my Mom, as I felt it speaking right to my core. "Mom, I have been blessed with a burden." My Mom's response, "Which burden are you talking about, Faith? You've been blessed with burdens." All I could think was, "You're right Mom, all of them." I do not foresee people envying the burdens on my heart, nor admiring me for what I do. I try to love God and others, like Jesus tells us to love. God gives us experiences to share with others--to lift people up and encourage them, to bring them closer to Him. I desire to bring you closer to Jesus Christ through this blog, through sharing my experiences.

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
--2 Corinthians 5:9

In 2 Corinthians 5:9, we learn that our ambition should be to please Jesus Christ. It is crucial that I have a strong desire and strive to please Him. I have been given these burdens for God's pleasure. I struggle with this. My friend and I were talking about this very matter the other night--God gives us things for His pleasure, at His will, so that He will be glorified. Let's be honest, sometimes, I don't want that stuff. I want Christ glorified, don't get me wrong, I just have no desire to be the next Job. That being said, as I write this, I continue to struggle with this, and I believe God honours us as we are challenged. Struggle well, my friends.

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
--1 Peter 4:10
Shepard the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness
--1 Peter 5:2

Job hunting is never fun. And sometimes accepting those gifts and burdens that God has given you are just as difficult, as finding that perfect job. Yes, I love teaching high school math, but sometimes, I just want relief. To be a good teacher, you pay the price. The work is long, hard, and demanding; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Every year I am blessed with students that want to help me out in a variety of ways. I've heard it said, "It's the only thing they have to offer you (their help), do not take away that gift from them."

I am reminded of something shared to me, by a friend and pastor.

Henri Nouwen about the significance and power of touch:

Touch, yes, touch, speaks the wordless words of love. In friendship touch often gives more life than words. A friend's hand stroking our back, a friend's arms resting on our shoulder, a friend's fingers wiping our tears away, a friend's lips kissing our forehead --- these are true consolation. These moments of touch are truly sacred. They restore, they reconcile, they reassure, they forgive, they heal. Everyone who touched Jesus and everyone whom Jesus touched were healed. God's love and power went out from him (see Luke 6:19). When a friend touches us with free, non-possessive love, it is God's incarnate love that touches us and God's power that heals us.

Take up thy cross with willing heart and humbly follow after Me...let not its weight fill thy weak spirit with alarm; His strength shall bear thy spirit up and brace thy heart and nerve thine arm...
--Hymn, Take Up They Cross, the Saviour Said

As I look for employment, my prayer is that I keep in mind, this is not just about me and my wants--it's about where God has called me to serve. Yes, I know the work will be long, hard, and demanding. I also know that God has given me these gifts and burdens to serve Him, eagerly, and with excitement! His strength will carry me forward when I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually weak. Thank you, Jesus.

What burdens have you been blessed with? How are you serving Christ, with what He has given you? Are you leaning on Him when you are emotionally, physically, and spiritually weak, and exhausted to the core of your being? God has blessed you with a burden. How are you bringing others closer to our loving Saviour with that burden you have been blessed with?

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