I’m not who I was…

22 Mar

I am currently reading Surprised By Grace by Tullian Tchividjian.  It is a great book so far.  It is following the story of Jonah and drawing the parallel between it and the lives of every person in the world.  I see so much of myself in Jonah at times.  I can look back on the past year or so of my life and see where I totally identify with the events that played out in Jonah’s life as well as the events that other characters in the story experienced as well.  

There are times where I identify with the sailors on the ship to Tarshish.  They were caught in a storm that was a result of someone else’s sin.  There had to have been a point for those sailors where they thought to themselves, “For real?! I am having to go through this because of this guy who has stowed away on our ship?  This is crazy.”  And to some extent they would be justified in that response.  However, I love what Tullian writes.  He states, “Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether your affliction is your fault or someone else’s.  You need not blame others or live under the guilt of self-blame.  The real question is: Are you responding by crying to the Lord for deliverance?”  I love it!  How true!  There were times over the past year when I asked God why He was leading me through what we were going through. However, I can now look back and see that I was missing, or glazing over, the answer within the actual question.  He was leading me through it!  It was what God wanted me to go through in order to prepare me for the place I am now.  Tullian relates what one of his friends wrote, “If we are really seeking to serve God, we will be willing to wait on Him through the darkness, so that when it lifts, He will have turned a lump of coal into a shining diamond, so that we will have a peace, an unflappability, and a strength that we did not have before and would not have had if we had not gone through the darkness.”

We won’t reach a point where God stops molding us until we are face-to-face with him at the edge of eternity.  How could we think then that God would not possibly take us through some difficult times in order to shape us more into the image of His Son, Jesus.  I can look back and see that I am not who I was just a year ago, but that is a great thing.  I want to be constantly moving more and more into a deeper relationship with my Savior and thereby into His image.

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