If You Bring It To God
On October 11 in my daily devotional,* there is a poem about evaluating our lives. It reads,
Measure your life by loss and not by gain,
Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth.
For love’s strength is found in love’s sacrifice,
And he who suffers most has most to give.
Wow, this is so deep when we take a moment to measure our losses compared to our gains. Answering these questions, let’s think about where we’ve grown the most emotionally and spiritually.
- Which taught us the greatest lessons?
- What produced the most intense closeness with God?
- Which built our level of faith to trust God during a future loss?
- Did loss or gain increase our compassion for others?
Disclaimer: This post is about my personal journey to live out a spine-tingling spiritual life. I’ve diligently searched scripture regarding spiritual gifts. I’ve made a determination of belief based on what was written in the Bible and not on what is or is not happening in our world today.
Cessation vs Continuation
Depending on what church you attend probably determines your belief about spiritual gifts. If you attend a cessation church, you might believe that some, if not all spiritual gifts have ceased. You would say that tongues, healings, and miracles were for the establishment of the early church and are no longer needed. However, if you attend a continuation church, you most likely believe all the gifts are active, desperately needed, and still given by the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ.
Now, I’m a bit more complicated.
Is your life like mine, marked by too many sad stories, too many bad choices? Does your heart look like someone is using it for target practice?
Starting in early childhood, I was ridiculed for the way I looked. I was skin and bones with a fair, freckled complexion. I didn’t go on a date until I was a senior in high school. My parents divorced after 30 years of marriage leading to the sudden death of my dad 6 months later. I wrote in my journal, “My dad died today of a broken heart.” I was only 16. I have also been through the heartache of miscarriage and divorce, and the debilitating stress of financial ruin, just to name a few. As a single mother of 3 with a boatload of self-loathing, I set out on a mission to prove to the world that I was worthy of a man’s love. I took as my mantra what another troubled friend told me after my divorce, “You gotta go out there and use men before they have the chance to abuse you.” Without going into detail, you can only imagine the places that led me. Because of my own choices and the damage caused by others who hurt me, I became a very miserable young woman. An older and much wiser friend said to me one day with all the love he could muster, “Darlene, if you don’t get rid of that bitterness and anger, it will eat you up like a cancer.”