Friday, November 13, 2009

Rescued from Darkness and Brought into the Kingdom

The thing that I am thankful for today has made my day a good one. I thought about it right when I woke up at 6AM today and my day has been different than recent days because of it. If only I truly understood this each and every single day, I would experience a joy that could not be shaken.

I read a great blog post from Steph last night, then I printed it off because I knew I needed to be reminded over and over, and I read it again as I was getting ready this morning.

The end of her post says:

If you have nothing else to be thankful for, be thankful that, if you know Christ, you have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of the Son who God loves, in whom you have redemption!
So, all the mornings I wake up in a bad mood. The days that I feel sorry for myself because I have bad grades. The times that I think about how bad my year has been. The times last year when I thought that nothing could get worse and it did. The weeks that I spent complaining about my joints hurting.

Well, for all those times, WHAT was I thinking?

I have been rescued from the darkness. Jesus died for me. God loves me enough to let His Son die. The Holy Spirit speaks to me even today. What could be better?

If during those days of darkness, hopelessness, battling of the mind, tension, illness... If those days bring me closer to Him, bring 'em on.

I saw a quote in my journal, and I don't know where it's from, but I don't think I made it up, and it says, "everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus." (I think it's a paraphrase of Phil 3:8)

The things that I think count so much [grades, surface relationships, stress, clothes, my well-being, future jobs] aren't worth even a smidgen compared to knowing Jesus. And I think in my life, God has had to take some of those things away from me, and it's been painful, but I think that I'll look back and be thankful for a few miserable college semesters, because in the long run, that misery will make a bigger difference in my life than having a few fun-filled, care-free college semesters would have made.

And I'd rather have that. I'd rather suffer and really know Jesus.

So, last night I prayed that the Lord would do whatever He wanted to in my life, whether it was in the "plan" or not, just as long as it brings me closer to him. And, that was a scary thing to do.

I woke up at 1:20 and was lying in bed, and got a phone call which I thought was my alarm clock going off so I grabbed my phone and clicked the button which answered the private number, and so then I had to say hello. The person on the other line said, "Dis Mel?" I tried to sound awake and replied, "Yes." The man just breathed in the phone for a few long seconds and then hung up.

I'm not sure if I was being ridiculous, but I got really scared as I was lying in bed. Immediately, I thought, God do you have a stalker in mind to draw me nearer to You? Because, I really wasn't thinking you'd take me seriously so quickly, and please, not a stalker. Please God.

I started praying to God that I wouldn't see a shadow in my window (big imagination + middle of the night) and that I could go back to sleep.

But I started thinking, what a blessing it is that I have GOD on my side! Yeah, we have the God who made this entire universe taking care of us. Everything won't be easy and safe, but it will be good and we will thrive with Him, no matter the circumstance.

Because I have been rescued from that dreary, dark night (literally and figuratively) and brought into the brilliant daylight, and it's nothing I did. I was able to wake up refreshed. And let me tell you, that wasn't my doing. I used to not be able to sleep in my 2nd story bedroom alone because there was a window behind my headboard.

That's something to be thankful for. Be joyful. As a believer, you have the most amazing gift and blessing that you could ever imagine.

Those little things from past days, yeah I'm thankful for them, but this thing, this being rescued by the God of everything- it's everlasting, forever, mind-boggling, life-changing- it is the only thing that will ever satisfy me and you.

And the word thankful, well it really can't describe my appreciation for it.

Thank Him, praise Him, honor Him, sing about Him, rave about Him, adore Him, and love Him, because even if nothing else appears 'good' in your life, you have been rescued from darkness forever, and can now experience the Kingdom of God-- and that is AWESOME.