The rubber meets the road.

November 21, 2007

I’ve been home for nearly a year & a half now.

Being at home, living with my parents, has been sweet . . . but humbling.  Painfully humbling. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

At home, I see the reality of who I am.  Initially, I was surprised at what I saw my heart to be . . . I felt like a woman who spent years only looking at herself through a copper mirror.  When I came home, the mirrors reflecting self were much clearer . . . & I never felt more ashamed comparing my heart to the beauty & holiness of Christ . . .

Gaining a deeper knowledge of the reality of my heart’s wretchedness has been almost debilitating.  Half of me wants to hide it & carefully make sure none of my heart’s ugly contents spills out in public.  “For sure you will lose friends & whatever reputation you may have,” Self tells me.

But He tells me, “Good.  You’re beginning to see what I have seen from the very beginning.  I love you.  Do you think anyone or anything can snatch you out of My hand? I am working to perfect you, to purify you, to make you complete in Christ, to draw you nearer to Myself.”

Knowledge really does puff up.  I’m still so easily fooled into thinking that because I have a certain amount of knowledge (about Him, about His Word) that my heart matches the level of my knowledge.  I wrongly assume that who I am is on the same level of what I know, when the truth is that who I am should follow what I know to be true; but it doesn’t happen automatically.

More knowledge only makes me more responsible for application.  I can’t plead ignorance before God.  He’s given Himself, His Word, godly teachers . . .

At home, I see the gulf between my so-called “knowledge” & my actual application.  It’s devastating to see.  But sometimes it takes devastation for me to seek His face & walk by the Spirit (& not myself).

He’s teaching me the difference between remorse & repentance, the difference between knowledge & wisdom, the difference between self-seeking love & agape love, the difference between grudgingly following Him & gladly following Him . . . the difference between the Pharisees & Jesus.

& I’m overwhelmed.  “How many years have I known You, Lord, & this is only how far I’ve actually walked?  All these years, You’ve taught me which paths to walk in; my mind boasted in its knowledge . . . but how far have I truly walked?”

I don’t know.  I’m still only a child in my faith.  I haven’t arrived.  The finish line is still out of view; the starting line is still visible behind me.

But I’m thankful.  “As for our God, His way is perfect . . .”  It truly is.

Home isn’t anywhere near the mountain tops.  It’s somewhere in the valley.  But what a joy it is to know He is near even in the valley – not to just know that’s what He says but to experience the truth of His promises.  What a joy it is to recognize Him in the mundane, to walk with Him in the common places.

What was abstract before is becoming real – not because it never was but because I’m finally (by His grace) recognizing it as such.  He is a glorious God.  This walk of faith, this newness of life is not lived in the mind alone.  It’s not just a thing to be discussed in isolated, theological discussions.

It’s real.  & until the rubber meets the road, I haven’t gone anywhere yet.  But He is faithful.


4 Responses to “The rubber meets the road.”

  1. jennifer lee Says:

  2. garnet Says:

    : ) i feel like that when i go home.. to see how far i still am from imitating His character fully.. thanks for the post tia~ i miss you!

  3. nathaniel Says:

    thanks for this post.

  4. tia Says:

    garnet: funny how we always say, “i miss you!” when we’ve actually never met 😀 i miss you, too!

    jenn/nate: i thank God for you two :]

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