I wrote the other day that I need to start a list of the things that I've learned. I'm thinking now that the Lord was trying to tell me something when that thought came to me. Sometimes I'm a little slow. But now it seems that He won't let me write anything else until I do just that. I was thinking a simple list would do the trick, but that doesn't seem to be the direction He's pushing me in either. So, now it seems that maybe each lesson will have a short post of it's own. At least we'll start out that way and see where God takes us.
Keep in mind that I trusted Christ when I was just a little girl, and so these lessons are nearing fifty years in the making. It's amazing to me that God is not only still working on me, but teaching me such huge things now. I used to think that I was in high school in my Christian journey. Now I realize that I was only in first grade. And maybe now, after all of this, I've made it to the second grade.
There is no question about what the biggest lesson has been from the last couple years of my life. It's the incredible things that the Lord has taught me about abiding in Him and being lost in His presence.
For many years I've shared with others the illustration of a big ol' wagon wheel, like the kind you see in your mind's eye when you think of 'Little House on the Prairie'. If that wheel represents your life, then many see God as one of the spokes. All of the important things in life are spokes. God, husband or wife, children, church, work, and on and on. The illustration is a simple one. Remove God from the position of being a spoke and make Him that center hub. Let everything in life come through that center position. God the center, and everything else through Him. That's the lesson that I taught more times than I can count, for forty years. And it's a good one.
I honestly lived and breathed that. Christ as the center of my life. Oh, I'd fail Him every day. Get off on my own. Get in the flesh, and consult the Lord as a second thought. But basically I loved the Lord and He was the center of my universe. I knew what it was to have Him walk with me and talk with me as I journeyed this life. And sometimes, He would take me into His presence in a different way. I just typed and erased several sentences about that, because words can't do that justice. I know I've mentioned it before. Maybe God will let me write of it someday.
But after a year of being in the biggest storm of my life, I wrestled with God in a way that I never had before. He wanted something new from me. He took some things from me, and then asked of me that I give to Him the things left in my hand. He pried my finger open. Painfully. But in the end, I had to give those remaining things to Him. He refused to take them. It had to be me.
And when I was finally empty, He taught me the biggest lesson of my life. Not Christ as the center of my life. No more wagon wheel. The wagon wheel was me. Forget the wagon wheel. Gone!
Me ABIDING IN Him. Lost to self. All Him. He no longer being the center of my wheel, because I gave up the wheel. It's just Him, and me abiding in Him. You may not see the difference. Maybe I don't have the words for this yet. But that is the lesson. The hugest truth of my life. He no longer makes me strong. He is the strength, and I abide in Him. None of me. All of Him. And from that place came this website and blog. God's perfect strength which sprang forth from my total and complete weakness.
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
If you think I make it sound easy, you couldn't be more wrong. I battle my flesh every day to stay empty. I battle to stay dead to self. But once you've tasted this life, there is no going back. I could write a book about what it's like, but not today. I'll just tell you that I never knew that it could be like this on this side of heaven!
Lesson number one: Abiding in Him!
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