Sunflowers and Repentance

October 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

July 20, 2014

Today during listening prayer I remember getting an image of sunflowers in a field. Not wanting to share that image with the group because it made no sense to me, I quickly asked God for another image…and instead He gave me a verse:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
John 15:5

Later, after receiving this verse, I was really surprised that I had been so demanding with God in that moment. I began to ponder on the original image, thinking that it had been really rash for me to dismiss it so abruptly, and only one word seemed to connect the dots between both messages: grow. I sat back, closed my eyes, and began to reflect on my weeks with Yaay Noi and The Ruth Center. And all of a sudden, I was filled with so much overflowing joy. Real, concrete joy- so much so that in this moment I knew exactly that joy was the perfect word for this emotion. In my impatience to jump to the next image, or arrive at the revelation without the lesson, I realized I almost missed the joy in the picture that God already had for me. My restlessness was causing me to miss God.

I spent time thinking about how much joy my growth in God had given me this summer. There is so much beauty and mercy in the fact that we can grow in our God- that this relationship is two-sided. Even though this summer has been all about being and living in the present, and being intentional with communities, I still skip over that fact too much. My mind is always in the future, yet God has so much more for us right now.

There have been so many ways I have tried to “grow in God” in the past- whether it be through  fasting, making promises to try and be better, or trying to be more in scripture, but now I honestly think that God is the only one that can draw me near to Himself. I have learned to be so dependent on grace because the ways I try to work for my salvation don’t work. Instead, they leave me with a false perception that any work I can do could somehow be worthy of God. As if He doesn’t love me the same on my worst and best day.

This is the peace we inherit- trusting in God’s power to draw us near to Himself. Instead of trusting in my own abilities to bring me closer to God,I just need to invite Him to do His will. God loves us in our sin, our filth and brokenness, and instead of trying to “be better,” I want Him to teach me how to practice repenting quicker and turning to His power to heal my broken life faster. What a joy it is that He desires to meet us right where we are, right in this very moment.

What a joy that we grow.

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