here is my dust

God, I’m not much.

But I will give you what I am.

Sometimes I am hard-hearted and even hateful;

I will give it to you.

I can be angry, selfish, and judgmental.

I will give that to you.

My soul is often anxious, worried, and petrified with fear.

You can have that too.

Every broken piece, every shattered molecule.

Every single rude thought that I have had, every sin I have sinned against you.

Every time I made your heart hurt.

Jesus, I am not much, but I have faith in You.

You are always holding on to me, even when I am not holding close to you.

You are always breaking me, especially when I am too comfortable.

You are always loving, forgiving, never forsaking.

You made me and all 7 billion people that are walking Your earth.

And the 14 billion before us.

And You can create beauty from dust.

“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalms 51:16 & 17

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as myself

I can’t decide whether I’m lucky or blessed.

I know that luck really is only imagination.  Luck is just a lie— everything is providence.

But I don’t think that “blessed” quite gives me the connotation I hope for when I think of how… well, lucky I am.

I sit in my little cozy room, watching the world outside through insulated glass windows.  I lay on my bed, reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and listen to God move some furniture upstairs.  And I can’t help but think: how lucky am I?

I imagine the sweet children of Uganda, huddled under a tree to gain shelter from the cold rain.  Their stomachs are sunken from hunger, and they are tired from walking, taking care of younger siblings, and constantly rummaging for food.  Their tired eyes close for just a second to rest, before a younger sibling pulls at their leg, scared, wanting comfort. They are lost, not geographically, but spiritually.  Where is their father?  Why is mother sick?  They don’t know what it feels like for their stomach to be satisfied.  They don’t know what real love is.

And my heart breaks for these children that I do not even know.  I have never been out of the country, or extremely out of what seems comfortable, what seems bearable. And I punch myself for being selfish, wanting a car.  I punch myself for wanting more, for throwing around the saying “I’m poor.”  How could I be so blind?  So ignorant?

This week in Sunday school, I heard something that I do not believe will leave my mind conscience for as long as I live.

When we begin to ignore God’s callings and commands, we become immune and hard-hearted towards situations and problems that should tear us apart.

When we choose ignorance over action, we loose feeling. When we choose to talk about it and not change it, we become immune.

I remember when my mom first told me about the children in Africa who did not have anything like I had.  She read me a book with pictures make me understand how lucky I was.

I was distraught. How could a child not have food? I mean, I got to choose my food.  And no parents?  That must be terrible.  I guess they didn’t have to make their bed, but I kind of liked my mom every now and then.  I then decided I had to help them.  I would give them some of my oranges. (I didn’t prefer those anyway.)

So, I heard more about these children, and I became immune.  I mean, there were a ton of them.  Okay, I get it.  And it wasn’t until I read Kisses from Katie (the book, this link is the blog), that God really began to open up my heart to these children again.  He reminded me that they were real.  They weren’t some made-up stories.  They really did live just thousand of miles away.

Let me get this straight– I have never been to see these children.  I have not been to Uganda or Sudan or Kenya.  And I do realize that there are a billion places that need ministry.  Everywhere, really.

But when I read this book, my heart was so torn for these places that I understood what it felt like to care again.

So no, I might not ever go to Africa (although I really hope to.)  And, yes I know that there are many other opportunities to serve our Father, including in my school, church, and home.  I will go wherever he calls. But I must say that I cannot ignore the situations, and I pray that when I hear of these things wherever— in South America, the USA, Russia, Asia, or even my school and hometown— that they tear me to pieces, that it bothers me.

It bothers me when my family hurts; it makes me upset to think about someone picking on my little brother.  When my best friend cries because things are not working out the way that seems right, you bet my heart aches.

Because that is love.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this:  ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31

break me, for You

Whoever finds their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

This verse is so near and dear to my heart, especailly when I witness the raging battle Christians face every day.

Today, the holy spirit broken my heart into pieces. As I sat in my room scribbling a map of Africa for geography, my thoughts drifted from the beautiful country of Uganda (in which case, if you don’t know me, I most earnestly desire to visit), to the thoughts of being alone.

See, I am a high school freshman— with best friends who are juniors and seniors.  These are honestly the best friends I could ask for, and the thought that God might send them out of my life for a while when they follow His will (whether it be college, or backpacking as a homeless person) tears every segment of my heart.

So as tears weld up in my eyes, and fall on my oh-so-neat map, I begin to be reminded: this is the potter, modeling the clay (Isaiah 64:8).

This is the Father putting my through trials, if only for a little while (1 Peter 5:10) to make me the person I need to become for Him.

This is Him shaping me into his beautiful plan.

The purpose of my life is to become more like Him and spread His glory, so also this is the target my being longs to hit. 

So this is my prayer:

Let us not spend our lives adjusting to comfort. I need to be bent and broken. My heart needs to be shattered in pieces by my sin.  Let my inner being thirst and run after my father.  Let me not be comfortable my entire life. Let every situation, every trail, make me lean on you.  Give me more than I can handle, so that I depend on your sovereignty for every day of my life. Yes, you know what is best.  So break me, for You.