Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Measuring My Life with God's Ruler

Converting measurements is not my thing.  I'm a word girl, not a numbers girl.  I measure in inches, and in Ukraine, measurements are in centimeters.  So, when I'm shopping for my heart-son, I always get a kick out of having to Google the conversion of measurements, so I get the sizes right.  I mean, I can't even think in centimeters!

It's like this in my relationship with the Lord, too.  He measures things differently than I do.  He measures time, progress, prosperity and success by standards that are not natural to me.  And He is faithful to teach me how to convert my measuring tape so I see my life more like He does.

When I think things aren't happening quickly enough, I am reminded "For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by." (Psalm 90:4)

When I'm not sure things are turning out as they should, He whispers, "For my thoughts are not your thhoughts, neither are your ways my ways... As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9)

When I've sought out abundance in terms of owning nice things, Jesus says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19)

When I've seen success at times as something people achieve through financial security or things I can see, I'm corrected by the words of my Lord, spoken to a man who had attained every measure of success as society would define it.  "Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?'...Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.'  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Matthew 19:16, 20-21)  Jesus himself is clear that being willing to let go of our "stuff" is far more a measure of success in his eyes than being able to aquire it.

God's Word indeed pierces right through to the division of the bone and marrow (Hebrews 4:12)!  Every word of God shoots Truth and conviction straight into my spirit, and I cannot hear this Truth and remain unchanged.  I cannot spend time with a Savior who abandoned the splendor of heaven to suffer consequences of sin I earned and walk away with anything but a very clear understanding that I cannot be the one who decides how things are done or what is valuable.  I cannot measure my life by comforts or possessions or feeling a certain way.  I can only hold up as my standard a life lived in emptying out of love undeserved and yet freely given.

I'm not sure I'm ever going to become really good at figuring out sneaker sizes using centimeters, although my boy is worth every moment I'll spend trying to figure that one out!  And as I work on my centimeters-to-inches conversion for things like shoe shopping, the Lord is very faithfully about the task of changing the way my heart measures.

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