Small Mercies

sunflowers

Where to begin. It’s been a rough few weeks around here. On many different levels and in many different ways. I have felt completely uninspired and, honestly, pretty hypocritical as I wrote posts here. Most of you seemed to agree with me, if the response (or lack thereof) to recent posts was any indication.

At this point, I am saying to myself–What am I doing? Who do I think I am? I have no right to be writing. No right to be telling people how to live godly lives. Not while I still struggle so much myself.

It all started with a prayer. We were talking in our home about how so many people have blind spots. Areas of their life where they just can’t see the truth about themselves. This was bothering me. And so I asked the Lord to show me any blind spots I have. He has been busy doing so ever since.

I didn’t really realize it until, at one of my lowest points, it hit me. God was answering my prayer. And it wasn’t pretty. And it was so painful. But my eyes were opened. And I saw myself as I really am.

Through all of this, God has been extending small–but infinitely encouraging–mercies to me. A kind word about the blog passed along through a mutual friend. A scripture passage that almost seems like it was written just for me. An excerpt from a book I am reading that challenges and encourages me just where I am at. A friend who is praying for me during this spiritually dry time.

And I am being reminded that even when we are chastised or going through trials, that God is there. He doesn’t leave us to wallow in our pit of despair, but, oh so gently, meets us there and walks with us. He picks us up and gives us His strength.

Paul puts it this way–

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

While I can’t really say I have gotten to the point of taking pleasure in these things, I can see the benefit of them. I can see how they mold me and shape me and sanctify me. I am starting to see how they force me to rely on Christ’s strength instead of my own. And, most importantly, they humble me and fill me with awareness of just how weak and sinful I am. God’s amazing grace and endless mercy become even more precious to me with each infirmity. With each reproach. With each need and persecution and distress.

And so it is so important to me that you realize I am just a person. I am not some perfect role model. I have so many areas which I still need to grow. In fact, the further along I get the more I realize this. I never want to appear arrogant or judgmental in any post. I only desire to point people to God and His Word. I want to glorify Him and Him alone. I want to point people to the Savior–Jesus–the only way we can be reconciled to God. I want to show that the Word of God is the only anchor we truly have in the storms of life. And I want to encourage Christians to shake the status quo Christianity that has become acceptable–and even expected– in the church today.

I do this as a weak and lowly sinner. As an imperfect vessel. And I do thank God for showing me my weaknesses so that His strength can shine through. So that I, too, can say “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

If you are still reading Growing 4 Life posts, I thank you. I hope that you are encouraged to grow and to encourage those around you to shake the status quo Christianity. If you are struggling today, if God is showing you your weaknesses, I hope that you, too, will experience His small mercies and unending love.

(Now go and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! :) Can you believe summer is over already?)

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

32 thoughts on “Small Mercies

  1. Still with you. Still struggling myself. Still thankful for His new mercies not just every morning ,but really every minute.
    Glad we made it to Sept. God bless you sister.

  2. I am going through a similar time, with similar mercies. Let me be one of those encouragements…
    I’ve been reading your posts for a while, but I never thought to comment. Please know that God is DEFINITELY using you! Many conversations at home, many ‘shares’ with friends, many challenges personally – all because you have been faithful to open your heart. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for sharing God’s truth.

  3. I do read all your blogs and have been blessed by them. Don’t get discouraged, keep on writing. We all have struggles and I appreciate your honesty. We learn from each other. Thank you for your use of the Word of God in all your articles. So many are getting away from Biblical teaching these days.

  4. I get it because I’ve been there so often: that spiritually dry place where it seems there are no words that will come and that God is silent. I have come to recognize that it is a time of refining as God reveals time and again that this life is not about me. What a sweet time of refreshing when He shows up with showers of blessing for my thirsty soul. He is teaching me and I’ve so much to learn! “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Thank you once again, Leslie, for sharing your heart.

    • Yes, yes, yes! God is so good and He uses such times to sanctify and grow us. Thankful that His timing is always perfect. Thank you for your encouragement, Cheryl!

  5. Still here! I am continually challenged and encouraged by your posts to evaluate myself and my Christian witness. Thank you for your transparency! And yes, summer has flown before our very eyes! September! Blessings!

  6. Thank you for posting this! I have been serving the Lord for many years, and I, too, face struggles like everyone else. I just want to be real!

  7. Thanks for this message. In reading, I figured out that I, too, am going through a spiritually dry time. Yes, I read your blogs and may God continue to bless us.

  8. Thank you!!! I couldn’t put. Into words the funk I’ve been feeling lately. You put your writing right on the spot where I needed my spiritual eyes opened. It was like turning the mirror onto myself rather than toward others. Keep writing!!!

    • Thank you for sharing this with me! It is always so hard to be so honest, knowing that complete strangers (or even friends) are reading a post like this one, some who will quite naturally be judging me or gossiping about me. But if it helps someone, it is SO worth it.

  9. While I read your blog regularly, I don’t comment very often. I find you quite humble as you write and like when you share the struggles. Sometimes we must go away awhile and refresh our minds. Even the Lord took a time out. Don’t be discouraged. Give yourself a little refreshing and you’ll be back with more blessings for your readers. As I read, I see your smiling face and think what a lovely woman you are, striving to do God’s will and sharing with others your love of Christ.

  10. I’m glad you’ve received so many encouraging and heartfelt messages in response to sharing your struggles. It takes great humility to write as you do. I find it difficult trying to ‘live up’ to being a house group leader – I fail on so many levels: I don’t prepare Bible studies with enthusiasm; I spend little time in personal prayer; I delay contacting group members… As I read this back I see there are a lot of I’s! No doubt God is telling me something…

  11. Agree with everything you said. Have so much to learn & growing in Christ’s lessons, seemingly every day. But, that is what teaches me, makes me closer to my Lord, and carries me through. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming with many trials thrown at us at one time, but oh how glorified God is when we reach the other side! That’s what I pray for every day…….to glorify God. He is so good! Sticking in there with you even though I usually don’t comment. God bless you and your family.

  12. I enjoy reading your blog. It helps me through my everyday life, makes me think more of my walk with God. I think you are helping many people get through their day. You make us all think about our walk with God. We need this! Thank you so much for obeying God in writing about Him & what we all need to know.

  13. Leslie, I am so encouraged by all your blogs…your transparency, humbleness, honesty, and love for serving in this capacity; to reach as many people as you can with your heartfelt messages, just makes my days better. So I thank-you very much. Keep on writing, you are making a difference in so many lives. I so appreciate what you wrote, I can identify with what you are going through, and after reading many of the other readers comments, it sounds like they can relate as well.
    I just want to encourage you to keep sharing from your heart and being authentic, and give you a big hug through this iPad I am writing on. God Bless you, sister in Christ?

  14. Read your posts all the time. They are uplifting, thought provoking, and cause me to seek fir a closer walk with God. Thank you!

  15. Your honesty is appreciated. Myself, i regularly reflect on 1Timothy 1:15(KJV) where Paul tells us that Christ died for sinners”of whom I am chief”. I usually consider that, “If he’s chief, I’m probably the lietenant!” His gift is why we call it gospel, that is ‘good news.’

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