If you didn’t see the previous post, that is where Nora pictures (and even a couple of vidoes are).
Once again, I can’t thank you enough for your encouraging comments, FB messages, and e-mails. I am continually amazed to hear how my posts of Nora’s story have inspired and affected your lives for the better. It is definitely a mutual feeding ground. You inspire me and encourage me more than you could ever possibly realize. Even if you don’t comment, the stats of the visitors to this blog speak volumes. There are the moments where I step back and think to myself, “REALLY? Me? Something I wrote is having a profound impact in all these people’s lives??” I don’t and can’t take credit for any of it except the fear and worry — that would be mine, despite my efforts to be rid of it. However, by choosing to cling to my faith and turning to God during this trying time I believe God is working through me in what I write with the talent He gave me. I just marvel and question as to why God would have chosen ME of all people to engage in this journey. I never imagined myself as some kind of spiritual leader, or holy dignitary, and certainly not saying that I am! I love to partake in Bible studies, but I would’t consider myself an expert in scripture. I still have to page through the whole Bible twice trying to find a particular book before eventually resorting to the Table of Contents.
I know there are probably people from my high school or college days wondering, “What in the heck??” The person writing these posts probably isn’t the Aleisa they remember. I most assuredly don’t suddenly have it “all together” now, and I hope that I don’t come across that way. I still yell at people doing 45 in the left lane, I still lose my temper with my kids and the phone and cable companies, my sense of humor is often times inappropriate, I don’t always put my grocery cart back in the cart corralle, and I rip the tags off of mattresses and pillows. I also still rock out to the Beastie Boys from time to time as well (but I don’t think God so much minds that?). So why would God choose me? I felt unworthy, unqualified, lacking in strength and ability. Upon closer examination, however, that seems to be the common theme throughout many of the Bible stories. Many of the people that God singled out and used to fulfill His purpose were not who we would expect Him to choose. These were no noble, hearty, natural born leaders that God chose.
Gideon. His response to God was, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manaseh, and I am the least in my family.” His clan wasn’t ONE OF the weakest, it was THE weakest!
Moses. He answered, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? … What if they don’t listen to me or believe me? … I am not an eloquent speaker, I am slow of speech and tongue! … Please send someone else to do it.”
David. Again, he was the youngest, least important member of his family. He was so unimportant that he wasn’t even presented when Samuel came in search of God’s chosen king over Israel. David’s father Jesse presented only his strongest most robust sons – obvious leaders. Further evidence that God’s idea of a person of strength is NOT ours. Nor was David of exemplary moral character as time went on. He committed adultery and murder!! Why would God have bothered with a man like this? I believe it is because when all was said and done, David had a repentant heart. Despite his human inequities, he was a man of God.
In searching through the Bible this morning to find exact reference to these stories I was only casually familiar with, I was humbled. I am in no way putting myself in the same category as these Biblical greats, but I am putting myself in the same category of being on the receiving end of God’s grace and mercy. Unqualified, ill-prepared, self-absorbed, sarcastic, and even a bit of a recluse, God seems to have seen something else in me that I never could have imagined. I am proof that you do NOT have to be in perfect spiritual condition to be accepted, chosen and loved by a mighty, mighty God.
But being a Christ follower must not be any fun, perhaps you imagine (as I once did). What fun is it if you have to be good, nice and perfect all the time? That life style is reserved for people like judgmental Church Lady on Saturday Night Live…
I didn’t want to be like that!! (eyes rolling)!! That is what I thought for much of my life. But… As it turns out, that’s not at all the case. No, I don’t partake in many of the activities I once thought were the funnest thing(s) in the world anymore, but I assure it’s not out of guilt or obligation. I’m just not interested in them anymore. I look at it like this: there was once a time in my life that I could have spent the entire morning and afternoon playing with Barbie dolls. As I grew older I became interested in other things. That wasn’t really entertaining anymore. There’s never been a time within the past 30 years that I longed to go back to that life of playing Barbies. There are way better things to occupy my time with! I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be pre-qualified. I don’t have to be strong. I don’t have to be the epitome of morality. All I have to do is say, “Yes, Lord!” With faith and hope I accept and receive God’s grace and mercy. My family’s circumstances are certainly not easy right now by any stretch of the imagination, but they are bearable with God either walking beside us or carrying us when we can’t walk on our own.
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)