Rebuilding Ruins

In a job interview recently I was asked what I thought my three strengths were, along with my three weaknesses. I named for her two and then I told her the third: organization. But, I told her I actually only saw that as a strength because it really is a weakness that I fight to be “strong” in. People I work with now often comment about how organized I am and I always chuckle and think, “If they only knew how unorganized I feel!”

One of the ways I strive to be organized is list-writing.  Even that fails to help me if I don’t look at it often.  I’m always working to keep structure and order and organization to my day.  I tend to drop off into the pit of procrastination and fall off the cliff of good intentions often.  Spiritually I have to remind myself often, even make lists, or write out in some way truths, lest I stop swimming upstream and relax my run in the race of faith in Christ and begin drifting with tide of the current zeitgeist in which I live.

I don’t know what turned me on to reading Piper… I think I read a blog that mentioned a book a couple years ago.  But recently I’ve been really feeding on the encouragement and scripture coming out of the Desiring God blog.  I found these three lists last week.  I want to print them and frame them and read them every morning!

1.  Ten Resolutions For Mental Health:  My mind is like the ruined, but in process of being rebuilt Jerusalem of Nehemiah’s day.  Sin’s damage on the mind has manifest itself very obviously in my family genes and it hasn’t skipped its warping effects in me.  If you see me and think I’m organized or any mentally healthy thing, say, “It’s a wonder!  It’s grace!”  Because that’s all it is!   And my work isn’t in earning that grace for my mental health, my fight is believing the truth that his grace brings to my mental health!  That’s why I need to read these truths often and medicate my synapses with the Word of God! 

2.  Ten Big, Daily Reminders:  Reading this and the one above encouraged me:  I am not the only one who’s mind is threatened every morning with forgetfulness.  If I don’t stop and remember, in this convenient life I live, like God told Moses, I’ll forget, and drift, and meander, letting life’s current take me wherever it will.  I don’t want to grow unbelieving and numb to the truth.

3. Seven Things to Pray For Your Children:  At my kids’ school they don’t give A, B, C, D and F’s.  They give Exceeds, Meets, Approaches and Falls Far Below.  These “grades” show where they test compared to the state standard.  In prayer, I fall far below.  At times I am moved and have “fervent and effectual” prayers.  But most times my prayers are groans, and moans for help and cries.  Real tears and no words and hands in surrender and knees bent weak.  My hands fall down and my feeble knees are about to give way and then I read something like this article and I feel my Arron has come to lift my hands and my feeble knees have been strengthened. 

Sometimes I hear, in my own mind, what others might ask or say about the decisions I’ve made regarding my marriage.  I think some might wonder why.  Some might write me off as weak-minded or “codependent”.  Some might think I’m doing my “religious duty”.  Some might just scratch their heads and think I’m crazy.  Some might think I’ve made the wrong decision.  Some might think I’ve made the right one.  Others might think either way would have been right.  I stand facing the accusation that either way I would have been and will be wrong.  I’m sure these “some” and “others” are mostly the fiery darts of the enemy of my soul making their way into my ruined and burned down mental walls, trying to keep me from building up my faith by the grace He supplies for His glory.  And so I stand as I write this not aimed an any person but rather a taking up of my sword in one hand and my building tool in the other, pressing on to work with the power supplied me in Christ to bring him glory. 

Sword:  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.- Genesis 50:20

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. – Romans 8:28-29

“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” – Matthew 19:4-6

My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.  The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong.- 1 Samuel 2:1-4

Building tool: 

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.- Proverbs 14:1

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.  – Psalm 119:72

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands.For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.- 1 Peter 3:1-6

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 3:13-14