We don't have extra money this Christmas to spend cause of just going through cancer. And I have to throw in that the latest health update couldn't be any better. Cancer bills did deplete our savings and we had to go to creative means with being in job transitions as well. God knew. No surprise there. God has so blessed us with earthly blessings unimaginable but they are "second things" as C. S. Lewis calls it. It's the spiritual blessings, those "first things," that have me on my face before a very Good God this Christmas!
I write to say that a Beautiful God showed up for me in Bethlehem 2000 years ago and He was back there again last week. God so took me by surprise in Israel. HE so stirred up some things in my heart. I've never been more attracted to the possibility of becoming a more meaningfully mature Christian. More than ever! I'm more spiritually ALIVE than ever! Paschal wrote: "The Gospel to me is simply irresistible." It is. More so than ever. I wonder why? Chalmers said: "It's the expulsive power of a New Affection."
In 66 Love Letters, the author writes that the joy Christ offers grows in the soil of emptines and brokenness. That's where I've been. "In My Spirit's Hands, your felt emptiness will become a consuming thirst to know Christ. Your agonizing brokenness over the ongoing corruption in your soul will transform into overwhelming gratitude for My Son's forgiveness. It is empty and broken people, who at the same time are thirsty and grateful, who discover the power to live in ways they never thought possible." That's it. I couldn't put it in better words what God has been doing in my life these past couple of years. Empty. Broken. But God is allowing me to wrestle with Him over the sin in my soul that is transforming me. Overwhelmed in gratitude for His Forgiveness.
God is helping me to see what is clearly wrong in me more than what is wrong in those closest to me or what is wrong in the churches I am familiar with---no, it's what is wrong in me. And He has been so gracious to help me experience the Power to face what's wrong in my own heart and discover His Power, Resurrection Power, to grasp how long and wide and deep and high is His LOVE for me. Eph 3:17-19. I have a long way to go. And it's His Kindness that is leading me to repent. Romans 2:4. I love Him so! He is deeply encouraging me, way down deep, in the midst of some unsettling circumstances.