Sunday, September 29, 2013

Giver of Joy, Instrument of Peace

As the first month of teaching comes to a close, I realize how completely and utterly I need my Lord and Savior.

I've seen more than ever how quickly I fall into my human nature to be easily frustrated, annoyed, and impatient. I've seen my tendencies to strive and stress flare up more than ever. My habits of falling into anxiety and distrust glare in my face. 

And yet, I do not despair for I have this One Thing. 

My Savior. 

I take this time to reflect and reevaluate why I am in this season. Why God has me where He does. What His desire is for me here. What I can do. What He will do. 

Elizabeth Elliot once said, "You do what you can do. God will do what you can't." 

I find so much comfort in that tonight, as a confessed perfectionist and responder. I want to fix everything that I can. But in all honesty...I can fix very little, if anything. 

But, I can do something. 

Elizabeth also said, "The most God-like work that you can do is to give joy and be an instrument of peace." 

When I heard her say this, I realized that that is what my soul desire is in teaching. I want to share the joy and love I have found in Jesus. It may look differently than I expected it to, not so much in words but rather in small seemingly mundane actions. But I can still make a difference in the lives of my students. 

And so that is why my prayer has become that of Saint Francis of Assisi:

"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life. "

And so I stand as one forgiven and redeemed. Ready to start a new season, one of victory and thanksgiving. One of joy and peace. One of giving.

Hallelujah, What a Savior!
Hallelujah, what a Friend!
Hallelujah, it is finished!
Hallelujah, it is done!
Hallelujah, King forever!
We thank you for the cross!

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