Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HARVEST (11/21/19)
- TITLE: Be Patient With Me...
By Judith Gayle Smith
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God isn't finished with me - yet. I rush Him, wishing to graduate to sainthood before He sends His angel for me. I am so imperfect, so incomplete. So unworthy. I cry, moan, complain and subject those I love to my "hissy fits."
God is the epitome of love and patience. I am not. I am a cranky soul who often tries taking over the duties of His Holy Spirit. I simply do not have the "chops". I am learning, always His ways. I struggle to explain His Holy Spirit within me.
I thought I "knew" Jesus when I was a - trying to be a good little church-going child. I wasn't old enough to even begin to understand sin, much less fathom how a six-year old could explain it to lead other kids to Jesus. I knew the words - became quite able to debate in Bible classes. Debate? Yes. I had completely assured myself that I knew it all.
I am a wordsmith. I have argued folks into meeting and, prayerfully, sticking with the knowledge of their desperate need for salvation. Flunk. What lessons I needed for myself never stuck. I realized that when I reached the, for me, miserable age of thirty.
I was married to a professing non-believer for four years. It was a celibate marriage, and I was overwhelmed with rejection and hopelessly in love with the idea of love. He was California-Sun-god handsome. I met him in church. He was a college professor of Comparative Literature. He did thorough studies on religion. What he learned made it very difficult for me to help him to ask Jesus to fight his tormenting, drug-induced dragons.
When he told me he was going to divorce me because his mother and his psychologist told him to, I, hollow of heart, literally died inside. When his psychiatrist warned that if we stayed together for another year, one of us would certainly be dead within that year. Lousy advice. Granted, I was suicidal and ad no compunction to buying unneeded sleeping pills. I was in a psychiatric hospital, wishing I had died.
I received, helplessly, the solemn proposition for divorce by the very man who fought his mother at any and all levels. He professed to hate her, and yet he would divorce me because she told him to? I thought we had wonders ahead. He was eight years my senior. He was beautiful. I was a foolish woman, attempting to be His Holy Spirit to convince him to Christ. He loved that I loved him. He loved that we communicated wonderfully on spiritual, intellectual levels. Physical levels never consummated, emotional levels? Don't even go there.
I left him and found an apartment in a nearby town. I was working - he stopped working when we married. I was confused and dispirited. My self-esteem was zip. I looked for love in every wrong place, and I sinned against God by committing adultery. Why did I not see where I was headed? I dressed provocatively, and attracted men who were most eager to relieve me of the burden of my virginity.
I did not even think of God and His Commandments. I rushed into stupidity. I hated myself. I just gave myself away physically and emotionlessly. Where was the gal who, so lightheartedly tripping through salvation verses for others - going? Throwing myself away was not what He wanted for me. I thoughtlessly pushed His Spirit aside, just knowing that I was entitled to my rage and fury.
Then I met a man who truly loved me. He waited patiently for four long years for me to love him back, and not continue grieving over my great loss. Together, we discovered Jesus in a little Baptist Church in Burns, Oregon - in 1978. Overwhelmed by my childish ideas of sin combined with the reality of our adultery, I had to stop blaming my first husband for his weaknesses. I had to look within my own heart to see where I had failed him.
Studying God's Word, I discovered - horrifyingly, how I had failed and sinned against God. I was consumed by my own desire to serve God, and I failed miserably. Who changed their lives because of what I said or performed obliquely for Him? I have nothing to be proud of. I am astonished at what I had become, rejecting His Laws. I needed Him - He didn't need me.
But He saved me. A pitiable harvest of souls do I bring Him.
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