It’s difficult to have Faith when you have failed time and time again. It’s difficult to have Hope when you have experienced loss and pain beyond words can ever describe. It’s difficult to have love when you have been rejected or betrayed by those closest to you, or those you have trusted. All of these are hard when we look at this temporary world to provide us with the faith, hope, and love we desire.
Over the weekend I went to a conference where the story of Mary of Bethany was taught, again. I often wonder how many times I am going to have to study this story in order to receive the message God wants me to receive. This weekend the speaker taught on how do we get from sitting at the feet of Jesus, to being wounded when He doesn’t show up to heal our loved one, to pouring expensive perfume on Him, and in essence pouring out all that we have in order to anoint Him and prepare Him for His burial.
How do we get to that point of pouring out our faith, hope, and love in other things, and simply putting all of this on JESUS alone? I believe Mary of Bethany got to that point because she said YES to Jesus. She said YES when there were tasks to be done, she said YES to Jesus when He didn’t respond in the way that she so desired, she said YES when it was time to confess her LOVE and FAITH in HIM.
I am often brought to a crossroad where I need to either say YES to Jesus, or walk away from what He is calling me to. If I look to my failures, my pain, or those who have offended me then I am more reluctant to say NO to these things, because it’s scary. We fear that He won’t show up, or He will leave us to die. It’s a step that seems ridiculous, overwhelming, we may even be offended that God would even ask us to do what He has called us to.
After this speaker taught on the story of Mary of Bethany there was an alter call. I remember going up to the alter and thinking about what I was afraid of. Then I thought about how offended I was that God would ask me to do what He was asking me to do when He has yet to heal my husband. I love that I can bring this fear and anger to God. I love that He will listen, and I love that it doesn’t change the call He has placed on my life.
Over the weekend there was this underlying theme, “Be the sunshine.” Be the light on the hill. I realized I could either bury all that I know and experience on a daily basis, or I can go stand on the hill and just let His glorious light shine through my brokenness.
This life is hard, and I would never belittle the pain and suffering that is felt in this world, ever. I know how difficult it is to even make the choice to be broken before the world so that God’s light can radiate through you. It’s not easy, and it’s never going to be easy. But we do have faith, hope, and Love when we turn to the Lord.
So much can hold us back from saying YES to the Lord. So much can take us to a dark place. So much can prevent us from simply shining for His glory.
Pain is like a jackhammer that hurdles to the depths of our heart, so that it may breakthrough the hard rocky places of heart, so that God’s light may shine into the depths of our heart. Whatever we allow into our heart will come out and shine in this world.
In order for faith, hope, and love to pour out of us, we first need to allow God to pour it INTO us.
Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. – John12:3
Mary of Bethany was just pouring out what Jesus poured into her…
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