ministry

High and Low

It’s always funny how I get overly familiar with a Bible story, then for whatever reason I go back and read it, only to find I missed so much and I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did. Prime example, the transfiguration. Previously, I had just thought the story captured in Scripture was Jesus and his special disciples going up a mountain, seeing the glory, then the story closes with a time gap to the next section (depending on translation) and another story begins. Boy was I wrong!! I was encouraged to read this account in Mark 9 after reading a few devotionals from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest,” and I was intrigued by all I missed.

One of the first things I noticed is the fear of the disciples in the presence of Christ, up and down the mountain. It made me wonder if the fear of the Lord is merely reverence, actual fear, or a mixture of both. When I considered their moments of fear, it was definitely not a matter of reverence, but they were afraid because they didn’t know what to do or say or the response of Jesus to their actions. I think for us, it is necessary that we have a healthy balance of reverence for the Lord along with fear for His immensity. He is far above human understanding and a fear of His judgment and limitless incredible power and what He may do should inspire us to live as close to the cross as we can. Of course, as we learn the character of God that level of fear is balanced out because of His overabundant grace and overwhelming love.

The funny thing about this story is that in their fear, we see how started saying dumb stuff, for God the Father straightened Him out real quick so he couldn’t act his out, as did Jesus when he handled the dispute of the disciples who were totally missing the point of the ministry they had just been apart of and knew that they were wrong, which is why they didn’t respond to Jesus when he asked them. Without exhausting it, in our fear, we shouldn’t react, but we should instead consider Jesus and his glory so that we don’t mistake what God wants to say to us, show us, or do for us.

There really is so much in this account that I could present here, but a blog is not a book so I will refrain or just do a part two. Nevertheless, the major point that I gathered from the transfiguration story is the highs and lows of life; we can’t have one without the other. What struck me about the story is not their incredible experience on the mountain, but their immediate journey back down the mountain and into regular life.

As Chambers reflected, when we experience the high mountain-top experiences, we naturally want to stay there, but the mountain was created to prepare us for the valleys of life; we can’t stay there forever. As soon as they saw Elijah and Moses and were scolded by the Father, the experience was over, and back down the mountain they went; Jesus actually went ahead of them. If we are supposed to follow Christ, we must recognize the purpose and time necessary for the mountain.

Furthermore, there is a misconception that we leave the presence of God on the mountain, but just as Jesus went before them and walked with them down the mountain and back to reality, he will walk with us; His presence will never leave us. Just as we see when Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days fasting, right after his in depth encounter with God it was time to put what he learned to practice. For after his fast, the Devil tempted him, and immediately after their return from the high mountain, Jesus had to face problems in ministry with the other disciples.

There will be more lows in life than highs, and low doesn’t necessarily mean bad, but rather the normal every day things of life. The highs are those intense encounters we have in the presence of God, and I must admit that I couldn’t handle it if it happened every day, which is why those mountain highs last for just a weekend or a short time, as we see in Mark 9, where the majority of this chapter is not concerning the transfiguration, but what happened when they came back down. Likewise, if Jesus had stayed or if they had returned later, then that boy would not have been delivered and the disciples would have missed critical teachings and experience of the work of the Son if they would have lingered on the mountain.

As we live a life a purpose, it has to be guided and influenced by the times we spend with God on the mountain, but we can’t be stingy with what we gain there, rather, we must take those blessings and lessons and share it with others, otherwise it becomes a waste and the beauty of God can’t be share with others, encouraging them to seek the presence of God. We have a responsibility be ourselves for a purpose in lows, prepared in the highs of His presence.

Broken

vesselWell, I don’t think I’ve even been completely transparent in what I write, but due to what’s going on, or rather has been I figured to tell someone. In doing so, I want you to know, you are not alone. Just like you my heart breaks and my soul cries, often.

Even still, I have so many doubts, insecurities, and worry. I encourage others so much, because I struggle so much internally. I question by abilities and truth be told, my physical appearance. I don’t know what it is exactly, a part of it may be my sign, I’m a Cancer, or my personality type, I’m an introverted idealist, but I hide very well, physically and mentally. Physically, I mean that I can move so very quickly and quietly like a ninja ghost, and I take pride in that lol. On the other hand, mentally, even those closest to me I know never can fully grasps how I perceive things or even perceive myself. My mind is a dangerous place to be, because there is so much always going on, which is part of the female structure. As well, I’ve been the shoulder to others and be my own shoulder; after a while, my shoulders get tired, but it’s my own shoulder that weighs the most.

Recently, I’ve just been heavy, although, it has lightened up a lot. I can’t explain exactly why, and it could be due to a mixture of things and just a hovering of something conflicting with my spirit. Still, even though I know where God is leading me, I can say that I do not see the whole stair case, and I’m not sure of the next steps. I can’t lie and say I don’t get jealous, because I do. Social media messes me up, not as much as it used to, and there are things that encourage me daily, but so often it seems like so many are receiving the very things that I desire, but not me. I am a singer, yet I wish I could do others do naturally with their own. Furthermore, I’ve passed the loneliness phase of my life, but now, sometimes it just feels like me against the world, almost like I scream but there is no one to hear me. I’ve come to know a long time ago that I am weird and I except that, and that I think and process things different. Nonetheless, generations have changed, and when I was younger I didn’t really have the friendship system that’s afforded to those younger than me, that is to say I often wonder what my life would have been like if I was born 10 years later. Plus, those that I call my best friends, and or those I’ve had intimate relationships with, it’s always long distance. It’s gets so hard because of it.

All in all, I go through this serious battle of inadequacy and self-worth, and my confidence is minimal. I haven’t been suicidal, but I will ask myself, “if I were to die, would it even matter? Would my death really impact someone’s life?” I like to be in control and know what is going on as much as possible, and a couple years back God had to remove that and because I don’t know, I don’t feel worthy enough or adequate enough to even do what I know He’s calling me to do. On one hand it’s a reverence thing because ministry is a gift and serving is an honor, and on the other it’s like no Nia, there is nothing special in you, that you can pull this off.

Now please, this is not self-pity or complaining, I just want you to see the face behind the Be You for a Purpose mask. One thing I do know is that I am a broken and limp vessel and I want to be used by Christ. But as much as I encourage, I am encouraging myself, I have to, because the Enemy likes to come and mess with my mind and my emotions, and I have to keep him at bay, less I miss out on what God has for me to do. Yes, I will lift you up, but I’m just getting used to praying for myself. Yes, I do know God has an incredible plan and purpose for me, I just have to keep the faith and trust Him, as cliche as that may sound, but He is my only hope and sustainer. But I can be stubborn and get myself worked up for no good reason to be honest, and normally when I do it’s because my commune with Jesus isn’t where it should be, almost like I go through withdrawal; I’m a feign and I need my fix. So this is me, broken, chipped, messed up, unqualified, but for some strange reason, chosen.

His love holds me together, just like it will hold you, so keep fighting with me, pressing, praying, and believing. The journey is not over. Be encouraged.