My trust in God has rarely been applied to any situation where I need to implement my faith (and the one time that comes to mind where I did "let go and let God" the situation worked out). So why don't I put God's story into my own? Why don't I live like a Christ follower? Why do I only live for me and why do I fit into this world as if I don't know the one who made it? Simple: I haven't ever trusted God with my life.
This also solves the answer as to why when people look at me they don't see Jesus. I don't stand out and I don't stand apart from the world. I've solely put my faith in the fact that I'm saved through Jesus, but as for following Him or trusting Him, I've been pretty absent. The truth is I don't like being stereotyped by my non-Christian friends, just like they don't want to be stereo-typed by me or other Christians.... oops maybe more appropriately "Christians."
I've known for awhile that I've fit more into the category of "Christian" and for that I feel humbled and apologetic to those who know I'm a Christian but haven't seen a huge difference in my life so as to associate me with Christ. But I'm kind of getting off topic because more to what the Holy Spirit was teaching me today was that I am a child of God and need to put Him into my story.
Case in point: 2012. Hands down the most stressful year of my life. I'm a big believer in things could always be worse and lately I've acknowledged there's wisdom in making the most out of current circumstances (now I just need to start acting it out on a regular basis rather than just believing it). I've learned so much from the Holy Spirit but I don't always put it into practice once I've learned it. So when the pastor said if we wanted to write our names on the white card in the bulletin and just write "Thy will," my first response was the same as always, "so cheesy," but when I thought about how deeply I felt the conviction of needing to say this in my life, especially this year: I did write on that white card.
Lately I've felt a huge burden to implement my faith into my circumstances instead of allowing my circumstances to affect my faith. I expect the results will be much more beneficial than taking the Eeyore approach like usual. People in my life have tried to comfort me in saying that it's normal and healthy to have the reactions I've had to the events in my life this past year, and while there is definite truth to it, I can't help but think about how I'm supposed to have the joy of the Lord too. When all else fails (and when things go the way I want them to) God is good and in Romans we're told that "all things work together for good for those who love God," but I don't think I've been lovin' on God all that well. Maybe if I put more energy into loving Him instead of focusing on what's been lost, my circumstances will look differently.
Another approach is the saying that God helps those who help themselves. Depending on the interpretation of this, I totally agree. If I look at it as my "attitude determines the outcome" I'm 100% all for this belief. If, however, the saying is communicating that God won't help you unless you help yourself, I think this goes against the Bible's description of Him being a compassionate and gracious God. Especially when I take into consideration the grace and gifts He's given me in spite of my attitude. I know I need to do my part, but if I solely rely on outcomes based on my effort, I know I'll be disappointed, which is why I need the Lord: because so much of my disappointments stem out of my effort no matter how hard I try or how great of a job I do.
I'd like for these song lyrics to pop into my mind and help my attitude when I'm discouraged:
God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking
God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, God in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing
Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
Be my everything