Monday, January 18, 2010

I Really am HIS

My friend, Amber, over at His Girl's Blog has written a study on Daniel. I decided to join in with her and we've just finished Week One.




Honestly, there are Bible stories that I have become TOO familiar with. I think I know them so I don't really spend time studying. That is definitely the case with Daniel. I take for granted that he wasn't afraid (or at least he wasn't ruled by his fear). He stood up for his beliefs. He had complete faith that God would provide.

Amber asked us to think about some questions and I have to tell you that it made me uncomfortable. Here are the three that really hit me.

What has being a Christian cost me in my lifetime?
What sacrifices have I made to be a Christian recently?
How can non-Christians tell that I am a Christian?

OUCH!

I had already been wrestling with some of this before I even began the study. As you can tell from how long it's been since I have posted...I've been in a bit of a desert place. Feeling distant from the Lord. Overwhelmed with life circumstances. Kind of one of those times where you just throw your hands up in the air and say "I give up".

The truth is that being a Christian really hasn't cost me anything in my lifetime. It's been easy. I've not made any sacrifices. Is following God easy? No, but I don't believe it's really "cost" me. I haven't had to stand up for my beliefs and be ridiculed. God hasn't asked me to do anything that is particularly difficult. I was raised in a Christ centered home so it (Christianity) has been all I've known.

I struggle more with the third question. How can non-Christians tell that I am a Christian? I don't think they can. Sure on this blog, it's easy. You all read about how God is working in my life. You've seen me walking out my faith. But day to day...what am I doing? How am I behaving? Does my life seem different than the lives around me? I'm not so sure. And I DON'T LIKE THAT! God and I are wrestling this out. Actually, God is being silent and I am left to fight through this. I'm not saying that He has left me alone, I am just saying that He is not making it easy for me.

That's ok. I think. I WANT to be different. I desire for those I come into contact with to wonder "what does Sheryl have that I don't have". Right now I think I am just fitting in with the world.

Lord, I am growing weary of being in the desert. Give me a heart that is open to what you are asking of me. Remind me of what YOU sacrificed for me and may I live my life as a reflection of that love.

Wanting to be known as one of HIS,




29 comments:

lisasmith said...

Sheryl, I think this safari has caused us all to ponder. Thanks for the stirring =)

Tiffani said...

Hi! Fellow Safari-er ;) here, I am just lovin' seeing what everyone has to say and how we all gathered something differently yet with common themes and how it's such an encouragement to do this with y'all!!

You are so right about the question and also "what has being a Christian cost me"...wow.

Looking forward to the rest of the journey with all of you!

ps--LOVE the name of your blog!

Kim in NC said...

We just started studying Daniel in our SS class.

I want boldness like Shadrach Meschach and Abednigo!

Glad you are blogging again :)

JD said...

What an incredible post (welcome back to blogging, my friend!)... some great questions, great introspection, from what sounds like a great Bible study. Thank you for the food for thought.

I think I know what I'll be doing once I'm done studying Acts and Proverbs...

Andrea said...

Journeying with HIM,
andrea

Kimberly said...

Hi Sherly!

Glad you are ALIVE-was beginning to wonder for a bit. :)

Having just finished a truly in depth, yet life changing study on Daniel, myself, I am not sure that Daniel wasn't afraid. I think that he just trusted God more than he feared his circumstances. That's a tough lesson to learn, and a challenge for us all to step up to. I've got to admit, I have a long way to go!!!

Praying for you always and miss you so...kb

He & Me + 3 said...

This was a very thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I have been thinking about some of this often...like how easy my life really has been and how blessed I am...I wonder too how people see Him in me.

Tia said...

In season's of rain, ask for more rain. What needs rain more than a desert? I know this prayer is one God will answer and continue to answer as long as you ask for more. I'm asking too.

And I love the book of Daniel!

ShEiLa said...

Those three questions do make you ponder.

I just know I am on the journey. I find it interesting that when life gets hard... that is when we are apt to be more humble. When things go good we take it for granted. So I am working on being humble without being compelled to do so.

Hugs to YOU Sheryl.

ToOdLeS.

Sassy Granny ... said...

What piercing & probing questions. It sounds like your study is going to take you to amazing places; and no doubt you'll profit immensely.

These are incredible days in which we live. We'd all profit from so thorough an inventory of spirit.

Blessings & peace,
Kathleen

laurette said...

WOW! Love your post. Thank you for being so open & honest, I love that about you!

Tiffani said...

I had to come back over here after you commented on my post....I LOVED the F.E.A.R. bit you left for me!!...I was reading your profile and I am just loving that God sent us all together..I am so sorry these past couple of years have been the worst for you but just think..there is one more girl down in Georgia lifting you up!!

Sheena H. said...

Wow! You just read my mind! Lately I have been struggling with am I different? I want to shine and for people to see how God is working in my life. But I have learned it takes alot of discipline but I am not giving up! After reading your post I opened an email from Klove It's the encouraging word:

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

~ Matthew 5:16, NLT

Thanks for sharing your heart!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Ouch. Very ouchy questions for sure!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

very hard questions....from a very special lady....i love you

beyond this moment said...

I've heard the Daniel story a million times and I've done half a dozen studies, but I never fail to learn something new each time.

His Girl said...

Sheryl,
Way to come charging out of the desert!

I am just so excited to see what God does with all of this!

You're right... it's so easy as a 'seasoned' Christian to just gloss over stories that are familiar! No better way to foil the complacency than to sit up and take notice of the sights God has for us along the way!

Way to go!

nancygrayce said...

I think that many of us struggle with those questions. Especially how do non Christians see us. The sad thing for me is that since many in my own family read my blog, I don't know if they see a difference even there.

Gretchen said...

I almost chose this one to post about. Love your musings. Could have said many of them myself. Since my husband isn't a believer, I often wonder how I look to him. Do I look like the Christian that God would want me to be, or do I look any different from any other non believer. As Lisa commented, good stuff for us to ponder.

Just a little something from Judy said...

Missed you my friend. The questions you were asked, are ones that challenge me quite often. Do I really make a difference? Then I realize that often God uses us to make differences in other's lives and we are totally unaware of it. I like that. With that being the case, God gets the credit, and I do not take credit. I know only Heaven will reveal ways that God uses us to bless others. And, just in case you are not aware of it...your life continues to be used to teach me so many valuable lessons. Thanks God!

Cheri' said...

It's GREAT to hear your voice again, Sheryl! And - oh. my. goodness! What profound and thought-provoking questions. I deeply appreciate this post and am going to take some time to ponder them myself!

Jen said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. :)
I think everyone doing this study is thinking along the same lines right about now. God has brought us all together in His perfect timing and together we can safari our way to a new walk with Him!
Enjoy the journey...
Jen :)

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

That has been a question that has been guiding me in my life lately. We need to let the world see God's light shining in us. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

~*Michelle*~ said...

What a great post....filled with raw Truth and transparency....love it!

....you def. have me leaving with alot to think about.

Enjoy every step of your journey...can't wait to hear where God takes you!

His Love Extended--Julie Gorman said...

Love your transparency. Thanks for sharing...I'm going to have to check out this study.

lisasmith said...

Sheryl!! Wow! I thought about you today...you say there are Bible stories you are too familiar with...have you read this week's lesson??? Praying He uncovers the deep in things of the familiar for you this week, my friend.

prashant said...

I am just so excited to see what God does with all of this!


Work from home

Robin's New Song said...

I'm enjoying a Beth Moore Daniel study from home right now too. I'm in week 7 (chapter 7) and am amazed by how little I knew (and I thought I knew a lot!) Gods word is unending in it's reach into our lives. Daniel especially is historically proven over and over through the cities and Kings and just excites my socks off!

Courtney and the Boys said...

You're the bomb. You inspire me. :) Hope you and your sweet kids have a great weekend!