Written By Ryan Walters
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”
It must be my central & most beloved element of blogging: sharing my personal downfalls, my current struggles, my willingness & efforts to become more holy but how I only arrive short each & every time (Romans 3:23). That is however, the final product when my game plan is written up by the entirely wrong trio…me, myself and I.
Conversely, when I select Jesus Christ to transcribe my dispositions I don’t end up as a few fries short of a happy meal; I receive vanilla shakes & apple pies on the house! (Don’t fret. McDonalds & I went our separate ways a long time ago…).
Corny fast food analogies aside, what is honestly fascinating to me is how God takes a shipwreck like myself, with enough baggage to literally sink a ship, & somehow flips the script to not only make it possible for me to learn from my past mistakes but also makes me a tool in His workshop to put together learning curves for others as well. If I were a dull & faded copper saw, an everyday silversmith would definitely dispose of me. Yet, God grabs me out of the garbage can and says, “I could use you. After all, I do love you.” He welds me into gold & sharpens my edges by His grace, wisdom & omniscience.
I could have remained as a hopeless piece of trash in the garbage. It seems as though we often get so down in the dumps that we legit feel like rubbish; bodies with spirits meant only to waste away. But you’re not truly ‘alive’ in the first place if the Holy Spirit does not reside within your heart. Not everyone seems to fully comprehend we’re spiritual beings living in physical bodies; not the other way around. Our mission here really has little to do with the physical aspect of who we are.
The actual reason for our existence is to allow spiritual truth of the Word of God to penetrate our hearts, to construct & feed our faith & to share what God has made evident in our lives that He created us with a divine purpose & sent His only son to die for our inevitable sin nature that we might accept salvation and eternity with the Father by choosing to follow the living example of Jesus Christ.
If today you are someone who hasn’t realized that all your self-inflicted pain, all your blemishes & wounds of the past, all your regrets, all your misery of having to wake up each morning, all your brokenness from low self-esteem, all your spiritual poverty, all the “I hate yous” you endure, all your despair over failing to find the right guy or the right girl, all your worries and fears and all your constant troubles can be removed and substituted with a unconditional love…
Then tell God you’re finally ready to serve someone other than yourself.
Tell God you’re ready to pursue His mission and calling for your life.
Tell God you’re tired of encountering obstacle after obstacle without any hope you’ll ever get through it.
Tell God you want to be taught to love how He loves.
Tell God you’ve made a conscious decision right here and now to accept eternity without any more tears or suffering, not eternity surrounded by fire and gnashing of teeth (Luke 13:28).
Tell God you’re willing to accept you won’t always hear His voice or sense His presence but that you’re prepared to receive the challenge knowing that your faith will be sharpened as you trust He will protect you in the palm of His hand.
Tell God you want to experience long-lasting joy and not this superficial, temporary pleasure you cling to from the world.
Tell God you acknowledge that without Him you are absolutely nothing but that with Him working through you, you can be anything (Philippians 4:13).
Tell God that this time you’re not playing around; this time you’re all in & you’re not turning back.
If you don’t think I qualify as someone whose life has been full of tragedy, full of heartbreak, full of confusion, full of feelings of being lost & terrified, full of questioning God and full of events that could have turned my faith upside down, you are dead wrong. I’ve been a victim of divorce. A victim of alcoholism. A victim of bipolar disorder. A victim of familial deaths. A victim of family dysfunction. A victim of verbal abuse. A victim of neglect. A victim of hatred. A victim of unfaithfulness. The list goes on. My credibility as a victim is significant enough to express by no means have I been served life on a golden platter. I don’t want pity. I don’t want “you poor thing”. I want you as a reader & and as a valuable soul to God to understand that like Job from the Bible, God has proven faithful & just through my life of unpredictable, difficult circumstances.
I did not end up useless / I ended up useful.
My life is living proof that God exists, that He loves us and that He picks us up when we collapse.
My life is living proof that a decision to love and follow Christ results in learning, wisdom & fear of the Lord.
My life is living proof that a broken heart of your own doing or by others that is willing to be surrendered can be put back together.
My life is living proof that where sin grows deep, His grace runs deeper.
My God is untouchable. My God is unstoppable. My God is a consuming fire and that fire lives within my soul.
I have not been brainwashed. I’ve not been hypnotized. I am not a robot nor am I a fluke. And neither was Jesus, God in the flesh. What He did on the cross was real. It’s not some made up fairy tale. I’m ALIVE, spiritually awakened, because Jesus rose on the third day. I made a decision to accept my life is not my own. This body my spirit dwells in is not my own. It belongs to the Creator. Maker of Heaven and of earth. He is the vine and I am the branch. If you haven’t already, make that same decision I and so many other disciples of God have made.
I found my worth. It derives from Jesus Christ.
He says I’m worth it. He says I’m worthy.
Where does your worth come from?
Ryan Walters. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Founder, Blogger