The sweet scent of candles. Bubble baths with smooth jazz in the background. Raindrops against the window to set the mood for journaling. The sweet taste of a cookie from Bakes By Kari (get you some). These are a few of my favorite things. Safe places like these give me rest. Here I feel most capable of staying in my lane and giving God His glory. I’ve come to realize with each experience that life is anything but safe. I long for a worry-free utopia but that isn’t God’s design this side of heaven. His design requires me to trust Him so I can boast in His strength and bask in His glory but I often choose my own.
I boast the loudest in silence. Pridefully pushing God away with every soul shattering cry I won’t release. Clinging to self-reliance, working to solve problems amidst, withheld prayer requests. Decisive moments of foregone repentance become the imprints on my path to self exaltation. It’s easy to live here. It’s easy to love here. It’s easy to be free here. Here I get to be devious and deceptive. Everyone who comes in contact with me is signing up to play charades without me asking for permission. My disposition bids , “what mask is Jenean wearing today?.” I won’t answer. I’m mute. Still refusing to love God or people enough to lay my pride aside and surrender. This may sound strange because this isn’t the boasting you hear about. Often boasting is associated with loud, braggadocious swagger. The gag is (in my best KeKe Palmer voice), there is more than one way to boast. For far to long I’ve relished my identity of someone who moves in silence. I’ve been moving in silence alright. So silent God hasn’t heard my voice much. We’ve heard it said that real G’s move in silence but real prideful people do too.
I take confidence in being someone with great faith. Rarely do I confess moments when great faith is pushed aside for even greater unbelief. I’m a prayer warrior, a devout intercessor for everyone who grants me the privilege to pray for them. These same gifts are perverted to occupy all my time sharing everything with God but myself. His presence is still His presence if my heart is absent, right? He’s still God if I reverence Him in all the less sacrificial ways? He is still God but just maybe He isn’t my Lord.
Scripture says, “ ….love does not envy or boast” 1 Corinthians 13:4
There is NO WAY I can love God and love others properly and remove God from my prayer requests and praise reports. Lip service without active pursuit of His Lordship isn’t love. How can I love Him when I won’t even bear my soul to Him. How can I love others when I won’t even open myself up to be used by God. Make no mistake God can do what He wants with me whenever and however He pleases but my lack of desire is appalling. I would rather fail on my own strength than succeed in His. He has empowered me to love like Him and love His creations like Him. Seek to love Him in your boasting. Let Him hold your heart with the very same unfailing love that created you.
His work. His will. His glory.
- Jenean Elizabeth