“My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
This prayer is unbelievably beautiful. That first part just gets me: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior”. How beautiful is that? St. Mary is so joyful in God from the very core of her being — her soul, her spirit. There really is nothing remotely comparable to rejoicing in God from the innermost place of your being.
And why? Because God chose her, just as He chooses me to carry Himself within me. God, whose might is greater than thousands upon thousands of men, chose her, a virgin girl whom no one really knew, to be the mother of the Savior, to be the carrier of God. And who am I? I’m just a young woman in the middle of nowhere, no one knows me as anything special–and yet, God, out of His grace and compassion, chooses me to make His dwelling place.
This is no small thing! If I just lived the way I should, if I just acknowledged God dwelling inside of me, I would realize how powerful my life really is. He has “exalted the lowly”–He has given me power and glory–I just haven’t truly accepted it yet.
“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3)
Imagine what life would be like if you only embraced the power of God within you.
Last night was not a good night for me. Regrets and bitterness and brokenness all seemed to catch up to me. I was overwhelmed. I was consumed. I was drowning.
I had been able to keep my head above the waters for so long, but suddenly it seemed I had lost focus, and just as Peter began to drown, so did I. And as Peter cried out to Jesus, “Save me!”, I found myself crying out to my Papa.
The quiet time reading for that day came from Lamentations:
Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the gall [bitterness].
My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
Sometimes our hearts remember the bitterness. Sometimes our souls remember the times we fell and the times we were destitute. Sometimes our souls sink within us.
But we also must also allow ourselves to recall that our God is not just God, but also our Papa, and that He loves us and is faithful and full of compassion.
What is bringing you down? Is it feelings of regret? Feelings of foolishness? Brokenness?
Instead of letting it bring you down, you bring it to the One who is good and who will do only good for you. Be honest. Tell Him you are hurting. Tell Him you are broken. Ask Him, plead with Him, to lift you up and to help your soul seek Him and put your hope in Him. He won’t turn away, trust me.
Never forget that He is merciful and compassionate, and He cares deeply for you.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting [restoring] the soul -Psalm 19:7
How often do I pray and beg for God to restore my soul? How often do I say that I need a change of heart? How about every time I pray the conclusion of every hour–“sanctify my soul”? I say I want all of these things, but when it comes down to it, what am I doing on my end to obtain it?
Like everything else, grace comes from God. In the end, it’s all impossible without God’s grace. And like everything else, there’s a teeny tiny part for me to do as well. This verse is giving me the answer: “the law of the LORD…restoring the soul”. What does this mean to me? The law of God, His statutes, His testimonies, they will enable me to change my soul, to restore it to glory.
This is not just not committing adultery or not lying or stealing. This is the law that should be present in my everyday life–my canon–my spiritual rule. The only way to keep the connection open to receive God’s grace is by carrying out my spiritual rule. For those of you who have been following me since my old blog, you know I love this topic. For everyone else, or even if you’d like to refresh yourself on what a spiritual rule entails, click here to read more.
The only way to expect a restoration, a change in the desires of my heart, is by keeping the connection open. After all, isn’t that why nothing could get me down in Kenya? Anytime there was a hint of sadness creeping in, I ran to my Bible, I leaped to my agpeya. Never has my communication with Papa been stronger. The last few months, I’d personally been slack. I blamed it on my boards examination, and although that really isn’t a good excuse, boards are over. God blessed me with this huge revival the last couple weeks, and it’s time to build on it, not sink back into laziness.
So it’s time to make every day a Kenyan day. Once I do this, my words and my heart’s desires will truly be acceptable in the eyes of the Lord:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer (v. 14).
I will leave you with a link to my good friend’s song inspiring the title of this post: