"Show me Your strong love in wonderful ways, O Savior of all those seeking Your help against their foes. Protect me as You would the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings as You hover over me." Psalm 17:7-8

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Signs In Our Path

“Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk.  Lead me; teach me; for You are the God who gives me salvation.  I have no hope except in You.”  Ps 25:5-6  “The Lord is good and glad to teach the proper path to all who go astray; He will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to Him.”  Ps. 25:8-9

How do you respond to correction?  Do you think of it as one of God’s teaching tools?  Is correction one of your preferred methods of learning?  Are you able to receive and profit from correction given by a younger person?  How do you tend to respond to constructive criticism?  Are you able to view correction as a guidepost, or does your baggage hinder you from observing signs God has put in your path?

Assuming we want to follow God and learn the right way to think and conduct ourselves we must embrace correction.  I’m learning that becoming like a child involves welcoming correction from a variety of sources.  While I consider myself teachable, I admit I have room to grow and to heal in order to fully benefit from correction.  For this reason, I often pray while driving to work for grace to receive all God desires to teach me.  While praying this week, I pictured myself slipping into my desk at the front of the classroom, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to learn something new.  God did not disappoint.

At the tail-end of my second twelve hour shift, a physician took time to educate me in detail at the bedside.  First he determined what I knew then he corrected me and demonstrated the proper method of performing a procedure.  He taught not only what to do but the purpose for doing it a particular way.  He spoke frankly and prefaced repetition of his instructions with, “I am not patronizing you.”  His tone was gentle and firm and obviously he cared about his patient’s welfare and my nursing practice.

While he spoke my heart raced and my cheeks flushed.  I consciously forced myself to pay attention and ignore my feelings and fight or flight responses.  My perfectionist desires and hatred of appearing dumb were at work in me.  I realized both during and following this encounter that I had a choice to make.  I could listen to my own inner voice, the voice of the accuser, or God’s voice in the context of this physician correcting and instructing me.  I chose the latter and learned.

This week I solicited editorial help from trusted believers.  I requested feedback to posts and an opinion on the overall layout of this blog.  I received constructive input.  Thank you to those who wrote.  I also received compliments (nonetheless constructive) – my favorite feedback – I’m speaking honestly!!  I have come to understand that true effectiveness comes to those who seek God’s approval alone and trust Him to provide balance (correction) through supportive team members.  As a well-loved child, I choose to put down my baggage (people-pleasing tendencies) and heed the signposts God places on my path to keep me from straying to the right or the left.  

I believe God has called me to unashamed transparency.  Risky business!!  So, by faith I’m putting my heart out there with the hope His life will shine brightly through mine.  He enables me to take risks, to live an intensely vulnerable life with the understanding that I live in the shadow of His wing, lead, taught, protected, and supported by others abiding under the wing with me!!

“…Lord make my life transparent, Your life in mine displayed, and let every earthly glory go back to You.”  (You, Hillsong Live, A Beautiful Exchange)

Rest in the shadow, Terry

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