Paper Tigers & Impressing God
A Write 31 Days Series
Today I'm turning my blog over to the capable hands of my church & home school friend Cassie Haney. Cassie, her husband, and her five extremely adorable children just moved to Guadalajara, Mexico as YWAM missionaries about 6 months ago. A few weeks ago, the Haney family came to visit us at our church, where we will always consider them members, and gave a small report on their missionary efforts. Cassie's husband Luke spoke about what he had learned on the mission field. To my surprise, he began to say some of the exact things I had been planning on writing in this series. I knew I needed to ask them to be a piece of this series. Cassie graciously wrote these encouraging words for you and me:
As much as I wish it wasn’t true, many years of my life in childhood and as an adult have been spent fearing paper tigers. I was a huge people pleaser, parent pleaser, teacher pleaser, youth minister pleaser, coach pleaser, friend pleaser, put on a happy face, “everything’s perfect here I don’t need any help from you but I can help you if you need me” type of girl. This attitude served me well in my youth, I did well in school, had lots of friends, and my parents were generally happy with my behavior. However, these traits began to feel more like chains as I progressed into adulthood. I became a secret keeper (a.k.a. liar at times), because I was scared to bring to light the darkness that was in my house. I was a pretender, going on for many years as if I didn’t have any skeletons in my closet. I was an enforcer, requiring my children to uphold this pretend world I had created. The truth was that I was always afraid. I felt incredibly guilty about who I was, and how I was behaving. I knew I was far from God. The scariest part of it all, was the reality that I didn’t know my way back to Him, and if it depended on me, I was toast.
At that time, with nothing to offer, no good deeds in my pocket, my family life was a mess, my heart was hard, my parenting was ugly . . . I had literally nothing going for me spiritually . . . that was when I cried out to God.
Jesus saved me.
Jesus saved my marriage.
Jesus saved my family.
He is no paper tiger, He is the LION OF JUDAH!
When He moves, it is undeniable. When He creates, it is undestroyable. When He saves, there is no vulnerability. When He loves, there is no pride left in me. There is power even in the mention of His name.
My God pulled me up out of the slimy pit, I was rescued from myself . . . not because of my redeeming character qualities, or my good deeds, or my positive attitude. All glory to Him.
Because of the way He rescued me, I understand that it simply doesn’t matter very much who I am or what I do . . . as long as I’m with Him. I don’t need to be “happy”, or “good”, or “cheerful” as if He needs me to be that way. He doesn’t need me. I hope that I would never bow my knee and serve a “god” who needed something from me. If He needed me, then I would be the god. NO! I need Him, He is worthy, He is Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior! If I am happy, good, or cheerful it is because He loved me first, not because I’m doing Him a favor.
Jonah wasn’t “good”. He didn’t cheerfully fullfil is Christian duty by happily going about with the “joy of the Lord” on him in service to God. He was no people pleaser. God used angry, spiteful, bitter Jonah . . . because God chose Jonah. God gave Jonah what he needed because God had what Jonah needed. Jonah didn’t have it . . . but God could use Jonah because God is more than able to account for our shortcomings.
So why are we prone to make God so little and paper tigers so big in our hearts? Why do we let fear of men override fear of God. Why do we believe that the physical world is more real than the spiritual? Why do we allow ourselves to be slaves?? We are free, under the care and grace of our loving Father and Savior, the LION of Judah, the worthy one, Jesus Christ. I encourage you to bow your knee, look up, and find salvation!
I'd like to thank Cassie for contributing this to the series. I know Cassie well enough to know that every single word of this is true and sincere. I would encourage you to read through Cassie's blog on a day you need a pick-me-up. She has a brightness about her that brings joy to my life. Mexico is blessed to have her.
I would like to give you, the reader, an opportunity to support missions this very minute. I watched the Haney family sell everything they owned to move to Mexico and begin this chapter in their lives. Luke left a profitable optometry business that he had begun to go into this mission field. Selling their possessions covered this half year they have spent in training, and now they are raising support to continue their mission in Mexico.
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