Passing each other in the kitchen with mugs of coffee, crazy sleep hair, pajama'd and groggy, I kissed my daughter and whispered good morning and headed toward my front porch for a few moments of quiet as I began my day. Just before I left the room, I was prompted to ask her, "How are you, sweetness? Is anything on your mind this morning?"
Sometimes the most normal moments and mundane of places become holy when God shows up.
Though just 30 years old, my daughter had walked in wisdom for such a long time.
"I feel like God always has me in boot camp--basic training for war! It would be great to have an easy season in my life for just a little while," she said, as she sipped her coffee.
"But, you know, mom, I have decided in my heart, that no matter what comes my way, I want to keep trusting God,
keep seeking to show His light, keep loving when it is difficult, keep strong when tempted to be weak."
"I want to be one of those people who Jesus says, 'You were one of my most vibrant, powerful warriors for the kingdom, because you always sought to be holy and you never gave up!'
"So, mom, I will stay in boot camp and God's training as long as He has me here because I want to be faithful and love Him until I see Him face to face."
Wow! What an unexpected but powerful message greeted me so early in my morning. But how grateful I was to hear from her own heart that my daughter understood that to live holy and righteous and strong in love is a battle and requires training. When we learn to accept the limitations of the place that God has us with faith and submission, we will learn to see His purposes and experience a depth of His love anew. His love is so profound that he does not want us to stay limited in our lives but to learn to trust Him and find freedom, strength in His training and deep satisfaction in life as we walk with Him. A a loving parent, He wants what is best for us--He wants us to grow strong and beautiful.
God has us in "training grounds" because He desires us to become like Jesus--holy, strong, bold, and righteous. Training and discipling us to become like him is a long term process. But in order for us to experience His profound love, we have to submit to His profound plans for our lives.
Good soldiers learn to submit to their leaders, the authorities over them, their officers, to lead them well. So, as we are warriors for Christ, we must learn to submit to His ways, to seek to be as godly as we know how, to learn the ways of righteousness, so that we can become strong ambassadors and workers for His kingdom.
My daughter has not had an easy life, but because she has walked her years trusting God, she is mature beyond her age and in so many ways exhibits His light and beauty powerfully through her life.
Each of us must choose His ways, submit to His will, so that we can truly become stronger in understanding that His love for us requires that He will train us for growth. God does not want us to just be shallow and happy--getting our own way at every juncture. He wants us to learn the depth of His wisdom and to learn the way of contentment and peace.
The verse today is from Psalm 9: 7-8: "