Ordered Loves

 Photo credits:  Janna Christian

Photo credits: Janna Christian

“Why can’t I change?”

Have you ever asked yourself that? I have. I know what I should do; I could probably name book, chapter, and verse. I see the harm I have done and the negative effects. I feel guilt and remorse. I may even tearfully confess and repent, committing never to do it again. But the next day (or sometimes even the next minute!), I fail to keep my word.

Why is that?

In the past few months, I have been learning that my first step towards truly loving Anah well is not going to come through my resolve or my commitment to do the right thing. It actually goes back to loving God above all else and restoring my fellowship with Him. All the negative stuff I see in my life is the fruit of a broken relationship with God. I have chosen to love my own desires above Him. Specifically, I am pursuing my goals, my dreams, my plans—even if they are good—before Him.

So Anah is His speed bump to slow me down. (Or maybe a brick wall?)

Through Anah, the Lord has revealed to me the truth about my wayward heart. He has shown me the pride He opposes. He has shown me the selfishness I can easily hide behind my outward behavior. He has revealed to me the truth of what I believe about Him through the fears and anxieties that plague me.

So the first order of business is not about Anah. It is making things right with God Himself—learning to recognize my offense to Him is greater than Anah’s offense to me. She is not the problem. I am.

I thank God that His Spirit is helping me to see this. This truth alone has radically shifted my perspective. It is a subtle inner move, but it is powerful because then I reconnect myself to the Vine where true life comes (see John 15) so I can love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. It is out of this love that I can then love my neighbor--Anah--as myself (Matthew 32:37-40).

As a pastor’s wife, people often assume that I’m tight with God all the time. But God knows the truth. He knows what goes on underneath the surface that no one else sees, and He desires my holiness more than anything else. So He graciously gifted me with Anah to reveal what I can so easily hide in public. Anah is His tool to call my heart back to Him. 

Father, I thank You for Your grace through Anah. Forgive me for grieving You with my idolatry. Teach me once again the joy of my salvation through Christ, that I may abide in You and love You above all else.  

Letting Him Write the Story

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