“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty. And the baste things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But, of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:25-31
Our weekly Christian devotional
I get random messages from people all around the world wanting to know who I am, what I’m about and why I do what I do. Some of them are genuinely inquisitive. A few are so bold in their demand for answers that it has naturally put me on the defensive.
I’m only human and to be perfectly honest, sometimes I find it hard to hold back from lashing out at the sheer audacity of the questioning itself!
At the end of the day, I really don’t owe anyone (but God) an explanation for my existence on this earth. For the longest time, I chose to simply ignore these nosy individuals and their pesky probing. But ignoring those questions has never made any of them go away. So, I decided that it was high time for me to formally introduce myself.
Hello. My name is Julia. I’m a half-Asian, all-American childless housewife and author. I enjoy writing from the comfort of my home in between those all-consuming tasks of laundry, cleaning and staying in shape to keep up with my fitness fanatic husband.
Oh, and… please, don’t feel sorry for me. The fact that I’m even alive today is enough to make me eternally grateful. Not to mention that I just happen to be married to the most incredibly amazing husband…So, I’m good…really.
I think it’s important to inform you that my life hasn’t always this grand. Both my husband and I survived a three year traumatic experience that would easily rival any horror film. Through it, we both discovered Jesus as our only salvation.
But, alas! This is just part of my battle and the mere beginning of my story. For over a decade, I also suffered silently from extreme depression. Riding the roller coaster of that emotional trip was exhausting to say the least. And, believe it or not, I soon discovered that Jesus was my solution for this disabling issue as well.
Please don’t misunderstand–depression still attempts to rear it’s ugly head now and again. But, by equipping myself with solutions that I found in the Bible, my day to day existence has improved dramatically.
Today, my calling is to inspire those who are currently lost in their own personal dark tunnel. I’m here to encourage them that misery doesn’t have to be a permanent place to reside in. This is my reason for creating, developing and becoming the head writer for: shalombewithyo.wpengine.com
At the constant nagging of my webmaster, I finally gave into her lauding the world of social networking. It’s the only form of advertising that seemed to jive with my non-existent budget!
Hence, I grudgingly opened up a Facebook account. According to those pesky naysayer’s mentioned at the beginning of this story, I seem to be ‘wasting’ a lot of my life searching for inspirational stories and funny pictures to post on my Facebook page. (I affectionately refer to it as: ‘My happy place’.)
So, why do feel the need to piddle away precious hours of my day doing such menial stuff…for NO MONEY, to boot? Well, during those years I suffered through depression, just enjoying a good chuckle or reading a touching story was enough to keep me hanging on. Sometimes it was the only thing that got me through a rough day or sleepless night.
To those who believe I’m wasting my life: Perhaps you are the fortunate ones who have never come face to face with the daily struggle of finding a reason to simply hold out for another… miserable…day. But for that one person who’s in dire need of encouragement or inspiration, I’m probably not wasting my time. For me, that’s all that matters.
At a recent reunion, I was reminded once again of how important ‘being somebody’ still seams to mean.
My old colleague probed me with questions that were as gentle as a prison frisking. Shamelessly, she inquired about my job title, salary and even wanted to hear the low-down on any company perks.
How can one ignore the ever-present human compulsion of dumping people into ‘categories’? My past work buddy is just one of the countless who choose to confine complex individuals by placing them in this illusive ‘box’. Doing this is far simpler than making a conscientious effort to accept people for the unique individuals they are (and were created to be).
Why what if we all started treating people like amazing individuals? This just might entail society conjuring up some human empathy and raw compassion! Doesn’t it sound almost nigh impossible in a world that seems hell bent on ‘caring-less’ for the cause of ‘doing more’–all for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses?
So, I’m sure you’re wondering how I answered my friend from the past.
“According to your standards, I guess I amount to… nothing.” I smiled, finally being okay with the answer myself.
You see, I’ve stopped judging myself according to the standards that most people do. When I read 1 Corinthians 1:25-31, I relax in the fact that even though I’ll never qualify as a ‘success’ by this world’s definition of it. As long as God approves of what I do, it’s ‘all good’…really.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for looking at the world with only physical eyes. I have seen and judged (others and myself) only by the standards that this world values. Lord, this is wrong.
What matters to you is all that really matters.
Help me to see my life as a gift I can give back to you. Help me to value what you value so when I leave this world, I will have no spiritual regrets for how I chose to live my lie and spend my time.
Open my eyes to see the spiritual realm. It is so hard not to get sucked into the distractions and traps this life has to offer. There are many paths that are far more tempting than the higher path.
Give me visions and dreams, Lord. Show me what path I’m on right now and show me where this will lead. Give me a fear of the Lord. You said in your word that it is the beginning of true wisdom.
Help me to have no concern for what men say or think of me, but only value what you think of me. In Jesus name, make me bold as a lion and as gentle as a dove. Amen.”
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Author: Julia Shalom Jordan