God's Little Elf

 

My husband sometimes calls me “God’s little elf.” He says it with affection. He really does. But it's essentially his way of saying, “Jeannie it appears you are making yourself busy being God’s little helper in areas that He doesn't need your help.”

That's what I do. I like to help God make progress in my life or in the lives around me when I get tired of being patient and trusting.

This is entirely different than being obedient to the things He has called me to do and stepping out in faith before I can piece all the details together. No, this is me trying to make things happen on my own time table because I've lost faith in Gods.

And as you well know, God doesn’t need little elves.  Yes, He has called us to love and serve one another as He first loved and served us. This is, Jesus says, how they will know we are His disciples.  By our love. (John 13:35)  But does God need our help in orchestrating the finer details of our lives?  Were not the days of our lives all prepared before we’d even lived one day? (Psalm 139:16)

So if God doesn’t want elves, what does He want?

What we read in Scripture is this: God wants us to live in light of what He has already done for us on the cross, not in obsession over what we can do for Him.   He wants us to put our hope and trust in Him. To align our hearts to His, to get in the stream of His grace, to be carried by the current of His Sovereignty.

 

 

Loving, serving, giving, obeying, trusting, following – that is the fruit of grace.  When we are attached to the vine, Jesus Christ, our lives will bear the fruit of His grace and His good hand in our circumstances will be revealed in His perfect timing.

Running around all “elf-like” –  it only produces anxiety, frustration, and disappointing, if not heartbreaking results.   But keeping our eyes on Jesus, not looking to get something FROM Him, only looking to know more OF Him -  there we will find our peace as we wait upon the Lord to renew our strength and reveal His perfect will.

 

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

 

One of my favorite Bible verses has always been “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  But how I read and chose to interpret this verse reminds me just how selfish my fallen heart really is. See, for most of my life, I thought “Awesome. I will delight myself in God and then He will give me everything I want.”  In other words, I will give so I can get. I thought, “I will spend time with Him so He will think I am good and hence worthy of the desires of my heart.” See how little I understood about grace- how little I still understand.  It is a mystery beyond mysteries.

 

“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

 

 

If I have learned anything over the last several months of God opening up my heart and laying it open for some major melting and molding, it’s that I’m very quick to try and be “God’s little elf” AND that I have done nothing to earn or deserve His love for me and His good gifts to me.

Every good and perfect gift is from above. GIFT. (James 1:17) Gifts aren’t earned or deserved, they are given.  And with God, gifts do not require thank you notes in return.  Grace does not give to get. Of course, His gifts evoke gratitude from our hearts and He delights in and is glorified in our thankfulness. But His gifts are not given with the expectation of a thank you note.  The gift of a living relationship with Christ, the gift of eternal life, the gift of peace in trial, and joy in hardship – those are gifts given freely by grace, and received through faith. And they produce the most extravagant joy and gratitude.

 

Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

 

As I have spent the last several months often clinging to the cross for hope and assurance of things to come, I have come to better understand that what God is saying to us through His word in Psalm 37:4  (Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart) is what the rest of Psalm 37 goes on to explain…..

As we are still before the Lord, and we wait patiently on Him – as we are trusting in Him and delighting in Him – as we put our hope in Him and take refuge in Him - He is upholding us and restoring us. He is delivering us from our fears and crowning us with His peace.

When I stop trying to be God’s little helper and I center my heart back on trusting Jesus, I am once again reminded that He is not only perfectly orchestrating even the smallest details in my life, but more importantly, He is also doing His good and perfect work in my heart by drawing my heart closer to His.

And so I pray, “Lord, make my heart your home. By the power of your Spirit, help me rest and trust in your extravagant grace today.”

 

Psalm 34: 1-4

I will extol the Lord at all times;his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord;let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me;he delivered me from all my fears.

 

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