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  • ckstubbswrites


Obscurity.


This is a word that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, obscurity basically means the state of being unknown, or inconspicuous. The essence of obscurity goes against today’s culture, where everyone wants to be seen and known. We use social media as a means to showcase ourselves to the world--to remind people that we exist, that we are valuable, and that we have something to offer. If we’re honest, I think we’d all admit that we want to be known. We want others to know us for who we truly are, or in many cases, for who we are pretending to be. I can write about this because I’ve lived it. I wanted to be known and recognized; yet, because I wasn’t receiving the sort of recognition I thought I deserved, I felt inadequate and overlooked.


Like the kind Father that He is, God began to speak to me about my desire to be known. I began to turn off the noise that came along with social media and tuned into the voice of God. During this time, He spoke to me about obscurity. For many of us, obscurity seems more like a curse than a blessing. We wrestle with the fact that not many people know who we are or what we have to offer the world, and I get it. However, the more time that I spent with God, talking to Him about this issue, He reminded me that Jesus began His ministry at 30 years old (Luke 3:23). This means that Jesus spent 30 years on the earth, without anyone, besides his parents and maybe his siblings, knowing that He was the Messiah. As the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, He reminded me that what Jesus was doing in those years of obscurity was being prepared for what God the Father would do through Him on the earth. Jesus was being moulded, pruned and prepared for what was to come. After this revelation, I slowly, but surely began to see the beauty in obscurity. In those years of being unknown, Jesus was spending time with His Father-- He was learning and growing. He had the privilege of doing these things without the judgemental eyes of the Pharisees, or the demanding crowds. Jesus was able to fully prepare without any hindrances. I also imagine that during this time, He was being faithful with what God the Father had placed in His hands.


In our seasons of obscurity, it's so important that we use the time to grow in our relationship with God. I've realized that I was more concerned with the world knowing who I truly am and what I have to offer, when I should have focused more on being known by God, and knowing Him. God reminded me that in this season, I get to learn about Him and about myself. I get to grow organically in my giftings, not to broadcast them to the world for validation, but to perfect that which God has placed in my hands. I think many of us struggle with obscurity because we know deep down that God has called us to great things. There are dreams that He has deposited on the inside of us that we want to accomplish, and it’s difficult because instead of doing these great things, we feel hidden--tucked away, wondering if God will really do what He promised. We desire to be known because we know that there is greatness within us.


If that is you, I want to encourage you to embrace obscurity, like our Saviour did. Learn all that God wants you to learn in this season. Grow in the areas that He is helping you to grow in. Be faithful with the things that He has placed in your hands. Most importantly, make it your goal to truly know God and be known by Him.


Embrace this season for all that it is, and when the time is right, God will release you into your destiny.


  • ckstubbswrites


This week has been a bit of a rough one for me. I struggled with feeling mentally and physically drained. From school responsibilities, to my health, to everything else in my life, I just felt tired, and honestly, it was very hard to keep the right perspective. Walking through this week, I've learned that when things become difficult, it’s very easy to believe that God doesn’t care. It’s very easy to believe that He isn’t really concerned about what you’re stressed out about or what worries you. Most times, we think this way because we believe that if God really cared, then we wouldn’t be hurting or stressed out in the first place. So, we ask ourselves, “If God really cared, why is nothing changing?” or “Why are things still so hard?” These are questions that I grapple with, some days more than others. When life doesn’t make sense and the problem isn’t becoming easier, I sometimes ask God, “Do you really care?” Have you ever gotten to that point? The point where you’ve been so hurt or frustrated that you’ve doubted God?


Recently, I’ve been there, and I desperately tried to keep the right perspective; but, it was really hard. Nothing made sense, and I could feel myself slowly losing the momentum to keep persevering. I found myself constantly crying out to God for help. The help to keep moving forward in faith and believe that He actually cared about everything that I was facing. A few days ago, I was completely overwhelmed, and I felt like I needed to get some fresh air, so I decided to go outside for a walk. After walking, I sat down and just stared up at the sky as the tears streamed down my face. I felt like there was nothing more that I could say to God at that point. It was as if I had been repeating the same thing over and over for days on end and nothing was changing. In that moment of frustration, I noticed a bird perched on a branch, and then I saw another one. I just stared at them. There was nothing going through my mind. I was just watching the birds do what birds did. However, the longer I sat and watched them, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of Matthew 6:26 (NIV), where it says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”


As I watched the birds, I felt God reminding me that if He cared about them, why wouldn’t He care about me and what it is that I was going through? If the birds were valuable in God’s eyes, how much more would I be valuable to Him? The longer I sat there, meditating on that verse and looking at the birds, the more peace I felt in my heart. I felt like I could breathe easy again for the first time in days. After that revelation, my circumstances didn’t magically change. My problems didn't fly away with the birds, but my fear and discouragement did. I found peace in knowing that God cared. I felt assured that even though things were still difficult, God had not left me alone to fend for myself; He is with me and He cares for me. The same is true for you today. I pray that if you’re tired, disappointed, discouraged, frustrated, or even apathetic to the difficulties in your life right now, you will find peace in knowing that God cares. Yes, life may be tough right now; yes, it is not always easy to understand, but find rest in the truth that your Heavenly Father cares for you. Let that give you the assurance you need to find joy even in the midst of your trial.


If you find it hard to believe the truth that God cares, let the birds be a reminder, as they were for me.


  • ckstubbswrites


How are you, really?


This quarantine has allowed me a lot of time to contemplate my life and my journey with Jesus. I've had enough lazy days to sit down and think about things that I never really had a chance to think about before. One of the questions that I've been asking myself recently is, "How are you, really?" I've been digging deep into how I really feel about this season. Most days, I would find a comfortable spot in my room, outside in my father's garden, or in the family room and just take inventory of my life. I'd write down areas where I feel like I'm struggling and just begin to talk through those areas with Jesus. As I'm talking to Him, I'm usually brutally honest about how I feel mentally, spiritually and emotionally.


Truthfully, this season of my life has been a bit of a weird one; I think many of you can agree to that. Covid-19 has thrown a wrench into many of our plans and it has also blurred the once clear paths that we had imagined for 2020. Many of us are left wondering what's next, or are struggling to cope with the life changes that has occurred. If we're honest with ourselves, many of us are not okay. We're drifting through this year, wondering when things will change. Some of us are running on empty, while others are completely numb to what is going on. In the midst of everything that's happening, have you ever really stopped and asked yourself, "Am I really okay?" Have you taken some time to really stop and process your feelings with God? Talk to a friend? Confide in someone you trust about how you really feel?


Can I tell you? I never understood the value in doing this because I’ve never been the sort of person to open up about how I really feel. I much preferred to keep my feelings tucked away and try to process them on my own. Naturally, I carried this same mindset into my relationship with Jesus. I would often struggle with my emotions alone, because I never felt like Jesus would understand what I was going through. So, I would walk around feeling mentally and emotionally drained, and not know what to really do about it. The more that I grew in Jesus however, He began to assure me that He understood what it was that I was walking through. He understood how I felt and He wanted me to feel free enough to express my feelings to Him, without fear or hesitation. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin”. Jesus is able to empathize with us because while He is God, He was also human (John 1:14). He felt human emotions. Jesus understands when we feel tired, because he’s felt tired before (John 4:6), He knows what it’s like to feel rejection (John 7:5; John 13:21; Matthew 13:57). I can go on and on about different human emotions, but the point is that He understands how we feel.


Just this morning, I had to remind myself that Jesus wouldn’t condemn me for feeling emotionally tired due to everything that’s going on in the world right now. I had to remind myself that He understood, so I confided in Him about how I was feeling. I told Him everything, right down to the doubts that I’ve been having about my future. Do you want to know what happened after I did that? I felt lighter. I felt assured that everything would be alright, because I laid everything at Jesus’ feet. I'm sharing all of this with you so that you may be encouraged to really ask yourself, “How am I, really?” and be open to sharing your feelings with Jesus. I can’t tell you how much doing this has changed my life. I no longer walk around carrying weights that I was never intended to carry, because I know that my Saviour understands, and He wants me to bring all of my cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7). I pray that you are inspired to do the same. You don’t have to be afraid to be honest with Jesus about how you feel. If you’re tired, tell Him. If you’re frustrated, tell Him. If you’re wrestling with doubt, tell Him. It doesn’t matter what you may be struggling with. Take it to Jesus and He will give you the grace and the strength to overcome.


© 2020 by Christna K. Writes