Eternal Perspective

Reminder:  We are fasting and praying through lunch on Monday for the Lord to bring men and women into relationship with Him, for men to become leaders in the church and in relationships, for us to see and change in those areas of our hearts that aren’t obedient to Christ, and for God-honoring marriages to be given to those who desire them. 

Earlier this year, I had the chance to travel to Paris. Granted, I had 23 college students and a professor from the university where I work with me, but a trip to Paris is a trip to Paris.

After doing the tourist must-sees of the city – Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame – I had a little time to explore the city without students in tow. It was a beautiful crisp, clear day, and I was in PARIS.

My enthusiasm began to wane as I passed café after café of croissant-eating people, laughing and talking together in a language from which I could pick out only a few words (high school French was a long time ago). Being in Paris made me ever-so-aware of my singleness.

I was alone. In a romantic city.

I didn’t speak the language. Which reminds me – how often do I feel this way when I am around my married friends? The outsider.

I was living the single girl’s dream of traveling the world and getting paid to do it! And yet…not feeling fulfilled, still searching for something.

After a day of half-heartedly wandering through the Île de la Cité and returning to my hotel near the Arch de Triomphe (yes, I realize how ridiculous it seems for me to be this way on my free trip to Paris), complaining in my heart about my lack of a husband, I equally half-heartedly began my devotions. The Lord used Hebrews 13:14-15 to teach Pity-Party-in-Paris me an important lesson:

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

Through these verses, the Lord revealed to me that I could travel the whole world over, get married, buy a house, start a family, and still having a longing for something more in my heart – because He made me for more. Yes, for more than Paris. For more than a husband.

He made me in His image for relationship with Him (Genesis 1:26-27). He made me for the home He has prepared for me (John 14:2-3). He made me with the desire to seek the wonderful, unimaginable that He’s promised to come (Romans 8:18-20 and I Corinthians 2:9).

My sense of not always fitting in (either in my lack of French language skills or as a single), is a picture of how I am as a Christian in the unbelieving world. As the Apostle Peter puts it, an “exile.” Jesus said the world would hate His followers because we aren’t like them (John 15:19). People who don’t follow the norm are viewed as different – but different doesn’t have to equal “bad,” especially if it means I am walking in obedience to Christ as a Christian and as a single.

In the meantime, while I’m His child living here on this earth, waiting, I’m to be offering a sacrifice of praise because to praise at all times, in all circumstances, is a sacrifice. It’s the giving up of my desire to focus on me and to have someone praise me.

And as the Hebrews passage reveals, God knows I can’t do this on my own. My sacrifice of praise is only by Him enabling me to do so. By Him changing my God-given longings, corrupted by my complaints and bitterness, back into something pleasing to Him.

Seeking with you and praising the Lord for His all-the-time goodness,

Emily

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14 Responses to Eternal Perspective

  1. Erin says:

    Super helpful…reading this a bit belatedly, but as a girl who has dreamt of Paris since 3rd grade (when my babysitter brought me back an Eiffel Tower keychain…I now have a collection of over 100! yikes.) this resonated with me in so many ways. Of course, it is not just Paris in my dreams…but like you said, we are made for so much more. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you Emily! I have not thought much about the concept “sacrifice of praise” but it does make sense. Will be meditating on it!

    • Emily says:

      I think it’s more of a sacrifice of self in order to praise…should have clarified that a bit. Thanks for your comment!

      • Eve says:

        “It’s the giving up of my desire to focus on ME and to have someone praise ME.”
        Whoo… Therein lies the problem. Wrong focus. You hit the nail square on the head. Spoke directly to me. I need to memorise that like Scripture and say it to myself every day! Thanks for this post, which spoke directly to my situation (and I’m sure to that of many of us) in more ways than one. Know what you mean. God has blessed me abundantly with all I need and more! And yet… And yet… Because of ONE thing, this self-centred heart struggles to be truly grateful. Shame indeed!

        ~What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!~ Romans 7:24,25

  3. Miss R says:

    Thank you again for a beautifully written reminder.

  4. Tom Gilliam says:

    Emily – Very, very good piece. Thanks! Tom Gilliam (Connally’s father)

    _____

  5. andrea csia says:

    i resonate with how you felt…and of often we’re like Adam and Eve when we have it all, but we live in devastation b/c we don’t have that ONE thing, in our case, a partner. i also relate to such real love, such a genuine relationship, with Jesus…it IS possible to walk in intimacy with Him, but you’re right, so few will understand, b/c we’re not home yet!

  6. Andrea says:

    I have been there! I know exactly where you are coming from and had a similar trip, experience, lesson this summer. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Susan says:

    Emily –
    Love this post!
    About it on my FB page I will boast!
    All while praising our King!!
    Of His love sing sing sing!!

    • Emily says:

      Thank you, Susan! I’m reminded of an old hymn that says, “praising my Savior, all the day long.” 🙂 Praising Him with you today!

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