Monday, February 14, 2011

A Pillar Upon a Firm Foundation

…our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace.
~ Psalm 144:12

Daughters unite families as corner stones join walls together, and at the same time they adorn them as polished stones garnish the structure into which they are built. Home become a palace when the daughters are maids of honor…~ C.H. Spurgeon

By daughters families are united and connected, to their mutual strength, as the parts of a building are by the corner-stones; and when they are graceful and beautiful both in body and mind they are then polished after the similitude of a nice and curious structure. When we see our daughters well-established and stayed with wisdom and discretion, as corner-stones are fastened in the building,—when we see them by faith united to Christ, as the chief corner-stone, adorned with the graces of God’s Spirit, which are the polishing of that which is naturally rough, and become women professing godliness,—when we see them purified and consecrated to God as living temples, we think ourselves happy in them. ~ Matthew Henry

Psalm 144:12 reflects something much deeper in conjunction with the Gospel life. It’s a gem of a truth that should not be overlooked in regards to daughter-hood. It’s a description of what the life of Christ is meant to look like in a generation of young women. A pillar is a firm upright support for a superstructure, a fundamental precept. O what the Lord will do through a generation of praying daughters seeking to restore His vision for the family unit and to do as He will!

Christ as our Cornerstone

For it stands in Scripture:
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,"

~ 1 Peter 2:6-7

Jesus Christ is the chief corner-stone that God hath laid in his spiritual building. The corner-stone stays inseparably with the building, supports it, unites it, and adorns it. So does Christ by his holy church, his spiritual house. Jesus Christ is the corner-stone for the support and salvation of none but such as are his sincere people: none but Zion, and such as are of Zion; not for Babylon, not for his enemies. True faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to prevent a man’s utter confusion. Three things put a man into great confusion, and faith prevents them all-disappointment, sin, and judgment. Faith has a remedy for each.

Hence the apostle infers with respect to good men, "To you therefore who believe he is precious, or he is an honour. Christ is the crown and honour of a Christian; you who believe will be so far from being ashamed of him that you will boast of him and glory in him for ever.’’ As to wicked men, the disobedient will go on to disallow and reject Jesus Christ; but God is resolved that he shall be, in despite of all opposition, the head of the corner.

~ Matthew Henry

Gospel Living & Daughterhood

I would define the Gospel life seen through daughter-hood as this:

A life of service. A position of honor. A purpose to uphold, to unite, and to garnish or beautify a home and the members of a family.

It’s been incredibly refreshing to begin a more intense pursuit in learning to build upon the very nature, character, promises, and Word of my Lord. I have found these verses and commentary to be helpful to me as I look to how the power and life of Christ affects and in influences His present calling on my life as a stay-at-home daughter. Psalm 144:12 was a precious word that He gave me this past fall and I have clung hard to it amidst trials because of its relation to Christ as my cornerstone upon which I am building.

I will be 22 years old next week and, truthfully, it does not mean much to me except for the fact that it does sting my pride a bit. I could be finishing up a BA at this point and making an onward pursuit towards independence, a stable job, and fulfilling my passions for music. Instead, He has turned me away from every opportunity I had to make something of myself. And in those empty places, He has placed in me a heart that is receptive to obeying Him no matter the loss. Besides, I have to remind myself, am I truly losing anything here by remaining still at home, being a faithful daughter to my parents, and accepting a ‘mediocre’ job? Knowing full well how this would disappoint my past instructors, who so graciously poured into my life, I have wrestled with the “wisdom” of such a decision – to, quite literally, let it all go and quietly end my college years and learn the art of contentment in living a quiet life at home. Even my heart and passion for Africa and missions He has asked for and I have abandoned such a pursuit to His hands. And what lies before me is only His calling upon my soul to be a servant in my home. Day to day, I hear His soft whispers and leadings to what He wants to teach me and make of me: I will teach you how to pray.” “I will teach you patience and contentment.” “I will build into you character and grace and steadfastness.” “I will make you poor in spirit, to seek, to hunger, and to thirst.” “I will teach what it means to do without and so be filled with my Spirit within.” "I will make you a solid pillar of support and grace amongst your family."

My life is hid in Christ. But, I did not choose this life. Therefore, I have nothing to boast in. I spent years in a self-seeking haze with no desire to lay down my pursuits. I didn’t learn to embrace the Lord’s calling on my life until I had finally died to all that I was and ever hoped to be. And what have I gained in all of this? Just one thing alone – Christ Himself. Christ in whom I’ve finally found contentment in all things and in all seasons of my life. Christ in whom is my unshakable identity. Not a career or job, a degree, independence, or even marriage. The world, and even most well-meaning Christians that I have known, would question this and encourage me otherwise. But I know Him in whom I have believed.

When the rebel sigh stirs within me or when I notice the fruits of discontentment in my life, I remember what He has purchased for me and it reignites that fervor to press on to make Christ my own as He has made me His own.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ...~ Philippians 3:8


Nolan said...

Such a great post with the Matthew Henry quotes and descriptions of the daughterhood role that Christ has been leading you through and teaching you. I must say 'Amen' to the part about the unshakable identity vs. a job, degree, or status that does not define who you are. Mistaken identity can truly bind us, but our identity in Christ sets us free, knowing who we are, and to love and fear Him.

Erika said...

He is so good to humble His children! :)