...I'm not fearful,
...I'm not in dread,
...I'm not fretting over my 7 years of declining health,
...I'm not feverishly seeking physical healing,
...and I'm not afraid to die or face the rest of my life this way.
But what I am, is grateful -- to all of you for your fervent and faithful prayers on my behalf. And also for your precious prayers for my wonderful husband and sons. I'm also very grateful to all of you for your encouraging comments and emails. And I want to stay this way.
For those of you who have been faithfully praying for me, please don't pray for anything I've listed above, for these are not the things I need. I need prayers for my attitude, for there are times that I truly get sick and tired, of being sick and tired, and I just want to go Home. Selfish, I know, but it's the hard and real truth. Sometimes I lose focus on what's important -- Jesus Christ and living for His pleasure and glory alone. And when I do this, I have pity parties and even some temper tantrums. And these are the things I need prayer for. And these are the things my family needs prayer for, because, well, as we all know..."When Mama ain't happy. Ain't nobody happy!"
"We also want to continue throughout the day expressing gratefulness for the innumerable manifestations of God's grace. It's as if God is placing sticky-notes in our lives as daily reminders of His presence and provision. They're everywhere. How alert and perceptive of them are you? Are you a thankful observer of the countless indications of His provision, His presence, His kindness, and His grace?
An ungrateful person is a proud person. If I'm ungrateful, I'm arrogant. And if I'm arrogant, I need to remember God doesn't sympathize with me in that arrogance; He is opposed to the proud."
~ C.J. Mahaney, HUMILITY: True Greatness(Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books,a division of Random House, Inc., 2005), 71
As wives and mothers, God has given us a great gift to set the tone; the atmosphere for our families. And in Christ, we've been given the awesome freedom to choose: love, peace, joy, gratitude and humility or self-focus, impatience, judgmentalness, selfishness and pride. We can walk around acting as if we deserve to be served by others because we feel we've already done so much, or we can realize the truth that our litmus test is based on what Christ Jesus our Lord has done and not what we or others have done, or are doing.
"For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load."
~ Galatians 6:3-5
The truth is, Jesus, our Lord and Master, left Heaven, where He was adored, perfectly obeyed and worshiped, and given His due praise. Our Lord Jesus left this blissful state, to come to earth to be mocked, tested, falsely accused, feel hunger, physical pain and ultimately sacrifice His life to save ours. NOTHING can compare to this. NOTHING we can every say or do can compare to the humble state and awesome love of God our Father, perfectly and fully demonstrated to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. And if our Lord, during some of His last hours here on earth, knelt down to wash the filthy feet of ungrateful, unfocused and self-elevating disciples; and did it with great love, then how can any of us stand up and claim we deserve to be served or cared by others because of anything we have done?
"Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."~ John 13:1
And this is how we ought to love one another, with this eternal view, no matter what may come our way. This is the view I have trouble keeping from time to time. And when I forget this profound truth, then I am apt to become ungrateful for any good done to me (especially if I've determined the good done to me, is a small matter); not realizing that any act of kindness done to me, is a gift from God and a powerful act of His mercy to provide me some relief from my troubles.
The prayers I need, are not for physical healing -- as I believe God will heal me in His perfect timing, whether on this side of Heaven or the other; and honestly, I have no preference.
But I do need prayers to keep an eternal perspective and attitude, that is, humility and gratitude, so that I may always rightly see myself in the light of God's glory and serve my family, and others considering their needs above my own, regardless of how I may be feeling physically or emotionally.
"It is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look to himself."~ John Calvin
Let's Be Honest:
- Do you recognize that any act of kindness towards you, is the active demonstration of God's mercy poured out to you?
- Or is your gratitude level dependent on the value you've put on any kindness shown to you (i.e., "It was a small thing for so and so to give me this or that", "I'll say "thank you" or respond to that person, when it's most convenient for me", "So and so ought to care for me this way, because I've given so much to others; now it's time for me to receive", etc.)?
- What is your response to C.J. Mahaney's quote above?