Recently saw a photograph of raindrops on a red rose that was so beautiful! Decided I wanted to paint it and have started over more than a half dozen times. It is in my head but I can’t transfer it to a canvas. The more I try, the more frustrated I become and I just want to give up. The irritation doesn’t stop with the painting.
A light comes on and I stop to pray. John 5:30 states “I can of mine own self do nothing:” Then I see there was no humility nor love in my motive; just a desire to prove “I can do this!” Now, I look in all parts of my life to see where I need to be more loving and humble and know with God’s help, of course I can paint this rose and will release human will power and human outlining but come from expressing Love and sees what shows up on the canvas!
It has been quite a while since we have had rain and the plants and trees look so sad and thirsty. Late yesterday afternoon, I had been pleading to God for rain as I had done recently. Then, it occurred to me that I was praying amiss. All at once I knew in my heart that God knows our every need and surely this was a need. Remembering how Jesus always became thankful before every healing, I, too, began to thank God for always being in control. In about twenty minutes, my husband asked if I heard the rain! It probably rained good for a half hour or more. Needless to say, my heart filled with gratitude and humility as I listened to the answer to my prayer. Psalm 62:8 reads, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”
As I was studying the prodigal son in the fifteenth chapter of Luke today and have probably read this no less that a hundred or more times, it really came to me that while it only took eight verses for this young man to come to his senses, we don’t know how much time had elapsed. It could have been a couple of weeks or several decades, but it made no difference to his father, God. To me, that is so reassuring that God is always patiently waiting for us to wake up and come to Him! Sometimes my lessons come so easy while other times there seems to be such a struggle. That is always up to me!
Gratitude and humility are the traits always needed to find the Christ and that still, small voice. Luke 15:24 reads “for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found. And they began to celebrate.” Setting aside human will and outlining and turning wholeheartedly to God is the answer.
This is almost embarrassing to share and I think I will anyway. Since I bank online, my credit score is available with one click. From time to time, I will check it. It is always very, very high and I am glad of that, but today it had dropped almost 100 points. Then I found myself wondering what could have happened. Nothing had changed and I did spend some time questioning this.
It is wise to keep up with bills, etc. but to let it effect your self-worth may need to be addressed. My self-worth has nothing to do with my bank account, price of my home or car or credit rating. Nobody’s true identity depends upon that information. Job 22:21 states “Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.”
My heart fills with humility as I think about spending thirty minutes trying to figure something like that out humanly. At the same time, I am filled with gratitude to see how far I have come! Thank you, Father that I caught my thinking earlier than I would have years ago.
Almost twenty years ago, during a challenging and dark time in my life, I moved to a city where I knew no one. During this time, I visited a downtown Church which I found very unfriendly. In looking back, during the year I visited I sat at the back and left immediately following the benediction. Several years passed before returning to this Church due to a move which was nearby and it made sense for me to go there. This time I became involved with different committees and stayed after Church each service to say “Hello” and be greeted as well.
Without a doubt, this Church became so important in my Life and I made lifetime friends there. Several years ago, I moved again and have a new Church but continue with relationships formed there and also, attend when we are in the area. How on earth could I have ever thought this Church unfriendly? I know how. I was so closed-minded and scared of being hurt, that I couldn’t see or feel the Love surrounding me.
Psalm 13:5 states “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” My heart fills with humility and gratitude as I realize that I have never been separated from God and never will.
This morning as I was working with the term “self-immolation”, the thought came to me of all self-pity, justification, righteousness, absorption and on and on. To self-immolate means to kill off pity, self-righteousness, absorption, etc. Then as I researched more about the word “immolate”, I saw it also means sacrifice and/or blessing. This was so interesting to me because when I truly listen to God, I remove all sense of “self” and the blessing appears.
Philippians 4:4-6 states “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” I can only hear God when I am mentally on bended knee with no sense of self and this occurs by putting God first.
This morning I was thinking of advertisements regarding the perfect weight and size; then the perfect clothes and hair-style and cosmetic. This goes on and on and on. With all of the media focusing on comparisons of what beauty is. Even compliments like “she looks like she did in school” which could have been years earlier. Is there really a surprise that so many people are unhappy with the way they look? This time of the year one would certainly not want to turn down food at loved ones homes for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Then they consider the weight they may put on. Matthew 6:28,29 reads “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
The more one frets over his looks and size, the worse he looks physically. True beauty is from within and includes love of oneself and others, gratefulness, generosity, kindness and humility. This will be my thoughts today to put into practice. Joy has nothing to do with how one looks.