by Sarah Forbes
It’s not long. Not long until I forget Him. Forget to rely on Him. Forget to focus on Him. I lose sight of who I am in Him. I stop looking at Him. Stop trusting in Him to be my strength. My flesh is weak. I am drawn away from Him.
Bored little boys in a checkout line. Waiting. Hungry. Annoying me. Little things that annoy easily. Requests. Repeated by excited children. I snap. I should have held my tongue. But I did not. My sinful heart says “Go away.” “Leave me alone.” “I have no more to give.” “I don’t WANT to give anymore.” “See me? I hurt. I bleed. I can’t give when I hurt so much.” And I remember my Lord. And I am ashamed. He bled. He gave. He gave all. He asks no less of me.
Getting dinner. Busy, impatient children. Spilling, toppling food. Messes. And more messes. On top of already-uncleaned messes. Anger. Boiling up inside me. “Why can’t I ever get it right?” “Why can't it be pretty?” “Why can’t it be perfect?” I know I am prideful. That’s what craves the perfection. It’s my sinful pride. And again I hear the Still Small Voice, Don’t miss My blessings. And I pray. My mind searches for the thanksgiving. For something to be thankful for. I remember from before... this could change my heart-attitude. Selfish anger fights against the joy that could be. All I must do is choose to be thankful. If I’d only choose to be thankful. And I pray some more. I hear the patient Voice still repeating, Don't miss My blessings.
My family happily munches dinner. I close my eyes and I pray. I pray away my bitterness. Bitterness that life has not been what I wished it to be. What I planned it to be. Through my prayers, my heart chooses joy. I seek a renewing of my mind. A centering of myself in Christ. Things that before were irritation, transform.
I find myself thankful. Thankful for the spills. Thankful that I have children to make spills. Thankful I have food to be spilled. Thankful I have eyes to see the spills. Hands to clean the spills. Thankful I have children with willing hearts ready to help tidy up messes.
Thankful --even that I have sickness. Sickness to make my heart tender. Thankful that I have learned to give others understanding. Understanding and grace. I realise that the pain and sickness has changed me. It is still changing me. It is making me more like the One I Hold Most Dear. It is the crucible, the Refiner’s fire my Lord has chosen to purify me. And I have disdained it. Despised it.
Not understanding, I let the anger, and the bitterness, keep me from seeing the blessings. Blessings poured out from Heaven. All around me. My heart sees no pain now-- only joy. And I hear a Voice, See. See My blessings._____________________
“...and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.’
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”