I don’t like admitting it but there are times when I can be bratty and – dare I say it – self-centered. 🙈
“Surely not you?!” one may say, “You seem so content.”
Excuse me as I chuckle to myself. 🤭
Here’s the thing: I can dive into self pity and become discontent at a snap of a finger. I can be so blinded to the blessings the Lord has given to me and focus on what I don’t have yet or haven’t yet accomplished.
For example, in June, I bought new bedroom furniture. I was very excited when it arrived. Then, only a month later, I walked into my room, sat in my comfy swivel chair, and looked at myself in my new vanity. I glanced at my new bed, with the adjustable mattress I’ve always wanted and with the new bedding and comforter I purchased before I got my furniture. Plus I got my shower remodeled! How blessed am I?! (Is Alarm bells should have been blaring.) As I glanced back at myself in the mirror, I thought to myself, “I’m still living with my parents.” This thought (I’m still living with my parents) was on replay in my mind all week long. One morning during that week, I was sulking around, grumbling to myself about how confined and limited I am, living with this stupid disability that’s not going away! As I continued to rant in my mind, I asked myself this question: “What am I making independent mean?” So, I started writing in my journal, “Independence means doing things on my own.” Then I made a list of what I can do and a list of what I can’t do. Guess which list was longer? The list of what I can do! At this point I was overcome with emotion as I wrote “Abigail Brown, you are independent! It just looks different, which is perfectly OK, different can be good! Remember how much the Lord has blessed you. Rejoice in the Lord, Abigail. Yes, right now I’m living with my parents who love me and want the best for me. While dystonia may be difficult to live with, at times, remember: you are living!”
I love this quote about gratitude by Ann Voskamp in the book “Faithful.”
“Sing, heart, sing your thanks,
Grow your gratitude muscle,
Grow in thanks to God.
Grow strong in God
and trust there is no calamity,
agony, enemy, or catastrophe
that can change this certainty:
Mercy meets you
and Grace names you
and Hope holds you
and Courage carries you
and the King of Kings claims you
so no past can ever shame you,
no scar can maim you,
no choice could ever stain you,
more than His love faithfully sustains you.”
I’ve been reading through the book of Exodus for a month. Do you know how many times the Lord continues to reassure Moses that He will deliver the children of Israel from bondage? Several times! Read how many times God says, I am, I have, and I will in Exodus Chapter 6:1-8.
“Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.
And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.
Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord. “
Isn’t that an encouraging message? Of course! But read what verse 9 says, “And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.”
They had been in bondage for many, many years and they had lost all hope of ever being free. They were too focused on their situation; and not on what the Lord said He was going to do.The Lord has shown me through this passage how I can be just like the children of Israel and forget that God really does have a plan and He is in control. While I may not understand the outcome of situations in my life, I can still trust in His way and timing.
I wrote this poem a couple of months ago. It’s really personal and honest. The poem is called;
Why Do We Even Pray?
Praying for healing.
Praying for strength.
Praying for endurance through the night.
Praying for breath.
Praying with hope.
Praying for peace and comfort.
Praying, does it even work?
Why pray if He already knows what’s going to happen?
Praying seems like a toss of the coin at times. It works for some people and others it lets down.
Yet in the end I cling to Him in prayer with stretched out arms even when I don’t understand the outcome.
“Will ye also go?” He asks.
“Lord, to whom shall I go?”
For You do all things well.
God, You always answer prayers in how You see fit. You know what’s ahead. You know our grief, pain, and sorrow. You are Sovereign over all.
Help me to trust You when life continues to not make sense.
Ever since I have written that, the Lord has shown me – even when I doubt his love and goodness – He is still faithful and good. He can’t and won’t ever fail. Nothing takes Him by surprise. His love is unending, even when this life continues to not make sense. It says in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
May I encourage you to consider these questions in your own life.
Are you grumbling; instead of being grateful?
Are you focusing too much on your present circumstances or what might happen in the future instead of relying on his unfailing promises?
Have you lost sight of how much the Lord has been faithful in your life?