what an odd morning (and still so early...)
i felt very compelled to pray this morning for 2 things: first, selfishness. i've been wrestling and wrestling with sin and junk in one big area, and not feeling like i'm getting anywhere at all for quite a while, and as i started praying this morning, God hit me with the reality that i very much needed to deal with my self-centeredness in order to begin to deal with other sin. just last week, when i was discussing this with Him, He seemed to say, start with Me. at least, i thought it was start with Me, as in Him.
but this morning, as i was journaling and thinking about me, me, me, it hit me--start with me, as in mandi. as in selfishness and how it eats me alive on a daily basis.
so, start with me and Me.
i realized right away that a good first step in this would be to use my pray time to actually pray for other people instead of only whining and moaning about my struggles, so i started praying for several people who i know have lost loved ones. one is a friend who's mother's funeral is today. the others are people i don't know, but the families of several men who died off shore this week. i wanted to not just pray the basic old, God bless so and so, so i read in revelation, 2 corinthians, and nahum about God as our strength, our comfort, our God. very powerful stuff. He is the source of all comfort, and through His comforting us, enables us to comfort others--hello!
it was a very good prayer time, the best i've had in a while.
then the funny thing is, i come over to start laundry and check email and i get two very interesting emails, both pointing back to exactly where God led me this morning.
first, my cousin is having a c-section this morning, right now in fact. she's not due for over 2 months, and i don't really know any more details than that. she and her husband have been trying to have a baby for a while, and she finally got pregnant last year. so, i don't know what's going on, and i feel scared for them.
but i have so much of a better idea about what to pray. for His comfort. to remember that He is our God, He is ever present, He is good.
and then, a few minutes later, this eTHOUGHTS devotional pops up in my inbox:
SELF-LESS OR SELF-ISH
In 1 Corinthians 13, I find my favorite definition of "love." Yet, our society seems to confuse the words, love and lust; though, a key distinction exists between the two. Love is directed toward others; it is self-less. Whereas, lust is directed inwardly toward self; it is self-ish.
The exercise and exhibition of real love is not in our DNA. We are more inclined to:
-gather than to give,
- keep than to release, and
- store than to share.
If you have any doubts concerning my last statement, just check your closets, storage sheds, and attics. Most of us could start several landfill sites with the things we have, but do not use.
A friend whose brother recently moved during his retirement years quoted his brother as saying, "If you have things stored you have not used in the last two years, throw them away." When sin entered the lives of Adam and Eve, humankind became selfish creatures. Let us not confuse or substitute lust for love.
Paul said, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails . . ..." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV®)
The scripture tells us God is love, and HE loves us. HE demonstrated HIS love for us by sending Jesus to die on the Cross. God loves us because He has chosen to do so. I hope you have experienced that love in your life by receiving Jesus as your Savior. After experiencing HIS love, pass it on to others by telling and demonstrating how much you love them.
hello...thank You Father for being sovereign. for knowing long before my alarm went off this morning what was in store for me. thank You for being my God. i love You, and more today.