The Sunday School lesson for my jr high girls class yesterday was on ..... Thanks. I'm sure you didn't see that one coming with it being Thanksgiving week. Although it had a little twist to it.
We took the passage in 2 Kings where Naaman was cured of his leprosy. The main point of the message was that we often miss God's blessings because of our pride or because things don't happen the way we think they should. Which was the case for Naaman. Elisha sent a messenger that told him to go dip himself in the Jordan River seven times and then he would be healed. He was angry and refused to listen to the directions that were given him. The Aman river and Pharpar river were much better than the Jordan.... and sending a messenger? Elisha couldn't come out and say it to him personally?
Naaman expected some big powerful waving of the arms experience where he would instantly be healed of his leprosy. Something big and amazing. But what he got instead was something simple... something that took action on his part... and something that took time. He would have missed the blessing of being healed of his skin disease if he had not let go of his pride and acted on the directions that were given him.
I'm convinced that we are guilty of the same thing. We try to do things on our terms. We think we know exactly how something should go down. We try to convince Him of what we need - which is incredibly silly considering that He created us. I wonder how many times we have missed blessings because we either weren't obedient, our pride got in the way, we didn't have faith, or we expected something big when he wanted to do it in a simple way that took a little more time and action on our part.
I am currently learning this RIGHT NOW, but will refrain from going into details at the moment.
My prayer for myself (and you also if you'd like) is that i will be able to accept what the Lord has planned for me. That I will believe that His words are trustworthy and true. And that i will step out in faith. The best measure of faith is when it is followed by action. When the Holy Spirit asks you to do something, it requires - faith, obedience, change, and action. But not on our terms. I don't know about you, but i don't want to miss the blessings simply because i think my plan is better or because of silly pride.
I need to trust. I need to have more faith. I need to make changes. I need to be obedient. I need to take the time to fight.... to not give in so easily. I realized this week that i had convinced myself that i was defeated. We are never defeated (with Christ). We just have to trust that He is at work within us... we have to keep on pressing on when we don't feel like we can give anything else.
We have to be more dedicated, more determined, more focused, more patient, and more hard working. He wants my all. Yes, He is powerful enough to wave His arms, snap His fingers and wash away all that is consuming my mind and conquering my life. And we praise His name for that. But that may not be the way that He wants to bring the healing.
He is growing us into maturity - where we don't lack anything but look more like Him. The only way to do that is through suffering through some things. But He promises blessings on the other side - blessings that you cannot buy if you wanted to.
Don't miss them.
With it being Thanksgiving week i challenged my girls to pray for the Lord to open their eyes to see the little blessings, the simple unexpected ones that we don't even recognize. Our preacher mentioned today that we get so accustomed to our everyday lives and posessions that we don't even recognize when something is a blessing. SO TRUE. I wanted to try and think of a way to dwell on all the Lord has blessed me with. (especially since i told my sunday school girls to do it - i don't like to require something of someone if i am not doing it also... it seems hypocritical)
So..... i have decided that each post this week will be focused on the many blessings in my life. If i set this goal i will be paying attention to everything that is going on through out my day. I will be looking for them.
Angie, had a wonderful teachable moment with her daughter this weekend (related to being thankful). She minored in English and is very gifted at writing... you should definetly click on over and read her post instead of me explaining it to you.
I don't feel like this post flows smoothly, but i refuse to get all twisted up about it. I love you all! And i hope you have a truly fantastic week.
I love You, Lord. Thank You for simply being You.... i'm sorry that i allow my pride to get in the way. Thank you for forgiveness. Will you open my eyes to see how much it cost you? To be full of gratitude. To be overwhelmed by You. That's where i want to be.