Wednesday, February 20, 2008

food for thought...

Those of you who know me well, know that I am a reader. If I encounter a problem in my life, my first order of business is usually to find a book(s) on the topic. You should have seen my bedside table when Emory was 6 weeks old! If there is a parenting theory out there, I'm pretty sure I've read aout it and tried it for at least a day. My husband considers this addiction both a strength and a weakness. While I am eager to recieve counsel and instruction, he thinks I can be a little too eager. So, what ends up happening is that I have so much counsel that I go into overload mode and can't find heads or tails as to how to proceed in my life. Well, in an effort to better cultivate my natural tendencies, my husband has asked that I only seek counsel from 3 sources on any one topic. Sounds constricting? To me it is freeing!

Now to my point... I have been reading Jerry Bridges book, Trusting God, along with my daily dose of Spurgeon's Morning and Evening. From Bridges:
In speaking of our attitude toward the weather... Complaining about the weather seems to be a favorite American pastime. Sadly, we as Christians often get caught up in this ungodly habit of our society. But when we complain aboutt he weather, we are actually complaining against God who sent us our weather.... The fact is, for most of us, the weather and its effects are usually favorable. The tornado, the drought, even the snowstorm that delays our flight are the exception, not the rule. Whe Jesus spoke of the weather, He spoke about the goodness of God: "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the rightgeous and the unrightgeous." (Matthew 5:45) Both saint and sinner alike benefit from God's provision of the weather. We as Christians need to stop complaining about the weather, and instead learn to give thanks for it. God, as our heavenly Father, sends us each day what He deems best for all His creation.
And then, about our attitude towards prayer and the soveriegnty of God...Trusting God in the midst of our pain and heartache means that we accept it from Him. There is a vast difference between acceptance and either resignation or submission. We can resign ourselves to a difficult situation, simply becasue we see no other alternative. Or, we can submit to the sovereignty of God in our circumstances with a certain amount of reluctance. But to truly accept our pain and heartache has the connotation of willingness. An attitude of acceptance says that we trust God, that He loves us, and knows what is best for us. Acceptance does not mean that we do not pray for physical healing (or whatever else we seek deliverance from). But we should pray ina trusting way. We should realize that, though God can do all things, for infinately wise and loving reasons, He may not do what we pray that He will do. How do we know how long to pray? As long as we can pray trustingly, with an attitude of acceptance of His will, we should pray as long as the desire remains.

And then from Spurgeon (again on the topic of prayer):
Scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded byu supplication. Prayer is always the preface to blessing. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly.

I share these things as something that has been a huge encouragement to me. I've been in a season of feeling as though the doors of heaven were closed to my prayers and these two excerpts, stragely enough, give me hope and open my eyes a little more to what God desires of and for me. Hope is blesse some of you as well.

And on a lighter note, the next installment will be far more light hearted. We have some great pictures of our little one indulging herself in the dirt!

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