Daniel and the oldest 2 boys are out in the village today preaching, the other children are outside playing, and I'm so very thankful.
I woke up grumpy this morning...I really did. For one, I've been sick with a nose that won't stop running, a cough that likes to keep me up at night, a weepy eye and often a pounding head. Then yesterday, something happened...someone did something...that I let bother me. And slowly that "bother" grew into anger and then I was just downcast all day. I continued to go over in my mind how wrong this certain thing was and how hurtful it was etc...
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever known that what you were feeling/thinking was wrong? I knew my attitude stunk, I was miserable, I'm sure I wasn't great at covering up how I felt, and I just continued to feel that way because I just couldn't get away from it.
As I went to bed last night, I asked the Lord to forgive me for my anger and to help me see things the way He does. And then I went to sleep and woke up grumpy!
I got ready for the day and sat down to read my Bible and pray and I knew I needed to go again to the Lord and ask for His help.
I wrote in my journal briefly what was bothering me, how I was feeling, and then asked the Lord to please change me. I knew He would, but I didn't think it would happen as quickly as it did.
Before it was time to make breakfast, I felt so clean and happy. And that thing that had bothered me so...well, I honestly thought how silly I was to let it bother me. And I thought how terrible it was for me to be so sour and bitter over it!
It seems that is how it is with bitterness. Ephesians 4:31 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice." It seems like the things that cause marriages to crumble, hatred and anger to thrive, relationships to suffer and die often stem from a little root of bitterness that if it isn't quickly weeded out and "put away", it grows and grows, and reaches farther and deeper than ever.
It doesn't have to even be a grave evil that causes one to be bitter. Just something or someone that is close to you that hurts you personally.
Someone once said that a good way to know if you are bitter towards someone is that if you can remember word for word the conversation/hurt that took place between you. You've probably gone over it so many times in your mind that it is stuck in there. And when you recall that conversation, it only musters up feelings of anger, saddness, hurt, envy, discouragement etc...
Oh, I've been guilty of that so many times! What a miserable and sad way to live! Yesterday, when I was stewing all day over some little thing, I was not changing the situation nor was I the least bit happy.
Amy Carmichael once said something that I have never forgotten.
“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love, for a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted."
What is inside "my cup" is what will come out when something "upsets" me. If I am full of the love, joy, and grace of the Savior, that is what will spill forth, but if I am full my selfish desires, lusts, and bitterness, that is what will come out. It's not the jarring of the cup that determins what is spilled out, but what was in the cup to begin with.
So what is one to do?
Ephesians 4:32, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God fo Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
I prayed to accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour at a young age. I grew up in a Christian home, was faithful in church, and over all, to all who saw me, "did" all the right things. I don't remember a day when I did not believe the gospel. But it wasn't until a couple years ago that I saw myself as truly deserving hell for my own sins. I saw how dirty I was. How filthy my heart was! How proud, how selfish, and how much I did for the praise of man rather than God.
How I cried for the mercy and forgiveness of God! And how very thankful I was to know that Jesus Christ's sacrifice cleanses me from all my sins! God in His great mercy saved me!
I didn't have to do anything; I couldn't do anything to make up for how I was or what I had done. All I did was repent, ask for forgiveness, and believe.
So now, when one wrongs me, knowing what I truly deserve for my wrong toward God, how can I but forgive and give grace to another?
I still often fail and follow my own ways, but our patient, loving Lord is always waiting for us to run back to Him.
With Thanksgiving here, I have thought much on all I have for which to be thankful. I pick up baby Samuel each morning and my heart swells with love and thankfulness. I held my sweet cross-eyed Eliseo in my arms in front of the mirror today and could almost cry for how much I love him. Nehemiah wiped his snotty nose on my skirt a bit ago as he ran over to hug me and I again feel so thankful.
My 3 girls received a gift in the mail this morning...matching jumpers. How happy and thankful they were. I thought of the family who sent the gift and thought of what a blessing they have been to us in helping us grow closer to the Saviour. I'm so thankful for those the Lord brings into our lives to point us to Him.
We are taking a break from our regular routine this week to do special things for Thanksgiving; I watched my 4 middle boys run around exploring their "new land" and "trading with the Indians for furs" this afternoon. I'm so thankful for those who came before and sacrificed/suffered so we could have freedom in America.
I kissed Daniel and my 2 oldest boys good bye after breakfast as they headed out to preach for the day in the villages. Daniel prayed with me before they left and I was just so thankful. Thankful to be his wife, thankful and proud to see my two boys working with their Daddy, and so thankful that the gospel...the wonderful gospel which brings so much joy and freedom is being preached today here in Mexico.
Oh, the Lord is so good and faithful. How He loves you and me!