Monday, May 29, 2006

PRIDE--A Huge, But Humbling Limitation

2 Corinthians 12:7-10(The Message)
"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size--abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."



I have to admit that the last little while has been really hard for me in terms of carving time with God. Even when I've been able to carve it out, there have been so many distractions and either has cut the time short, or made it very shallow in terms of the depth we were able to meet at. I don't know how else to explain it, but to say that I've been extremely 'gridlocked' when it comes to speaking with God and hearing Him. I've been working hard last week in terms of trying to formulate a plan for how I wouldrectifyy this bad 'spiritual situation' which I've allowed to come upon me. I've finally the last few days been able to truly meet with God through His word and prayer and it's been truly rewarding. I want to continue to carve more and more time for Him, but I know this will all come little by little and He's very understanding of that!

This passage of scripture came across my path this morning and it spoke in huge ways. For me, there are times in this life where I feel I need to be strong, regardless of what's going on...a huge pride thing I know! For me, I have trouble sometimes looking at my limitations, whether they be illness, opposition, bad breaks, my past, etc., and seeing them as a blessing or a way to make me be stronger. I think though in the circumstances of looking at life, that your past experiences of other's perceptions of your limitations colors and shapes how you look at things when they happen. I was talking with someone about my past experiences, of how people have perceived me when I go through these ongoing months of being really sick, especially when there's no apparent reason or cause according to my doctors. For me, I've really learned to kind of keep things to myself, because I've had so many occasions where when someone found out I was sick, they kind of rolled their eyes and gave me that look of, "Sick AGAIN...what else is new...haven't you figured out how to take better care of yourself yet?" You learn to try and read everyone who asks how you are doing and formulate replies based on that. Then for me, there's the added formulation...if I know my friends are really 'bogged down' with things at the time, even though they want to genuinely know what's going on, I'm bad for not telling, as I don't want to heap more on their plate.

The problem with having these past experiences, is that by keeping things to myself, I'm not really doing myself any good. God wants us to share life together...to rejoice with each other in the good times, to be there for each other in prayer and love during the hard times and to experience life together. From my experience, when you bottle things up, they eventually explode in a big way! It's very overwhelming to try and live life, making the appearance that things are okay, when they might not be. I don't think deep down that I've did the best I could, by deceiving myself into thinking that my problems are trivial and aren't that big a deal. When you bottle things, you can't possibly look at things with good cheer and it's really hard to take them in stride, because they end up feeling a whole lot bigger than they are. For me, it causes me to not be able to be pushed to my knees for a variety of reasons, and the danger with that is that you do allow yourself to be dragged down in a bad way.

This morning, my kids and I had to go on a little road trip and as we were out, it allowed me to think. I thought of all the blessings in my life which I take for granted on a daily basis. We have so much freedom in all areas of our lives and yet so often it'sseverelyy taken for granted. I don't want to be complacent in this life...I want to be on fire for God, learning to dream of new visions in terms of serving Him and helping to grow His kingdom. The new view which I'm going to begin to implement in my life is the last verse of the scripture..."And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."

My prayer today...Break me and cut me down to size! Break me of my pride, selfishness, condemning nature, short temper and just plain stupidity in terms of having short-sightedness when it comes to my walk. Help me to quiet my spirit today...to breath you in with every breath I take...to completely give the driver's seat to you and to learn to sit back and not question where this ride of life will take me. Help me to drink deeply from your Word, help me to be filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God and help me to live a life more like the one you want me to lead! Help your desire to be my heart's greatest desire...in your precious and holy name I lift these things to you today...

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9(b)-13

10 comments:

audrey` said...

Hi Cinder

May our good Lord answer all your heart's desire :)
God bless you!

Cinder said...

Audrey ~ He's just an amazing blessing isn't he? He's right with me and I know He'll answer the desires of my heart...in His timing!!

God bless you ;D !

Saskboy said...

Sorry for posting offtopic, but I'm just writing to let you know you're
invited to an outdoor get-together for Sask Bloggers on Saturday July 22nd in Regina. If you would like more information, visit Saskboy or Stephen Glauser and let us know if you can attend.
http://www.stephenglauser.com/2006/05/saskblogs_meet_2006.html
http://www.abandonedstuff.com/2006/05/28/saskblogs_meet_2006/

SaskBlogs http://saskblogs.catprint.ca/

Sincerely,
Saskboy

Pastor Josh said...

It is amazing how many times we overlook the blessings that God has given us. He blesses us more way more than we can imagine.

Cinder said...

PJ ~ It truly is amazing how many times we do overlook all the blessings He has given. His blessings truly are more than we could ever imagine or even hope for!

Thanks so much for dropping by...feel free to come back anytime...God bless!

Pia said...

i know the feeling about being sick. instead of focusing on my limitations, it's better to focus on what God has been providing me each day. count your blessings. God is good.

audrey` said...

Amen!

Yes, Cinder :)
Our Lord is so amazing.
He's with us forever.

Cinder said...

Pia ~ God is so very good...yes, it's much better to focus on His amazing blessings in this life! Blessings to you.

Audrey ~ That's His most amazing blessing of all...He truly is with us forever...Amen to that!

audrey` said...

Yes, I agree with you, Cinder :)
We'll let Jesus take the wheel.

God bless you, sis!

Kc said...

I sympathize with your sentiments. Pride is something we're called to sacrifice but the power to do it can only come from above. Wonderful post as always. ;-)