Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pajamas, puffy noses, PBS and...patience?

It's been a bit of a rough week here at the Chaney household. Addie has another runny nose combined with multiple outbursts accompanied by many tears. We've spent lots of time in pajamas watching PBS. I can't say I've been too great at practicing a lot of patience.

It's not Addie's fault she's sick. If I could be sick in her place, I would be. Really, I would. There's more I can do for myself when I am sick than I feel I can do when she is sick. Nothing makes me feel quite as helpless as not being able to just make her better.

Sabian, that husband of mine, gave me the morning "off." He and Addie should be back any minute now, but I have had a couple of hours completely to myself at home. I've put laundry away, done more laundry, vacuumed, made breakfast (eggs, toast and coffee!) and actually sat down to eat it. Oh, and I showered! I even entered a little in my journal and got to do a short devotion.

Those devotions - they can hit you right where it hurts. Better yet, right where you need it. Today was where I needed it.

I think I've read My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers) since somewhere around 1997, when my mom bought me my first copy. It was a hard cover with a paper slipcover that was sealed in plastic. I still have that copy and used it until she bought me a new one just last year, a leather bound edition. My old copy sports a melted cover, as mom, in her Mary Bell fashion, saw that it was wrinkled and one day took the iron to it to straighten it out. She didn't realize it was covered in plastic...but, that endears it even more to me, along with the inscription in the front cover.

Oswald always says it well. Today was no exception. It's not just his interpretation, but at the heart of it, it is what the Bible teaches us about today's subject. I'll share it in a moment, but first...

...I know I've been impatient this week. I know I've had a general feeling of helplessness and being unsettled. I know, in some ways, I've just been going through the motions. I know I've had trouble being content. The reasons for these things can vary depending on the season, circumstance, my mood and more. But, reading what I read today brought it into perspective for me and gave me what I guess I needed, but hadn't really been looking for - the underlying reason for it all.

I'm including today's reading in its entirety.

The scripture reference is Matthew 6:25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?"

A warning which needs to be repeated is that "the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches," and the lust for other things, will choke out the life of God in us (Matthew 13:22). We are never free from the recurring waves of this invasion. If the frontline of attack is not clothes and food, it may be about money or the lack of money; or friends or the lack of friends; or the line may be drawn over difficult circumstances. It is one steady invasion, and these things will come in like a flood, unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it.

"I say to you, do not worry about your life...." Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing - our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, "That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink." Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing yourself to think that He says this while not  understanding your particular circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern of our life. Whenever there are competing concerns in your life, be sure that you always put your relationship to God first.

"Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (6:34). How much trouble has begun to threaten you today? What kind of mean little demons have been looking into your life and saying - what are your plans for next month - or next summer? "Jesus tells us not to worry about any of these things. Look again and think. Keep your mind on the "much more" of your heavenly Father (6:30).

A familiar passage of scripture, but I think even verses we are familiar with can ring louder at certain times. If I truly obeyed this, would life automatically be easier? Well, no. I wouldn't suddenly have piles of money to pay off my debt or have a clear window into our future. But, I would have a greater hope. I would have a greater comfort knowing that I am loved, I am taken care of, and my smallest needs and concerns, let alone the big ones, are acknowledged by the One who created me. 

Geez, I sure am thankful for that


Shari said...

Wow that was good Melissa thanks for sharing.

Zac Smith said...

It was so true. And just...honest. Thank you. =~)

elise said...

thank you thank you thank you!
i needed to hear that:O)