pink roses

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

I wish Thy way ,
But when in me myself would  rise'
and long for something otherwise,
Then, Holy One, take sword and spear,
And slay.
Amy Carmichael ]

Lord all my little well made plans
Have turned to vapor dust,
I would like to give them to You,
And, in fact, I must!

But... I want what I want, and I want it my way!

I want to finagle one more thing,
Try it one more way,
Do my own planning.
I'm never defeated, Ok?

But... I want what I want, and I want it my way!

Help me to give all to you on this day,
And practice submission to Your will.
I say that I listen and do things your way,
But it seems that I fight You still!

Help me to want what You want and to want it Your way!
[Beth Hubbard]

How are things going for you today?

Me? My attitude is awful.

I went to bed complaining at God for the way life runs from one thing to the next... and forgot to thank Him for a quiet, restful Sunday afternoon.
This morning I woke up with the same grumbles rumbling around. "I don't want to start another week!"
Then God did some prompting:
"What story did you tell Sarah at bed time? Uh huh, the one about the Isrealites grumbling in the desert. That one. And you told Sarah how I felt about their grumbling, right? Hm... and what was the Israelite's punishment? Wandering in the desert until they died? Don't you think I take this one seriously? Remember what you told Sarah, "God hates the little sins just as much as the big ones, they're all the same size to God."

Sometimes I like to grumble and complain.... It helps me to justify my "God owes me something good, since He has put me through all this"  attitude. That's a sin too. Why is it so awfully humbling to be convicted out of your own mouth? And guess what! Grumbling is a sin!

Wisdom is seeing sin and going the other way.

Now, I'm not facing issues like some of you are, like an unfulfilling or low paying job... singleness beyond middle life... the inability to bear children... an unhappy marriage... physical disabilities... continual poor health... or a spouse/loved one in danger [military, police, fireman, in another country, or even a dangerous neighborhood].  But we still have a choice.

This choice is our inheritance as His children: the ability to actually CHOOSE whether we are going to do what's right or not. Without Jesus's righteousness given to us, we don't have a choice. We have to sin.
This choice is such a precious treasure!
What am I going to do with it?
Am I going to use it?
Am I going to choose to sing a hymn, change my attitude, and find things in this busy life to be thankful  for?
[Would I really give up any of these things? Isn't there a reason I'm doing them?]
Am I going to choose wrongly, suffer the consequences, have a miserable day, and ruin the rest of the week until I get it right with God?
Is a pity party worth the cost?
Do I really think that God doesn't know what is best for me, that my plans would be better, that He is cheating me from the life I could have, and that He is holding out on me? Or that He is laughing at my frantic attempts at life and teasingly dangling it just out of my reach with a 'nah, nah, nah nah, nah!' ?

This is not the God of the Bible!

God promises that He does not change.
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
His plans are always in our best interest.
  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

God has the power to use any situation for our good, even when we don't see it.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
When I am making God the focus of my life, then God teaches me what desires are right and pure, and wholesome and what I want begins to line up with what God wants... and He is more than willing to give it to me! in fact, He wants to open the windows of heaven and pour! If I focus on Him, and pleasing Him first!

Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
 And when I am putting Him first, and focusing on Him, there is no room for grumbling!

There is a quote on my wall :

Attitude is more important than facts,
It is more important than the past,
Than education, money, circumstances,
Than failures or success,
Than what other people think, say or do.

It is more important than ability or skill.
It will make or break a business,
A home, or a friendship.
The remarkable thing is,
I have a choice every day
 of what my attitude will be.

I cannot change my past,
I cannot change the actions of others,
I cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing I can change is my attitude.

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease,
Not vain the word; not vain:
For in Acceptance lieth peace.
(Amy Carmichael, "In Acceptance lieth Peace," vs. 5)

Lord, I am willing to-
Receive what you give,
Lack what you withhold,
Relinquish what you take.

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