Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165 KJV
My grandfather underlined this verse in his Bible. It comforts me to know that he may have had some of the same struggles I have with being offended. And perhaps he also came to realize it did not bring peace. That peace comes from loving God’s law, which is to love God and others.
When I choose to be offended, I’m keeping record of wrongs, and that is not love. When I rely on my feelings for love, I forget that love is action. Love is kind, love is patient, and keeps no record of wrongs. These are acts that I want to choose rather than holding onto my self-righteous feelings of being offended.
Lord, Help me to love by my actions, and choose not to be offended.
Ashamed of my resentment toward the difficulties of guardianship of my grandson, I asked God for help in changing my heart on the matter. He sent help by reminding me that I had made a choice, that I am not a victim.
It occurred to me that my resentment was of the cost to me physically, emotionally, financially, etc., and it was affecting me spiritually. In effect, I was wanting my sacrifice of obedience to be without cost.
As I was reading 2 Samuel 24:24, (King David said to Araunah who wanted to give him animals to sacrifice free of charge), “I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
Obedience to the Lord cannot be without cost. This is what He has asked me to do and the cost to me is to His glory.
There is no doubt that my character needs refining, but even so, I resist the very circumstances that God uses to shape my character. I often want out of the situation, rather than having confidence that God is at work IN those circumstances, creating in me what He wants for me to become.
It’s a fine line I walk in raising my grandson. I need to teach him what is right and wrong, but without blaming him and defending myself. If I were a more teachable teacher, maybe we would have fewer power struggles and more of what God would like to teach each of us.
Lord, It is your will I seek for my life and for the life of my grandson. Help me not to teach with self-righteousness, but with humility teach the truths that are in Your Word.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
My grandson is teaching me about grace since he’s come to live with me.
One evening we were going to Bible study and I was reminding him of his behavior the previous week. After hearing me belabor the point, he said, “Grandma, I’m going to makes some mistakes.”
His comment caused me to realize that I often focus on the law, rather than grace. I like thinking of grace being unmerited favor. The law is against us, unattainable. God’s grace is for us, a free gift.
We can trust in God’s grace and move forward, knowing that when we fail, God will be there for us. Or we can rely on our own effort to get it right and alternate between pride when we succeed and guilt when we miss it.
I don’t know all I need to know about grace, but I know enough to know I need more of it, more of accepting it gratefully from God, and more of pouring it out for others.
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:5b-6
Spring came early in my flower box this year. I was surprised at the miniature daffodils and had forgotten planting the bulbs late last summer. My friend Julie had received them at the hospital following her accident and asked me to bring them home when they began to wilt. What a lovely reminder of my dear friend this spring.
During nearly every visit, we enjoyed a chapter of Purpose Driven Life. We were both consoled and inspired by Warren’s references to the Word of God and its application to our lives at the time. I am still blessed by the memories of our fellowship.
Julie is home now, with the One who loves her best. God is faithful.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
When I begin to feel a little sorry for myself, perhaps even a victim of my circumstances, God reminds me that I am His servant in every circumstance.
Praying for the spirit God gives for the situations in which He places me.
For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, through you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” Job 2:3
What a learning experience, having my teenage grandson live with me.
One of the first lessons has been humility, which has grown my empathy for his parents. I confess to having been judgmental and critical. Walking in their shoes has deepened my dependence on the grace and power of God.
“In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea… Then (he) knew that the Lord is God.” 2 Chronicles 33:12-13.
I reached Medicare age in November and celebrated the life God had given me, content with teaching Bible study to junior high students, mentoring a young mom with special needs children, visiting family and friends, grateful for my retirement life. I had no idea that God had yet another adventure in mind for me.
In early December I received my troubled teenage grandson into my home. Although I feel completely inadequate for this responsibility, I have come to accept that God has ordained it and He will be my strength and stay. So I told my son that I will accept this mission by leaning hard on God so that He can accomplish for my grandson what he needs. And I will depend on the Lord for the love, wisdom, patience, and more love I need to do this work God has planned for me.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10