Selfishness, Sadness and Gratitude

Recent weeks have brought circumstances that have caused me to see my sin more clearly.

These times of glaring sin always bring me to my knees. I’m humbled and disappointed, but always thankful. Thankful that God loves me enough to bring my sin into focus and to help me to struggle to become more like Him.

He gave everything for me.

He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant (that’s a  slave’s slave) …He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ~Philippians 2:6-8

I’m not my own, I’ve been bought with a price and yet I want things my way.

I want to get up early and have some quiet time to myself. I don’t want to get up early to help someone else. I want to set our own schedule not have it set by therapists and appointments.

I’m petty and I’m trite and I want things my way.

I want to forget that I’m a servant, His servant.

I want to demand of Him healthy children who love Him, have godly marriages and a long life and I fear that He won’t give me what I want, breaking His commands in the process (“Do not worry about tomorrow” ~Matthew 6:34)

I forget that I’m living this life for Him and not for myself and so I worry rather than trust.

And early yesterday morning it hit me. I remembered what I’ve known.

My response should be gratitude. I should be grateful for what I have, not wanting what I don’t have. 

Over the past two days we’ve prayed for and wept with some good friends who discovered that their 7 year old daughter has neuroblastic cancer.

Tabitha

Tabitha, our friend’s 7 year old daughter with neuroblastic cancer

I see them living one of my worst nightmares and yet giving glory to God in the midst of it.

Tabitha is rather uncomfortable right now.  The spleen is very large.  The size of her spleen is affecting her digestive and respiratory systems.  Her back is hurting.  Please pray not only for healing, but that God would enable her to deal with the pain she is in.

…. For now, please just pray fervently for our little Tabitha and that we would glorify God in this affliction. ~Debbie, Tabby’s mother

How can it be?

It’s because God is still good. He is still worthy of praise. He is the one who gave the gift of Tabitha in the first place. He never had to give that beautiful gift, but He did. Who are we to dictate what all that gift entails?

Tabitha was created for His honor and glory and she is a living breathing example of that honor and glory.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise God that I have a houseful of people whom I have the privilege of loving everyday in hundreds of minute ways. Praise God that He’s teaching me that it’s more important to sit and talk with my children than it is to have a clean floor, company for dinner, write a blog post or even do a reading lesson. Praise God that our children have the opportunity to build this relationship with their great-grandmother. Praise God that He is not surprised by Tabitha’s diagnosis and that ultimately nothing can harm her.

1. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?

A. That I am not my own,[1] but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death,[2] to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.[3] He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil.[5] He also preserves me in such a way[6] that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head;[7] indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.[8] Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life[9] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.[10]

[1] I Cor. 6:19, 20 [2] Rom. 14:7-9. [3] I Cor. 3:23; Tit. 2:14. [4] I Pet. 1:18, 19; I John 1:7; 2:2. [5] John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14, 15; I John 3:8. [6] John 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; II Thess. 3:3; I Pet. 1:5. [7] Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18. [8] Rom. 8:28. [9] Rom. 8:15, 16; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13, 14. [10] Rom. 8:14.

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psalm 121

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

If you’d like future updates on Tabitha, feel free to follow my Facebook page. To ensure you see my posts choose “show in newsfeed” or “get notifications” after you click ‘like’. 

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10 Responses to Selfishness, Sadness and Gratitude
  1. Jama
    November 20, 2013 | 9:08 am

    Beautiful.

    [Reply]

  2. Sandy
    November 20, 2013 | 9:22 am

    I agree with Jama! Beautiful! Hope all are doing well, tell Grandma Connie, we love her!

    [Reply]

  3. Louisa Lowman
    November 20, 2013 | 9:28 am

    We have had some difficult weeks for our family as well and God is about purifying us in the fire…it’s humbling but necessary to live these lives he ha laid out before each of us.

    Praying for Tabitha that her life will point those around her to Jesus!

    [Reply]

  4. Lesli
    November 20, 2013 | 12:10 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

    [Reply]

  5. Cynthia Carr
    November 20, 2013 | 12:20 pm

    Your words are always such a blessing…… Thank you.

    [Reply]

  6. Annie
    November 20, 2013 | 5:17 pm

    Thanks for writing. Because I happened to have another morning of my quiet time taken up by small people. But, I am truly selfish and I can see the Lord is working on that.
    Praying for Tabitha.
    Annie

    [Reply]

  7. Carrie
    November 22, 2013 | 1:29 pm

    Thank you for the needed reminder.

    [Reply]

  8. Annie
    November 23, 2013 | 12:13 am

    I will be praying for Tabitha, such a heart breaking thing to have to endure as a parent. I pray I will never have to walk that road. It seems lately there have been many people with in our circle of friends and acquaintances who are gravely ill or have died as a result of their illness, families suffering miscarriages, etc…Good, God-loving people.

    We have been going through some similar valleys with close friends of ours. The wife’s cancer spread from her breast to her liver and now is in her blood. They have two girls ages 8 & 10 and it has greatly affected our church family because she is a young mom.

    It leaves me saying Maranatha- come Lord Jesus!

    [Reply]

  9. MK
    December 10, 2013 | 3:04 pm

    I haven’t read here in a while; the timing to catch up was excellent. I’m taking a plane trip this weekend, my first since high school, and with all the news in the past six months of plane crashes, I’ve been very nervous. If our plane goes down, my daughters will be without parents. Who will teach them the Gospel? Who will love them well enough?

    I need to trust the Lord, with my fate and with my daughters. Thank you for that reminder.

    [Reply]

  10. Jen
    March 28, 2014 | 10:39 pm

    Speaks to me big time right now. Going through these thoughts/feelings. Thanks so much for sharing!

    [Reply]

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