02 May 2009

Take that Plank!

If I have learned anything over the years I have been struggling, it is to take to heart the story Jesus told in Matthew 7:1-5.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Because: Romans 5:8 says "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If I could just die to self while my husband is still sinning against me-- all the time, without complaining or justifying.

Because: Luke 9:23-24 says "Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep you life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life." If I could just put aside my ambition to be queen of everything- to be on a pedestal- to be an idol- if I could remember I'm giving up some things for the Holy God, Creator of all things- not for my husband. To not resent my husband for the things that God has asked me to give up.

Because: Mark 10:43-44 says "But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all." Every one of us has eternity written on our hearts-- we want to leave a legacy. Some of us will get a building named after us, or a corporation, or some such. But I would like to be a great, first-ranker in Heaven, front-row seat to the throne, with some serious kingdom responsibility (polishing thrones, cleaning pearls, doling out cupfuls of river, holding lost babies), so I have to be the servant for a while here on earth. Which post will last longer?

Because: Psalm 141:3 says "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, Keep watch over the door of my lips!" Yikes! I think sometimes I need a heavily armed guard. But I would like my list of verbal sins which is kept at the door of heaven, to be perused upon my arrival, to be as short as possible, so...
"Pray for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel." (Ephesians 6:19) My husband says by being 7 x 70 forgiving, being kind, being hopeful-- these things are a witness that there is a loving God behind me doing those same things to him. Elizabeth George said something along the lines of 'I would take a moment to see what God wanted me to say in that situation, and most times he wanted me to say... nothing.' On the same topic, I altered Proverbs 14:1 a little to say "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own [mouth] the foolish one tears hers down." I definitely don't want to be tearing down my own house.

Because: Isaiah 55:8-9 says that Gods thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. Like the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than ours. So when I am totally stumped at why on earth God would allow things to unfold the way they have, when I am sure that there is no way my husband will ever change, I try to reflect on these verses. Another verse I tweaked a bit is Habakkuk 3:17-18 "though _______, yet I will rejoice." Whatever I can put in the blank, still I can rejoice. I can rejoice at the health of my children, at the multiple rooms with sound roof and a strong front door that we live in; at the breath I was given, that I even have a husband with the ability and desire to support us.

Because: The pastor of my church in MD, C J Mahaney, said "Cast your cares upon Him; Where there is worry, where there is anxiousness, pride is at the root of it. When I am experiencing anxiety, the ROOT ISSUE is that I'm trying to be self-sufficient." We can do nothing without He who made us.

Finally, today I was really enjoying holding Nathan's hand. He is 16 months old. He has a fat little hand. The different times I held it, it was cool and plump, or damp and mulchy, or wet and soapy, or hot and sweaty. All these times that I held his little hand, I first put my right hand down to him with the fingers pulled back, and each time he would reach up and put his tiny open hand in mine. I cherished it especially today, I don't know why. Then I was writing this blog entry and I found Isaiah 41:13, which says "For I am the Lord, you God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'"

"As a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings, so I long to gather you." Mosaic on the altar of Dominus Flevit Church in the area where Jesus looked down on Jerusalem and wept. (Photo: Martha Ann Kirk)


Margie said...

Keep talking to yourself! Not listening to yourself! Great Scriptures to feed your soul. I would simply love to hold Nathan's fat little hand! Love to all!