Morning sunshine breaking through the trees
This morning as I took my moment’s breathe of reprieve (http://wordwithmindy.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-moments-breathe-of-reprieve_23.html ) and quiet time, my eyes settled on a verse that seemed to resonate in my heart and mind. I thought about how on some days my schedule is so hectic I forget to remember to see the positive in the negative. (Did you get that?) How sometimes I let my “issues” cloud my gratitude for the (many) good things I have in life (oh yes, I can find many good things I should be thankful for) and how I even allow myself to wallow in a pity party at times (yikes!). Yes, I do that sometimes – do you?
Well, as I read these words, I begin to think of some people in my life whom I feel would benefit from reading them. And, being a writer, lots of words start jumping up and down in my mind, yelling out and vying for a chance to be chosen for today’s helpful wordwithmindy blog entry. However, as I read the verses again, I begin to get this warm feeling spreading through my stomach and chest, and into my heart. And then I realize I need to stop a moment; I need to look again at these words. Yes, maybe, just maybe I need to apply these words to my own life this morning.
These are the words:
5 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. Matthew 5 The Message (MSG)
Wow - these wonderful words tell me that when I’m exhausted and have nothing left to give, that is when I am most open and accepting of God’s care of me and His guidance. Yes, in reflection, I see that this is true.
That when I have lost my heart’s desire or a most dear loved one, then that is when I am able to accept God’s embracing and enveloping love of me. When I am too wrapped up and focused on the one(s) I love, I am too full and distracted to receive God’s love (God – who loves me more than anyone else ever would or could.)
That when I am ready to accept who I am, with humility, with all my little quirks, flaws and all, that is when I receive peace in having all the important things in life that cannot be bought with a price.
That when I deeply desire to know more about God and things of God, then I will be more fulfilled and satisfied than with anything else.
That when I am mindful and caring and merciful to others, that is when I will find caring and mercy given to me.
That when I set my sights and heart on the right things, good and caring things, pure things, things that truly matter, not just to me, but to others around me, then my eyes will be open to all the good, right, pure and wonderful things in my life and in the world. And it is then that I will see God!
That when I work to create peace and harmony in those around me, instead of gossip, rumor spreading, or conflict, then I will find my place in God’s plan and kingdom. Meaning I will find peace and joy and contentment in my own heart. And make God’s heart happy as I embrace being one of HIS.
And that when I take a stand for God, when I take part in worship of God, when I share His Word and love with others, and as a result am made fun of, ridiculed, or even lose out on something I wanted - that’s ok. I can surround myself with Christian people, keep seeking God, sharing things of God, and become more deeply centered in God’s kingdom and His care of me. Some others may not like it, but God does – and He will reward me for it!!!
After all – all the great prophets and teachers of the Word have all gone through some persecution. And they held fast.
We all go through persecution of some kind or another.
We just need to choose if it’s for a bad or non-productive cause, or a good and life-changing one.
So, this morning, in contemplation of these verses and words – I feel a little silly and misguided in ever having a pity party. Yes, I get that there will be times when I feel overwhelmed and wonder “why me?” But that’s ok. Because it is those times that I will turn to God and ask Him why? I will have conversation with God. And He likes that – that is when we have relationship – a 2-way relationship instead of me by myself or God by Himself.
Yes, I see that it takes conversation between us – me and God. And my heart being open and willing to hear His leading, and not my own stubborn will. Sometimes that means being empty, broken, harassed, lost, or torn. And if that’s when I find God most intimately and allow myself to feel His presence and love the most – then that’s ok.
Because therein lies my peace, my purpose, my life.
May you each find peace, purpose and an overflowing fountain of life as you are blessed.