We live in a selfish world. Society encourages us to do things that make us happy, and if we aren't happy, we need to "drop it like it's hot" and move on.
This has left us with several generations of people who will not keep steady jobs because they don't like the hours, their boss, their co-workers, or the hard work. It's the reason why divorce rates are so high. If things aren't going well in your marriage, you seek the thrill and love elsewhere, instead of working hard to fix your relationship. Millions of advertisements entice us to purchase appliances, gadgets, toys, vehicles, and homes that promise us happiness and joy, yet we are never satisfied and never content with what we have.
I find myself often crossing this line and having to remind myself that God has given me everything I need and more. He has indeed fulfilled my desires and blessed me, yet I have moments where, instead of being appreciative, I complain or find myself "lusting" after things I don't need.
We've even turned the church into something that serves ourselves- complaining about the style of music, the building where we gather, or a dozen other things, instead of passionately lifting our praise and worship up as we fellowship together.
It's been a week since I miscarried, and I admit, my heart is broken. I also confess that, while we go to church every week, today I went because I needed comfort and something else I cannot quite describe, but as I sat down beside my husband and children, I realized that I needed an attitude adjustment. Even though my heart ached and my day was overshadowed by the loss of our baby, this was not a time for my pity party. In my head, I went over the words of one of my favorite Christian songs.
"I'm coming back to the heart of worship, 'cause it's all about you, it's all about you Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it, for it's all about you. It's all about you Jesus."
Interestingly enough, when the singing began, this was one of the songs picked for the morning, as well as two other songs with a similar message. It's not about us. It's about God.
It's not that we shouldn't or cannot go to God for comfort and love when we are feeling broken hearted and down- we definitely should, but I know, speaking for myself, sometimes I allow my own issues and hurts to overshadow my time or worship and praise. I'm suppose to be offering up praise and worship to God, but instead I'm thinking about my problems, my hurt, and how God should remedy my situation.
Thing is, once I stopped focusing on myself and began to focus on God, I felt a release inside of me. I felt comforted. I felt loved.
Our lives are to be a sacrifice of worship and praise to God. The reason the bible calls it a "sacrifice" is because sometimes we don't feel like praising God. Sometimes we don't feel like "doing all things as unto the LORD". Maybe we feel like serving ourselves, taking a break, being lazy, or being selfish.
There is certainly a time for us to take our grief, pain, worry, and despair before God, but let's be honest- sometimes we just want to wallow in it. I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way!
I do have to constantly remind myself that my life is not really mine. My time is not my own. And, life is not all about me. It's not about me even in the least. It's not about my husband or my children- it's about God. My life is about (productively) filling the place that God has given me as wife and mother with joy, thankfulness, and contentment. It is my ministry. It is my offering of praise to my LORD. And, God extends my ministry beyond my home to my church and friends...... but it all points back to God, not to me or anyone else.
My prayer is that God would help me to focus not on myself, even in this time. There will always be some issue in my life to cause stress and hurt, but when I focus on God, I find myself being more appreciative and content, rather than complaining and wallowing in my pain.
And, I would like to thank my wonderful friend Amanda as well as our pastor, Johnnie and his wife Sandra, who surprised us with food Monday. They were such a blessing to us... and to have them SHOW UP at our door with arms full was a picture of God's love to me. Amanda said she knew if she called to ask if she could bring us a meal, I might turn her down so as to not create work for her, so I am thankful she didn't call.. and just showed up.
Thank you to all those who have been there for us and gone the extra mile to send a card, call, or whatever! We thank you!
[Art: Seek My Face by Danny Hahlbohm]