Monday, June 29, 2009

Where am I looking?

I have been wallowing. I guess that is the best word for it. I know that I need to stop so I dug out Calm My Anxious Heart (I never have to dig far. It is one of those books that I can never have too far from me) and started to read it again. Chapter One is convicting. It starts out talking about a woman who has, from an outsiders' view, a nearly perfect life - cute, well behaved kids, loving, generous husband who works hard and helps out at home, beautiful new furniture, etc. and all that she does is complain. She is contrasted with another woman Ella Spees who was a missionary in Africa for 52 years where she had to bring in her thermometer in during the day because it would break when it got over 120 degrees who has been a huge challenge to me ever since the first time I read this book. Ella's prescription for contentment was this:
* Never allow yourself to complain about anything- not even the weather.
* Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
* Never compare your lot with another's.
* Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
* Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that [tomorrow] is God's, not ours.
OUCH! How has my thought process, even my blog from yesterday lined up with that prescription? Not so hot, I'd say. I think that I need to print that and put it on my fridge next to my Andrew Murray quote. How often I complain about everything, especially the weather "It's raining again?" "It is so hot." "Boy, it has gotten chilly." Ugg. Speaking of wallowing, it made me think of another quote from one of my Dillow books,"Two women look through prison bars, one saw mud the other stars." What is my perspective? Where am I looking? I love the quote from Elisabeth Eliot "I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things that happen to us that do not belong to our lovingly assigned "portion." ("This belongs to it, that does not")? Every assigment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter. A quiet heart is content with what God gives." Someone has to be in control and if I choose to let God be in charge instead of me I will be content. The first time I did this study I had to write a definition for contentment and I wrote, "thankfully, happily taking whatever God sends my way as what He has for me/ His will without complaining or desiring things to be different." That is how I long to live my life. It is a conscious, day by day, moment by moment choice. My life is not perfect but it is the perfect life for me according to God's plan to make me into the woman He wants me to be.

Anyway, I wasn't intending to do a chapter summary on chapter one or I would have gone into the monk story, I guess I will save that for another day. The real reason that I sat down to write this was because I was laughing at myself. I was digging in the cupboard for chocolate (it doesn't really help but I always think that it is going to, hence the reason why I have gained so much weight lately) and a song started going through my head. I still ate the chocolate but came to the computer to look up the words/ listen to the song. The words that were going through my head were "Find rest, my soul, in God alone Amid the world’s temptations; When evil seeks to take a hold I’ll cling to my salvation." It made me laugh... Why am I looking to chocolate when I am down? Where should I be looking? Psalm 62 has the answer "My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him." I love the song by Aaron Keyes that we sang at North based on Psalm 62. So I ate my chocolate and went to look up the words online.

My soul finds rest in God alone, My Rock and my salvation,
A fortress strong against my foes, And I will not be shaken.
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse, And lies like arrows pierce me,
I’ll fix my heart on righteousness, I’ll look to Him who hears me.

O praise Him, hallelujah, My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing, My Redeemer, my God.

Find rest, my soul, in God alone
Amid the world’s temptations;
When evil seeks to take a hold
I’ll cling to my salvation.
Though riches come and riches go,
Don’t set your heart upon them;
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in heaven. (TO CHORUS)

I’ll set my gaze on God alone,
And trust in Him completely;
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath,
A sigh too brief to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever. (TO CHORUS 2X)

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!

Is this a battle I will struggle with my whole life? Will I ever be content? Oh Lord, please help me to keep my eyes on You and to turn to You trusting that You will prove Your mercy again and again as You have so many times before. O praise Him, hallelujah, my Delight and my Reward, Everlasting, never failing, my Redeemer, my God.

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