Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life…As It Really Is Sometimes

Do you ever have a day when everything seems to go against your plans?  Do you know that missionaries have those kind of days too?  I had one of those days recently, and before I knew it, that day had turned into a whole week of "Things are NOT going according to my plans - AT ALL!!"  I was faced with a choice - whine and complain or rejoice and give thanks.  I wish I could tell you that I chose (like a good missionary) to rejoice and look for something to be thankful for.  Unfortunately, I chose to whine and complain.  The sad thing is not one of the things that were going contrary to my plans were terrible things - I just sort of let it all pile up.  Then I made things worse by following one bad decision with another bad decision - I started comparing.  Yes, you read it right - I started comparing - even though I know better.  I went from "Woe is me!" to "Sister So-and-So has the perfect children - will mine EVER be perfect like hers?" to "How could these things be happening to me - I just had a baby - doesn't the Lord know I REALLY don't need these tests right now?"  I ended up my week with a grand finale - I burst into tears!  There is one verse that God always brings to my heart and mind when I start on the downward spiral of comparing:  2 Corinthians 10:12  "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:  but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."  You can be sure that this time was no different!  God reminded me of that verse - it was like an arrow that went straight to the mark - but God had something more for me this time.  I have often heard it said how dangerous it is to compare - it can only lead to one of two things - pride or discouragement.  Since this isn't the first time I've dealt with this, God chose to give me a lesson that was like a double-edged sword - first He chose to discipline me, then He chose to humble me.  As I read my friend Jessica's blog (here is the link:  Joy Unspeakable in Kenya), I was reminded that there is always someone going through something far more serious than what I am experiencing.  Suddenly my worst "problem" was just a minor inconvenience - it wasn't a trial at all!  The rest of my lesson came in the form of a letter from a young lady I know in the Philippines.  I am sharing with you excerpts from her letter - so you can see how God used this young lady to teach me a lesson in humility….

"Hi Maam Sarah, :)
I don't know if you still remember me.  I am now 21 years old, and you used to help me and my sisters at church when we were still young...
I just want to thank you for being a huge part in my christian life, your influence in my life has been an encouragement for me to keep on serving God, I'm really thankful to God that sometime in my life I have known a person like you.
Me and my sister would like to thank you for being one of the biggest reasons why we serve God today. You've been a big influence in our lives. 
I am now a grown up lady and praise God I'm still serving God.  I'm planning to enter to Bible college in the future, hopefully next year. I'm praying for your ministry there in Peru. May God continue to bless you and your family there.. I love you Maam Sar!! :)

God used two different people living on opposite sides of the earth to teach me a lesson I am determined to remember.  My comfort is 2 Corinthians 10:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."  "All grace."  "Sufficiency in all things."  "May abound to every good work."  God tests me and corrects me with His love and for my good.  He prays for me and I am precious to Him.  
2 Corinthians 10:18 "For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."  I want His commendation.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Sarah, I am crying now as I read this post. That we would be taught the very same lessons by our Lord at the very same time! I was just about to write a post along these very same lines of what He has taught ME these last few weeks. That He commands us to rejoice and to praise Him even in the midst of trials--coming soon on my blog. :) Now two weeks after the fact, I am experiencing such joy just in knowing Him and finding joy in being taught by Him even when the lessons are not always easy. I love you dearly, my friend.