Yesterday was one of those mornings I woke up with a bit of heaviness on my heart. Not bad, just not my typical, bubbly self. Once the sun rose, one of the first things I did was wander out to get the mail. Normally I go days without grabbing the stacks of bills and credit card offers, yet I oddly felt the need to get it. Must have been the Lord tugging at my heart because what was waiting in that little box was completely unexpected.
My face lit up like sunshine when I opened the unrecognizable envelope and found two thank you cards and pictures from the kids I sponsor.
Shylet and Millicent are two young girls I had the opportunity to meet this past summer in Zimbabwe. Now I am blessed with the privilege of sponsoring them every month. This ensures they will be able to attend school on a consistent basis as well as cover some basic food needs. Previously I had worked with World Vision, but I have to say it brings much greater depth, joy, and meaning to help those with whom you have had the pleasure of meeting and experiencing a part of what their reality is like. Meeting them for the incredibly short 5 minutes was no doubt the highlight of my entire summer!
This treasured little surprise warmed my heart bringing my morning back into perspective. There’s no denying the Lord has been beating me with the concept of humility lately. He does this often; He’s got to do what it takes to keep me in line. In all fairness I knew a string of trials and challenges were headed my way. Isn’t that what initially happens when you decide to walk in obedience to what God asks of you? If obedience meant instant gratification, I think more of us would be willing to listen.
Looking at those precious faces again encouraged me in knowing how blessed I am to be disciplined and humbled by the Lord. It’s because as His child He loves me; He cares for me and doesn’t want me to fail. It’s because He knows I need a greater source of strength than myself; just as I feel about Shylet and Millicent.
No matter what I am going through in life, I always have the ability to rejoice, thank the Lord, and give back to Him with however little or much I have. I just need to get out of my own way, otherwise I’ll fall into the trap of believing the millions of little lies the devil plants in my mind.
Funny how the Lord quickly reminded me of those things in my daily devotions:
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:6-10
What a great reminder that I need to always stand firm and be on the alert. Humility is never a bad thing. In fact, throughout a wave of challenges it’s good to remember the source of all you’ve been given. Pride and ignorance is like walking in front of a mirror at all times; you see nothing else and can’t get anywhere without tripping over yourself. As C.S. Lewis so accurately said:
“For pride is spiritual cancer; it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”
Never ask God for things that you don’t intend to follow through with. Silly me, my current situation is exactly what I had asked for. Every Christmas Eve my family throws a birthday party for Jesus. Cheesy as it sounds, its my favorite tradition. This past year I wanted to give the Lord my appetite for life. Often I fill my plate too full thinking I can handle it all. Then sometimes I feel as though I don’t have enough. My hunger and thirst ought to be completely focused on Him; never biting off more than I think I can chew. Knowing I was walking into the exact place He wanted me, I also knew I would have no other choice but leaning on Him in all things. This plate sits on my counter to remind me that if I have the Lord, I have everything I need. He will provide my every need and will fill my plate as He sees fit.
As I celebrate the opportunity to put this into practice, I have to remember I am only human at best. I have to remember that I have tons of potential with the God of the universe on my side. I can be a light and maintain a joyful attitude no matter my circumstance. As little as it seems, I have to remember that there are people out there like Shylet and Millicent, who are in need of my ability to give. And in return I am abundantly blessed because that is what I was created to do.
Never turn down an opportunity to give in whatever capacity.
Shed a little light wherever you go.
Do it all for the glory of your Maker.
Allow the Lord to be your portion and you will always be secure.
Smile and keep going 🙂
Hayley Elise ❤