Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
I have found myself having trouble with keeping a grateful heart lately and it is because I find it far too easy to keep score. I come home tired after work, after having my daughter with me all day and waking with her in the night, after dressing and feeding and diapering her while I do my other job, then coming home to more chores to do and things to catch up on… and there I am doing it again. I make lists in my head that measure what I’ve done against my husband, especially since he is off work, and it is all just complete and useless complaining.
There is nothing in life that is fair. There is toil in every day because God has said there would be. And even if all of my work was taken from me, I’d only have more psychological trouble: the trouble of feeling useless and as if I weren’t contributing.
I take value from taking care of my family. I take pride in doing the work I do. Why then does my contrary nature try to tell me I deserve more than that?
I do not. I deserve nothing and the Lord gives me everything. My family is so well provided for, my life is so easy and simple, really. I am finding myself ungrateful and with a hurting heart, not because I do not get enough help and fairness, but because I do not think as I should.
And so today I pray:
Lord, Help me to stop scorekeeping and offering blame. It only causes resentments where there should be none. Show me what to do to cultivate a grateful heart, and the mind of one who is happy to serve. Aid me as I seek a a better way to live and love and to follow Your Son’s examples.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Proverbs 10:9 ESV
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Psalm 91:1-16 ESV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …
Galatians 1:10 ESV
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Lord, so often we get caught up in relationships with people that we aren’t quite sure about. And there are other people in this world who have talents to fool us, to take advantage of us, to be detrimental to our lives. I pray tonight, Lord, in Thanks that you have given us protection from these people. I pray in gratefulness that I need not worry over seeing these people close to my family, because You are closer. I am so glad, Lord, that I can rest in the safety You’ve made for us. I am so thankful that You have provided for us so many good and true friends who do not seek to cause us trouble and stumbling. Instead of us being upset or worried by our friends who are not always dealing with us perfectly, allow us to be examples to them as long as they are in our lives of what living in Your love and having forgiveness is like. Lord, we know that You do not stand for people taking advantage of each other, we know that You are not pleased by selfishness and self centered behavior, and we Thank You that You have shown us a better way to be. Help us remember to forgive time and again, but to rest also in Your protection.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Isn’t it interesting that in this verse, the prophet uses a Mother as the example of Godliness? God will comfort us as our mothers do. In many ways a parent’s love is often our greatest example of a Godly type of love here on earth. A mother can love her child beyond all measure, above all common sense, through any thing that might kill another kind of love. She can forgive her child over and over and over again, with open arms. And so, we can easily imagine that God might have made Mothers an example of His kind of love.
We see our Mothers as perfect, we see them through the eyes of Your love, Lord. As children we see them as examples of beauty and love, of nurturing and warmth. Lord, sometimes as we get older we see our parents, our Mothers in ways we would never have expected. They become real people to us, and we begin to worry for them, to fret over them, or even to have to take care of them as they once took care of us. Today, Lord, especially, we thank You for the gift of a Mother. For someone who goes above and beyond all common sense or usual human bounds to birth and nurture another person through this life. Thank You, Lord, that You have blessed so many children with Mothers who will love them beyond all sense and measure, who can be examples of Your love here in this world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
It can be so hard to feel guided by You in this life, even when we so desire to be. But I know You will counsel me when I seek it. I know You have promised to show me the way I should go, and that in these times of desperate seeking, You are found.
Please, Lord, let me clearly hear and see where You are aiming me and my family today. We want to follow Your path for us, and Your intentions with us. We want to be utilized by You in the larger picture that only You can see.
And so, today, we bow to Your will. Instruct us in the way to go, Lord, and let us see the path clearly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
Wounds from a friend can be trusted (Proverbs 27:6)
What does this mean to us? To me, it means that we need to learn to take criticism from friends and loved ones. God has tried to put people in our lives who can love us, love us completely, and love us as Christians, and who can help to correct us if we go off the path we are meant to be following.
If a friend comes to you and says something that feels like a wound, should we cut them out of our lives? Should we turn away in shame and fear that their criticism is correct? Or should we realize that this friend, or family member, or church member, may have our best interest at heart?
I’m not saying every criticism from someone we consider a friend, or every insult or wrong thing said, is something to be taken to heart. The best of us have some really bad moments and say things that might hurt others, for reasons other than love or their growth. But if we can remember this verse, we can maybe stay calm enough to stop and think about what has been said.
With God’s help we can take criticism well enough to use it for our own growth. We can take the time to examine not only the conversation but the friendship and hopefully be understanding if someone wounds us with good intentions.
Lord, I love that You have placed Godly friends and family in my circle here on earth to help me grow in Christ. I know that You have made it so that we can use Your Word as our guideline and instruction manual in tough situations and when we may be hurting. I am so thankful for this, and that I can trust that You will help me discern when someone is speaking from a Christian heart, and an intention of helpfulness, rather than seeking to hurt.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Lord, We get so lost in the day to day grind so often, and we forget to look to you. I get frustrated, my husband gets frustrated, and we forget to be grateful. But, Lord, Your word is always there to remind us, to gently chide or loudly convict us back to remembering who You are, and what You have done in our lives.
While You are busy providing our every need, we are often busy bickering and fighting over what we don’t have, or think might make us happy.
Remind me, Lord, to seek only You. To let Your priorities be mine. Remind me to put others’ welfare in the forefront as I seek to serve, and to trust that You will see to my needs as I do so.
Give us patience, Lord, with our own failings. As You forgive so readily, and see the good and faithful things in us.
Give us time, Lord. Enough time to grow into the people You are molding us to be, and enough patience to remember that You can stretch our days, allowing all of our priorities to be taken care of, so long as we line them up with Your plans and Your prescription as written in Your word.
Thank You so much, Lord. Amen.