children, faith, illness, testimony

Don’t Miss the Blessings

Sore and tired. Worn from continued sickness. Wearied by chronic illness. I awoke this morning with a clear recollection of what God had been trying to teach me. My heart knew. But I was not a willing pupil.

He whispered again today, Don’t miss My blessings.

Sitting here in pain. Crying. Listening to praise songs. Trying to encourage myself. Seeking to lift my own spirit. I hear my children. Happily at play. In harmony together. Pounding small rocks on the patio. To a rhythm. Singing joyfully. Contentedly.

And again I hear The Voice, Don’t miss My blessings.

Overwhelmed. Indecisive. Feeling guilty about what I should be doing. Wondering what I possibly can do in such pain. Procrastinating because of my sinful self. I would rather wallow in self-pity and misery. Rather that, than showering and facing the day, which might make me feel better. My sinful self doesn’t want to feel better. Conviction strikes my heart.

And again I hear His voice, Don’t miss My blessings.

I rise. I choke on tears. I shower. I sing what my heart feels. I comfort myself with verses. Scriptures hid in my heart long ago. I see my children’s smiling faces. I choose to focus on their smiles. The happy smiles of my children. I choose to laugh and joke. I choose to not see the unhappy things. I find strength to face my day. He is my strength.

find strength

It’s not long. Not long until I forget Him. Forget to rely on Him. Forget to focus on Him. I lose sight of who I am in Him. I stop looking at Him. Stop trusting in Him to be my strength. My flesh is weak. I am drawn away from Him.

Bored little boys in a checkout line. Waiting. Hungry. Annoying me. Little things that annoy easily. Requests. Repeated by excited children. I snap. I should have held my tongue. But I did not. My sinful heart says “Go away.” “Leave me alone.” “I have no more to give.” “I don’t WANT to give anymore.” “See me? I hurt. I bleed. I can’t give when I hurt so much.” And I remember my Lord. And I am ashamed. He bled. He gave. He gave all . He asks no less of me.

hegave all

Getting dinner. Busy, impatient children. Spilling, toppling food. Messes. And more messes. On top of already-uncleaned messes. Anger. Boiling up inside me. “Why can’t I ever get it right?” “Why can’t it be pretty?” “Why can’t it be perfect?” I know I am prideful. That’s what craves the perfection. It’s my sinful pride.

And again I hear the Still Small Voice, Don’t miss My blessings.

And I pray. My mind searches for the thanksgiving. For something to be thankful for. I remember from before… this could change my heart-attitude. Selfish anger fights against the joy that could be. All I must do is choose to be thankful. If I’d only choose to be thankful. And I pray some more.

choose thankful

I hear the patient Voice still repeating, Don’t miss My blessings.

 My family happily munches dinner. I close my eyes and I pray. I pray away my bitterness. Bitterness that life has not been what I wished it to be. What I planned it to be. Through my prayers, my heart chooses joy. I seek a renewing of my mind. A centering of myself in Christ.

Things that before were irritation, transform. I find myself thankful. Thankful for the spills. Thankful that I have children to make spills. Thankful I have food to be spilled. Thankful I have eyes to see the spills. Hands to clean the spills. Thankful I have children with willing hearts ready to help tidy up spills.

Thankful –even that I have sickness. Sickness to make my heart tender. Thankful that I have learned to give others understanding. Understanding and grace. I realize that the pain and sickness has changed me. It is still changing me. It is making me more like the One I Hold Most Dear. It is the crucible, the Refiner’s fire my Lord has chosen to purify me. And I have disdained it. Despised it.

Not understanding, I let the anger and the bitterness, keep me from seeing the blessings. Blessings poured out from Heaven. All around me. My heart sees no pain now– only joy.

And I hear a Voice, See. See My blessings.

n n j close bnw


 

 

Originally written in August of 2012


 

Edited to add that while I don’t believe that God speaks to us audibly today outside of the Scripture, I do believe that the Holy Spirit reminds us of Biblical concepts and leads us as stated in John 16. The voice described in this post represents the Holy Spirit’s prompting and not an audible voice. 

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