I am thinking today about a friend, and I am praying for her, as she faces most distressful and overwhelming circumstances in her life. We talked briefly yesterday, and she relayed to me a story about a young girl she knows.
This young girl found herself pregnant, and in a sad series of events lost her child to the drug-addicted father.
She went on to have several more difficult years. She became pregnant again, and this time gave birth to a severely disabled child. I don't even know if this baby survived. After all these terrible events kept happening in the girl's life, a friend asked her: "You always have such a great attitude. Don't you ever ask God why all these bad things keep happening to you?"
"Yes," the girl answered. "There was one time when I asked the Lord, 'Why me?' The day I got on my knees and begged for forgiveness and asked the Lord to accept me into his Heart, I said, 'Why me, Lord? Why do you want me?"
I am reminded of verses from one of my favorite Hymns, "O God Beyond All Praising." Will you take a minute and read these words? So beautiful:
Then hear, O Gracious Savior,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor
may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we'll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty
and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty
our sacrifice of praise.
My friends, the greatest offering we can give to God, the most tremendous sacrifice we can make is
"Our joyful duty, a sacrifice of praise."
"rise to bless you still."
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
I am working hard on this. Praise doesn't come easy some days. Why is it so easy to complain? Sigh.... There are some people, like my my dear mother, who seem to praise so easily and naturally. But I know she has worked hard on being a person of praise. Every day, each moment she has practiced praising God and being thankful until it has become who she is.
There are some days where I want to indulge in complaining like I would indulge in a soft chocolate doughnut.The complaining feels so good coming out, and awful afterwards- just like eating a doughnut.
There are times in our lives, however, when we need to discuss difficult circumstances with a friend, need support, and need to ask for help. That is not a form of complaining!!! I think deep down, we all know what complaining is- the constant expressing of that which annoys us; it's like crying about paper cuts (even though they really hurt some times!)
For those times when you are feeling overwhelmed and powerless, I want you to know this:
"And He has said this to me,' My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness .' Therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (2Corinthians, 12:9)
God can take you in your weakest state and use that frailty for perfection. Will you let Him?