Guarding Our Hearts

I have to confess that I have not been guarding my heart as I should lately. I have allowed all kinds of discouragement to enter in and that was quickly followed by anger at my situation. But God dealt handily with me yesterday, reminding me of the scripture that He had just spoken to me on Friday from Habakkuk. No matter what is going wrong in our lives, God is worthy to be praised!

You see, I was having a regular pity party because I just wanted to get my surgery over with and be able to move on with my life. Getting sick just before surgery was not part of my plan! But perhaps, it was part of God’s plan. Now I don’t believe that God struck me with this virus and asthma. No, but He can certainly use it to teach me. While I have been sick, I have noticed others that are not complaining as I am, and Heaven knows that their illness is much more serious. In fact, I have three friends who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. No cure, little help for it, just excruciatingly painful chemo therapy that kills the good cells along with the bad ones, leaving them weak and so sick that they can’t lift their heads from a pillow. Yet, I have not heard them whine about their fates. They have accepted what is happening and are cherishing every moment of life that God has granted them. One friend was supposed to go in for surgery and have the cancer cells cut out, but when the surgeon got into the surgical site, he discovered that it had spread, so he closed up the incision and had to break the news to her. She is one of the strongest Christians I know, so she continues to smile and be gracious and loving to all. The circumstances of my three friends make me feel so small, in a way that I know that God is dealing with me to get it together and pray for others instead of feeling sorry for myself. The truth is that when you are focused on others, it is very hard to stay self-centered. I’m looking outward now, waiting for God to act on my behalf, of course, but also hoping for more. I want Him to touch my friends, to comfort them, to be close to them as they go through these dreaded treatments. Mostly, I want life for them…just that. More years added to their lives. More of being able to reach others for Christ, just as they have been doing. As for me, I am spending less time praying for myself and more time praying for others. Isn’t that what Jesus did? He knew that He faced certain death on the cross, a death that was totally undeserved, yet He willingly took our consequences for sin because of His great love for us. Would that I can remember that in the days to come…sacrificial love for others was the example Jesus showed us. I hope that all of you have someone special in your life to pray for today, but I also ask that you pray for my three friends. For they need your prayers, and I appreciate your praying for them, for God’s comforting and healing touch on their lives. Blessings.

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