Here's just a real short snippet from my recent readings, "The Hidden Smile of God" by Piper. It is another book from his "the swans are not silent" series highlighting the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd. These books ministered to me deeply while I was in the hospital and I am excited to be reading another. It provides fresh perspective on the "sufferings" of my life, my inadequacy apart from Christ and the call of endurance to the saints.
From Cowper's book, "The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England", he says:
Comfort indeed. For apart from Him, I am nothing and can be nothing. The last couple weeks have given me a whole new perspective on my need for Him."We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by faith, and not of our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort..."(emphasis mine)
In many ways during these past few months of recovery, I feel like I have been able to jump out of the gate, so to speak. Get back in the swing. Pick up where I left off. No problem. However, I will admit the last couple weeks have been quite trying. There was something about being in that hospital bed for 40+ days that made me recognize my need for God.
I was helpless.
I was not in control.
I could have despaired.
I needed God.
And He was there.
But now that I am back in full swing as wife, mother, sister-in-law, auntie and daughter-in-law...I am in my element. I just needed to get better. And then, I could competently run my home again. I couldn't wait to get back to my busy life and the many "hats" that I wear everyday. I could do it. I, in my own strength. I can be all things to all the people that need me.
But really, no...I can't.
Father, how quickly I fall back into old habits. Pulling myself up by my bootstraps. Taking pride in my even-keeled personality and ability to be flexible and handle stress.
This is a trap and an excuse for me to be lazy in my priorities and goals. And it's how I get in trouble. And then fall flat on my face.
Thinking I can make it...on my own. And for me, it leads to not spending the time needed in the Word. Not getting on my knees to beg for mercy and ask for help to spend my day for the glory of Christ. Not seeing every moment I spend with my children, every day I enjoy being married to my husband and every second I call Christ my Savior as a display of grace.
Oh, it makes me so mad when I fall back into bad habits. Habits that are sin! Help me Lord...and may I be ever-conscience and comforted by your grace. For it is only by that unfathomable grace that I can make it through each day. I don't deserve it...but I sure need it.
Don't we all...