My daughter, her two children, and I went to the Terrell Heritage Jubilee last Saturday. Typhanie and Joel went on a helicopter ride. Other than that, we didnít spend any money except on tickets to that nightís event -- the rodeo. We just spent our time walking around, looking at the crafts, the carnival rides, and the showcase vehicles. We didnít have much money. At first, I thought the Lord was showing me the things He showed me so that I could see how blessed I am. But it wasnít that at all. I know I am blessed. There are a whole world of people out there who do not even have a bed to sleep in.
As we headed toward the car, a man pushed his little girl by in a wheelchair. Not far behind them was the semi-crippled mother. Then, a man rode by on a bicycle. It was obvious that he was severely oppressed. Person after person after person with some kind of disease or anguish walked by. I looked to my daughter. She was walking along, oblivious.
ďAm I the only person who sees this, Lord? Why? Why are Your people hurting so? You are loving and merciful and kind! Why? Are there not enough of us who pray? I donít understand why Your people hurt. Please, Lord, open my understanding.Ē
It is so, so neat how the Word of God will come to your remembrance in such a timely manner. ďIf my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves...Ē That was all I needed to hear. Iíll go ahead and put the entirety of that verse and the ones before and after here, but I learned something so powerful that day. And I was reminded of it again last night via none other than a cartoon.
II Chronicles 7:13-15 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
I went to sit with little Blaine last night while his parents took his big sisters to softball practice. They keep their televisions on all day so that Blaine will learn to sleep through noise. I respect their wishes and leave them on, despite the fact that I do not care for television other than an occasional movie. We sat on the couch, cuddling up with a bottle of apple juice and dozing when the words that the cartoon characters were singing filtered through my consciousness: ďItís all about me. Itís all about me. Itís all about me.Ē Over and over and over, they sang the same words. Ten minutes later, I was putting Blaine in his crib and the cartoon was ending... still on the same note. The entire cartoon was based on the same theme: ďItís all about me.Ē
Nobody wants to admit it or even look at it. But, God help us, it is the truth. We have raised and have been raised a selfish, self righteous bunch of people. Americans, we are spoiled rotten. The only reason we are as blessed as we are is because we claim to be ďOne Nation UNDER God.Ē His reputation is at stake and we are responsible for it. But of course we are! We sit back and watch our own suffer when we, supposedly, serve the Living, Loving, All-Powerful God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And there is nothing more simple than humbling ourselves before Him.
Lord, teach us to humble ourselves so that we do not have to be forcefully humbled! We can do nothing without You. We are powerless without You! Let us be a humble people so that the world may look upon us and see ďOne Nation UNDER GodĒ and come running to You for their own countries sakes.
Lord, press into Your people whom you have called by Your Name, so that we might know what to pray and how to pray for Your people. You are too holy for any one of us to assume that we, by our own knowledge or prayer life could even consider dictating to You. Deliver us, Father. Show us the Way so that we can walk therein.
Let us be a humble, God-fearing, God-loving generation in America. Create in us clean hearts and right spirits. But most of all, Father, create in us humbleness, meekness, and kindness one toward another. Let not one of us assume that because we pray a certain way, live a certain way, talk a certain way, etc., that we can influence You one bit more than another. Itís all about YOU, oh God! Let us willfully decrease so that You may increase.
I cannot imagine why You have placed such a heavy burden on my heart for Your people and this country, Father. Mine is but a very small voice. But the burden is there nonetheless. Please, Dear God of Mercy, hear my cries. In the Name of Jesus, who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, forgive us Father. Forgive us. Let us be humble. Heal our land.
Thank You for the wondrous things You have already done and because You never, ever change. In the blessed and most merciful Name above every name, our Rock and our Fortress, Jesus. Amen.
© Joyce Pool
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be lowly in spirit
and among the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
Proverbs 16:18-19 KJV
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor
Ezekiel 28:17 NIV
He may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil;
1 Timothy 3:6 RSV
Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
1 Peter 5:5,6 NASB
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
For IT IS TIME FOR JUDGMENT TO BEGIN AT THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD; and if it begins WITH US, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:12-17 ESV
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