Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HONEST (05/31/18)
TITLE: Following my Leader
By Elaine Hemingway
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“I’m fine, thanks. That will be great. Good to see you, too. “’Bye.”
Hypocrite! I say I am fine but is that the truth? Yes, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, - my mantra - but if I admitted to be battling a little could anyone help?
Actually, I tried to do things my way in earlier years and made a mess of it. So I admitted that to the Lord and asked Him to please take over. Since that time, for many years now, whenever I am tempted to think it would be good if … I temper my prayers with “Not my will, but Yours, Lord.” It works wonderfully and I have seen miracles unfold. Often, when the truth of Romans 8:28 (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.) is manifest then often it is recognised with hindsight. Also, the good is not necessarily for me but for the benefit of someone else.
There are many of us and perhaps I could say, to quote the demons in the man of the Gerasenes, we are legion. We are carers who give love and encouragement to someone we love. The degrees of their needs and our duties vary but all involve sacrifice in one form or another.
When I contemplate my life, gratitude is prevalent. Unfortunately, hidden in the recesses of my mind are questions, regrets, resentments and contradictions. As a carer I am grateful for insights and experiences shared by others in the support group, but as not all are of like mind to my Christian beliefs a certain measure of reticence is necessary. I find myself handling the truth carefully, considerately and circumspectly, which boils down to carelessly!
I realise my heart must be honest. I want comfort for the one I care for, not convenient rest for me. Convenience must not colour my prayers. We cannot feel another’s pain, only imagine it, so the grunts and groans that cry for help must bring the hope of divine help and hence intercessory prayer.
Romans 12:1 has presented me with some rather humorous challenges. “…I urge you … in view of God’s mercy, to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”
I picture myself, nicely arranged on the altar, like a piece of meat on a butcher’s slab, with the fatty bits hidden, and the best side facing forward. I would do my best to present the good side, the almost faultless side, displayed to the best advantage, declaring, ‘here I am. Is that good enough?’
No! People may be fooled but my God knows me better than I know myself, and nothing is hidden from His sight. He knows all my faults and weaknesses, yet loves me still. He promises Agape love, unconditional, all-encompassing and boundless. He promises to meet my every need, so how can I cavil at any condition in my life? He knows my needs better than I know my hopes and wants. He also knows the needs of my loved one.
If I’m honest I am almost like a lost sheep, but not altogether lost for I know my Shepherd and so did the one I care for. He called us by name and I keep Him in my sight. Where He leads I will follow. That’s the honest truth!
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