Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Woe and Extol

[I have a guest writer this morning. Second Daughter was discussing her morning Bible reading this weekend. I asked her to share, and she did:]

My morning reading in Proverbs was chapter 23.  The following verses spoke to me specifically.

Proverbs 23:29-35 KJV

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? [30] They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. [31] Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. [32] At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. [33] Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. [34] Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. [35] They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

These verses remind me so much of my life before salvation.  Alcohol and drugs destroy lives and families; only by the grace of God are we healing from a life so destructive.

We tend to compare ourselves with others.  When you're down in despair you think that no one knows what you're going through and you think that you have it worse than anyone else. I have learned that when you really get to know people you will find sometimes your life seems so much better than theirs, even in your own misery. Then there's always someone else who is looking at your life and thinking 'Wow my situation is so much better than theirs'. I don't have it too bad.’  And so on and so on, we continue in this destructive spiral.

As I was reading my Proverb this morning verse 35 says 'they have beaten me and I felt it not' I was reminded of a young lady I met that was an alcoholic/cocaine addict married to an addict.  Her husband had come home high and passed out in the living room; she laid down an old blanket and rolled him in it.  Then she got her cast iron skillet and proceeded to beat him with it. She then unrolled him, threw away the blanket and left him there. In the morning she came in and woke him up and said 'Wow, what happened to you last night'.  He said ' I don't know, I don't remember anything.' While in therapy she confessed to the beating . You should have seen the look on his face.

Then I went to my reading in Psalms and this was the passage. And is my life now.

Psalm 30:1-12 KJV

I will extol thee, O Lord ; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. [2] O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. [3] O Lord , thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. [4] Sing unto the Lord , O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. [5] For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. [6] And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. [7] Lord , by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. [8] I cried to thee, O Lord ; and unto the Lord I made supplication. [9] What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? [10] Hear, O Lord , and have mercy upon me: Lord , be thou my helper. [11] Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; [12] To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

What a contrast!  When the devil tells me I haven't changed. God shows me just how much I have.  I am a work in progress. May I never forget where I have come from, only so that I can see how far God has brought me.

Now I see people differently too.  I don't compare my life to theirs. I compare it to Christ's.  That is my goal. To be like Christ.  I do not want people to see me, they need to see Jesus.

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