Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day Twenty One: Rocky Roads

(1956 Olympic Games)

Before You Begin:  Read Acts 14:8-20
            In Lystra and Derbe
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left Derbe.
Stop and Consider: When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
Questions Asked of Me: How do you typically handle compliments and success? Do they sort of go to your head? What usually happens when he depend on others’ positive opinions to feed our pride?
I don’t usually handle compliments very well. If someone says “Hey, great boots;” I usually say “OMGosh, they were only $40 at Kohls, you should get some.” I can never just say “Thank You.” But when I speak at churches or write a blog; even where HE is the theme, topic, or focus…I probably take more credit than I should. I mean, I never act like they are original thoughts…unless they are, but perhaps it does kind of go to my head. Humility is something I work on and strive for. I know that my boldness and transparency rubbed off on Lynnette and I like to think that some of her humility rubbed off on me, but not nearly as much as it needs to. Perhaps I need to go home and hang out with Lynnette more…yeah, that’s it.
I don’t need others’ approval of me…or do I? I love the feeling I get after finishing a blog, especially if I know that it will help others (when He probably thinks that it was all for me and I don’t have a clue.)
I tell my daughters’ never to let others determine their worth. “Don’t let what other’s think of you make you feel better or worse than you should.” Yet, I have recently realized that other’s having a high opinion of me has tended to make me think I just might be better than a few of them; definitely not a good place to be. BUT… it is a humbling place to be when you realize it so it can be addressed and put in check.
When you think of the most humble, sincere people you know, what qualities of there are the most admirable – the ones you’d most like to possess yourself?
Lynnette is the most humble I know. She is THE best listener and her heart just signs through any situation. I remember taking these qualities as her being shy when we first met; and only later realized that she enjoys seeing others succeed before herself. When I came along I was her biggest cheerleader and where she was humble and unassuming, I was quick to share with others what she had accomplished and all I loved about her. She is my biggest cheerleader and encourager as well…. Where there was once a “Lucy and Ethel” feeling with past friends (Me being the redhead and always up to something….), Jesus now brought me a friend to welcome in a new chapter of friendship comparison. Lynnette is Barnabas to my Paul and I would love to possess all of the qualities that she has; humble, prayer warrior, listener, servant, and friend. I know that is why Jesus gave her to me (one of my favorite gifts). He gave me something to emulate and someone to feed off of until I can get it right myself. I am grateful beyond measure.
Praying God’s Word Today: Like Hannah, when rejoicing over the miraculous birth of her son Samuel, may I never forget that You bring death and give life, You bring poverty and give wealth, You humble and exalt (1 Samuel 2:6-7). Or like Job, when wrought with trouble and turmoil, may I still be able to say, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). In any and all circumstances, may my view of You – just like my love for You – remain ever the same.

Dear Jesus:
Thank you for all of my gifts. I now know that even what I thought were the worst times of my life; were gifts from You….had they not happened, I would never have the relationships or heart that I have. I am grateful for the lessons You continue to teach me and I am grateful for the people put in my path to teach them.
I know what it is to be successful in others’ eyes and I know what it is to feel successful in You; I am grateful for them both. I know that Your love for me was why I had to have one to feel another and I ask for strength and humility in remembering that; everyday whether it be good or bad….happens because You choose for it to happen. Whether I know the reason for it, or the outcome, doesn’t matter…. I will have faith that it will ALL be for Your glory and second guessing it is not an option.



1 comment: