Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turning My Pouting To Praise

This morning I sat down with my Bible and journal to start my day. But instead of coming to God with praise, I came to Him with my list of grievances. "Lord, I am stressed." "Lord, I am overwhelmed." "Lord I am nervous." I carried on like this for awhile, writing it all down and generally sounding a lot like the Israelites probably did. And you might recall how great that turned out.

So I was doing my Bible study and ended up in Hebrews. Specifically Hebrews 10:35-36. This is what it says:

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to
persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he
has promised.

I noticed that I had written a date in the margin. I do that when a verse really ministers to me. Sometimes I can go back and say, "Oh that was when my son was in the hospital." "That was when my grandfather died." But this one I couldn't figure out at first. What was going on in July of 03? Like most mothers, I figured out how old my kids were at that point (it's the timeline of my life...). It dawned on me that that was the summer I committed to write a book and enter into this world of ministry. I can still remember calling my friend Lysa and saying with confidence, "I am going to do this. I am going to stop saying 'someday.'" Right around the time I placed that phone call, I marked that passage.

I stared down at the date and calculated how long it had been since I wrote that. More than six years. I stared at the word "persevere" and knew that, when I marked that verse, I had no idea how long my journey would take. And then I realized that I had just spent the bulk of my time with God bemoaning the fruition of my writing and ministry dreams. I was complaining about my deadline for the novel and whining about the speaking commitments I have coming up. As I re-read those verses I had marked long ago, God got my attention. He had given me what He had promised, opening doors of writing and speaking that were only dreams 6 years ago. My perseverance had paid off.

And how did I react? By pouting about it.

I know. It makes no sense. Why would I do that? Instead of pouting, I should be praising. Instead of sulking, I should be savoring. Instead of regretting, I should be rejoicing. I clearly needed an attitude adjustment. Sitting there this morning, my journaling changed. I started thanking God for the opportunities He has given me. I determined that, from now on I am going to move forward with an attitude of praise. I am not going to worry about what lies ahead. I am not going to whine to God about all that's on my plate. I am going to celebrate where He has me... and how far He has brought me. I am going to trust that none of what's happening comes as a surprise to Him, and that He will supply my needs like manna-- just enough of what I need for that day. No more, no less.

Today my assignment is to prepare to speak tonight. I am going to stand back and watch Him show up. I am going to remember the opening lines of those verses, "So do not throw away your confidence." And remember that my confidence is not in myself, but in Him.
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Ariel said...

Well spoken and timely my sweet friend!


amykat said...

You have encouraged me - because I am in the midst of your previous six year period. Praying for the doors and opportunities.

And it's such a God thing that this morning, my verse was Hebrews 10: when I read your post - it was God underlining this truth to me....that I, too, will receive the promised reward when I have done His will and persevered.

What excitement and JOY your words have brought to me today. Isn't it so cool to hear how God spoke these words to you....and then at the same time, He used your words to remind ME of what He's telling me? I love how He works. I just LOVE how He works.

Thank you!

Trench Mommy said...

Great post Marybeth! Thanks...I needed to read this today.

momishome2 said...

You must have been reading MY journal! I so needed this reminder today after yet another rejection letter. I started on the writing/editing journey 2 1/2 years ago and sometimes it feels like I'm still in my driveway, but if I honestly look back, I've made it out to one of the bigger roads in the development. I'd love to be driving down Main Street in Homeschool Publishing Town in a shiny, red, Mazda Miata convertible, but so far I'm chugging away in my pewter Nissan Altima. Sigh. Yet, I AM chugging and I DID make it out of my driveway. Thanks for helping me to remember that!

(Hey, I like my little analogy that I just thought up while I was typing. I'll have to use that somewhere . . .)

~ Bethany L.

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Great post Marybeth~

We are so like the children of Israel aren't we???

Thanks for writing this.

Lord, please speak to our hearts today through Marybeth's very honest words.

Arlene Grimm said...

So glad you kept the dream in your heart Marybeth. I am thankful that we do not know God's timetable. We went through a rough patch that lasted five years. If I had known at the beginning it would be five years before we saw a change, I might have just given up. Thanks for sharing your verse!!

Molly Gold said...

Stunningly accurate, but then again, what would you expect! Thank you for yet again arriving right on time in my reading, seeking, and hoping to better understand. Your ability to demonstrate what God's word is telling us all is a precious gift...thank you!

Anjeleeca said...

Ouch! I really needed to hear that today and mine has to do with my family. I prayed for years to have the family I have now and I've been complaining the last couple of days about just that. Thank you for this blog.

Melissa Milbourn said...

I love this, and I needed it today.

Wish I was sitting with you at Outback again. I'm hungry.

Christi said...

Very well put! Thanks for sharing.