Saturday, August 04, 2007

Encouragement from strange places

Lately as I've struggled with my health, encouragement has come to me from some unexpected sources. For instance, while listening to random cassette tapes
in order to throw things out I ran across an old song soundtrack from a friend's
wedding. She had made a soundtrack for me so I could practice before the
wedding. I listened to the song, vaguely remembering it. (I still can't remember which friend's wedding it was for.) However, after the song was over I let the
tape run a little longer.

Suddenly I heard a long, loud EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeee and a man's voice saying, "radio
broadcast for Feb. 21 in 3, 2, 1...." and then Elizabeth Elliot's voice came on.
I continued to listen to three of her 15 minute broadcasts all about suffering
and being content with our lot in life. I was encouraged to remember that God is
never surprised by the circumstances we find ourselves in and it is His
exclusive trademark to make something beautiful out of ugliness. I was also
reminded of Christ's sacrifice that ultimately guarantees our future, no matter
what life may bring

Another unexpected encouragement came from cleaning off a shelf in our
bedroom. I found a packet of papers I received last summer when we visited
Covenant Life Church in Washington D.C. while on vacation. The front of it says,
"Especially for Moms: a collection of verses, testimonies, and quotes compiled
to encourage and refresh you". I had never read it, so I sat down to read and
soon tears were flowing down my cheeks. The verses and words seem hand-picked
for the situation I find myself in.

I'd like to share one or two poignant sections here.

One is the following quote from Valley of Vision p. 24:

Let me not be at my own disposal,
But rejoice that I am under
the care of one
Who is too wise to err,
Too kind to injure,
Too tender to crush.

And, the following paraphrased "Rules of Contentment" by E.B. Pusey:

1. Do not complain about anything, not even the weather.

2. Do not picture myself under circumstances in which I am not.

3. Never compare myself or my lot with anyone else.

4. Never dwell on the wish that things had been, were, or are
different. God loves me better and more wisely than I do myself.

5. Never dwell on tomorrow. Remember that it is God's,
not mine. The Lord will provide. (contributed by Ivy Barnett)

So I plod along, praying that God will give me the strength and inner joy that I need to get through each day. :) Maybe these things will encourage someone else?


Desiree said...

ME! These words encouraged me. I need to print them and keep them in front of my eyes. :) Thanks for posting! Let's keep praying for each other.

Jer said...

Maybe these things will encourage someone else?

Indeed they have.

Anonymous said...

Just got your post Sun. am. The last one of Ivy's--about tomorrow, is one I need every minute of the day. Such good thoughts. It is really neat how the Lord brings thoughts and scriptures to mind, without even looking for them, that pertain to our situations. Thanks for sharing those. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm stealing the Rules of Contentment from you. I need to read that every day! Thanks for putting it out there. Esther