What happens when you let God move you beyond yourself? More than you'd ever imagine.
I, by nature, am a very selfish person. I don't like to admit this, but it is the truth. I am stingy with my time. I don't want to help others. I want to only do things that benefit me. I want my "me" time, my stuff, my way!
But, by the Grace of God, I'm learning to move beyond myself. It's hard. It's a constant struggle to let God have control of me. I want to do things my way. I have to daily, no-minute by minute, ask God to take control & make me to be what He wants me to be. When I pry my fingers off my life & the things in my life & hold those things up to God, some pretty amazing things happen.
First, I'm filled with joy! Indescribable, unnatural joy. I'm not just happy, I'm overwhelmed by joy, God's joy (I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:11).
Then I have Peace. God's Peace (Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27). This peace makes no sense. I am calm even in the midst of crisis. I have no fear of the unknown When normally I would panic, I don't. I just know deep in my soul that God is in control & will work everything out for good (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. Romans 8:28).
I also have a desire to serve God & others. This is totally out of my nature. Normally, I just want to do the easy thing which is to not help anyone & not talk to anyone. But I just thank God that He is moving me beyond self. I truly want to help others now. I love to be behind the scenes & do menial tasks that make others shine. I'm going to give a few examples, not to make myself look good, but to show you how God is working in me.
I have been helping with my daughter's dance program, One49. The easy way & the way I would chose normally, is to just drop her off at practice & not really care what is going on with the program and to just come to her recital & leave. But God has laid on my heart a great love for this program. Bess has made it more than just a dance class. She is teaching the girls to love God, to serve God, to be modest, to be loving & to praise God with their dance. She pours herself into One49 with all she has. God has shown me that I need to pray for Bess, for the girls & for the program. But I need to do more than just pray. I have to put action behind the prayers. I make myself available to help Bess in whatever way she needs. It would definitely be easier to not do any of this, but I miss out on the blessings. My family & I have developed a wonderful friendship with Bess & her family. I get the blessing of watching Bess's baby daughter during dance. I get to help set up the classroom for the girls & to pray for each of their lives. I have the privilege of setting up, baking cookies & running sound for the recital. Why is this such a privilege? Because it is at this recital that God is glorified & His Word is proclaimed & He is praised. To be allowed to participate in this kind of program has changed me.
Another area I have learned not to be selfish in is my home life. I am learning that by giving up "me" time, by giving up my desire to do my own thing, I am gaining such a wonderful life. I am privileged to be wife to a wonderful hubby & mother to 3 amazing kids. If I remain selfish, I miss out on the little moments. I'm like an outsider just watching my family. So I have to chose to let God love through me & then I can be a part of this wonderful family. I get to nurture the kids & teach them God's Word. I get to love my hubby & to support him and encourage him.
I'm not really sure why this subject is on my mind today. Maybe it is in response to all the people that seem to think I am doing something special by helping others. It's not me! It's God! He is working through me & moving me beyond myself and making me a blessing to others. So don't thank me if I've helped you recently. All the thanks goes to God! Praise Him! Then pray for me that I will continue to hold my life and the things & people in my life in my open hands that are extended to God!