Job 5:17 “Consider the joy of those corrected by God .”
“I was upset and frustrated that I had wretched shoes until I met a man who had no feet!” While growing up I heard this quote many times but failed to give it much credence…until my life took a few hard turns. I can recall my pathetic pity parties as I longed for a better car, job, apartment, etc; unaware of just how self-centered I had become. I wonder what my friends and fellow workers thought of my whining? That’s ok, I think I know.
Strangely I thought I deserved whatever I wanted. I had allowed myself to believe that wanting was the same as deserving. Unfortunately, me-focused attitudes do not just pass away, there must be an impetus, a strong reason to change, to see others as more important, or at least, as important as myself.
In my life, the powerful change that shifted my vision from me to others happened when I met the One who can truly change lives. And that with no ill side effects. I met Jesus in a small rural church in Oregon. Jesus Christ, the Life Changer.
In a way, He fitted me with new glasses and corrected my focus; shifted my vision to see others rather than myself as most important. He became my primary focus. Day by day, week by week my gaze was redirected to the lives of friends, fellow-workers and even strangers. I was now concerned for people other than myself and, like the fellow frustrated about terrible shoes, I saw, for the first time, the needs of someone else. What a wonderful vision-shift.
Along with a visual change, I became content for the first time in my life. God’s presence in my life brought contentment as only He can do. Did I get a flat tire on the way to an important appointment? Well, praise God for building my character through an otherwise frustrating event. He brought peace into my life as no other person or methodology can do; a peace that passes human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
2 Cor 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Phil 4:11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
1 Tim 6:6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.
Heb 13:5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
And now what? We are laid bare before God, our excuses piled high like cord wood, waiting for a heavenly match to set them ablaze, burning away the impurities with only glowing hot embers of faith and contentment in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ remaining.
Oh God, thank you for your eternal patience, grace and mercy. We see your light of hope gleaming brightly just over the horizon, beckoning us ever nearer to walk along this life-path hand-in-hand.
“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sins.” 1 John 1:7