So I guess as long as I'm breathing, God will be teaching me something new. :) Today was most definitely a "learning day" for me in so many, many ways. And like a true teacher, when I learn something, I have to share it with someone else. :) So let me see if I can pass on a little of what God showed me today.
First of all, I had a very long night last night. I am 31 weeks pregnant and have already started having some pretty consistent contractions. Last night was really scary. They started about 9 p.m. and didn't let up until 3 a.m. I got up and moved around, changed positions, drank lots of water, and prayed a lot. My prayer all night was, "Please keep Rosemary inside me until March, Lord. I really don't want to have a premature baby that has to go to the NICU. I want her to be healthy and full-term. Please keep Rosemary inside me until March." I only slept for about an hour last night. So this morning, I came really close to putting myself on complete bedrest and staying home from church and a Bible study my mom had invited me to. I thought, maybe if I just sit on the couch and drink as much water as possible, these contractions will stop. But in my heart I really wanted to go to church and the Bible study, so I loaded up my liter of water and joined the family. I drank all the water during Sunday school, but was still having 4-5 contractions per hour. Well, I guess today's message was just for me. Bro. Jimmy is doing a series the month of January called "Building Blocks for a Better Life." Building Block #1 was, "God owns everything." It was based on 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and Psalm 24:1,2. Some of the notes I wrote in my notebook from the message were: Set your hopes and affections not on what you have, but on God Himself; "Little ones to Him belong" (my own side note- you'll see); What does God want me to do with what belongs to Him?? The message had a lot of financial application for most people, but honestly when I think about what is nearest and dearest to my heart, it's my family. Brian, Allie, Maggie, Penelope, and Rosemary. When I think of God's greatest gifts and my most treasured possessions, I think of them. When I think of the verse "The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness; the world and those who dwell therein", I can't help but remember that they don't belong to me. They are on loan to me from God. God loves them even more than I do. And when I ask myself the question, "What does God want me to do with what belongs to Him?" I have to remember that 1)God loves them EVEN MORE than I do (crazy!), 2)He has their best interest at heart, even if I don't understand His ways, 3)I have to hold them loosely, remembering that they don't "belong" to me. 4)He gives and can take them away at any point if He knows that it's ultimately what is best. Of course my mind is never far from the Karrs, who lost sweet Janie Beth this week, and I had to believe, despite how I feel, that God knew that was the ultimate good. And if He were to choose to bring Rosemary at 31 weeks and have her fighting for her life in the NICU, it would be for some higher, greater purpose and I would need to trust Him in it. So in a figurative sense this morning, I unclenched my fists and allowed my children (even the unborn one) to abide in HIS will, not mine. As Michelle has courageously said in one of her blog posts, "If it's not God's will for Janie Beth to live, I don't want her to live." What a courageous, unselfish, trusting statement. I have got to make the same statement, if at least in my heart, about my precious family. "Your will be done with them, Lord. Whatever Your will is." Wow. That's hard. But you know, before the sermon, we sang "When I Think About the Lord", a song I absolutely cannot get through without bawling like a baby. The song says "He healed me to the uttermost" and later, "He'll heal you". Whatever happens in this life, He can and will, heal me to the uttermost. He will be what I need. He will be what Michelle and Joey need. He will not leave anyone broken who comes to Him. What a powerful promise to lean on. We can say "Your will be done", knowing that He is not cruel or unkind, and that He alone is the Healer of our hearts.
Sunday school was another whammy. The subject was temptation. We looked at the "original sin" in the Garden of Eden and dissected the lie that Eve believed. Satan led Eve to doubt God. Plain and simple. "Did He really say. . . ?" and then Eve tried to use her human reasoning. . . "she saw that it was good for food (it doesn't look too bad; I think it's harmless; maybe I misinterpreted God), pleasant to the eyes, and desirable." Wow. How often do I do that? Especially the doubting God part. Here is my mind sometimes: Is God really enough for me? Can I really trust Him? What if He is looking the other way/not concerned with my troubles at the moment and something terrible happens? What if I mess up? Can God really fix it? Am I a total screwup? Will I ever get it all together? But really it all comes back to "Is God enough for me?" Satan loves to make me believe that I need more than Him for abundant life. I need a warm house, healthy kids, loving husband, food on the table, etc. etc. etc. LIE. I, like Eve, believe Satan's lies all the time. Satan also tried to tempt Jesus, but the way Jesus combatted his attempts was with Scripture. I know that if I keep meditating on and memorizing Scripture, I will be less and less tempted to believe the lies.
After church I went to the Bible study my mom was leading in her home with some Chinese ladies she's met. Some are believers, others are not. It was such a neat little blessing to study Scripture with my mom, and to get to know these interesting ladies. It's always a blessing to get out of your own little world and step into someone else's for awhile. I learned a lot and got a fresh perspective. I felt like God was saying, "Okay my student, now breathe and enjoy yourself for a few hours." It was a refreshing change of pace. Thanks Mom for inviting me to come. :)