This lone, pitiful petite rose is one of two rose plants that are remaining in our garden. All the others have died. I would have loved to feast my eyes on gorgeous flowers – roses, peonies, hydrangeas… – that grow in profusion, walked or rolled over fields of fragrant lavender or lovely pink dahlias, but you know what? We don’t have them.
Looking at the stunning photos of gardens and flowers of other blogs, and seeing their owners’ strength and joy in tending them and their homes, and seeing them do the things that I myself am desiring to do, stirred up a familiar feeling inside of me – envy. Through the years, as I wrestled with my illness and physical weakness, and learned to accept my circumstances and live with what the Lord graciously gives me, I also had to wrestle with other unwanted and unprofitable emotions most prominent of them was envy. Like a sick girl looking out the window, watching other children play and laugh under the sun – that kind of feeling.
And though, by God’s endless mercy and grace, I have come a long way – both in my health condition and spiritual life – I still have to be watchful and remain focused on what I have gained, not on what I have lost. The Lord has made me triumph over all these negative feelings, and I have truly learned to live in joy and thanksgiving, for this is the wisdom from above that I have been blessed with.
So, when that little demon tries to rear its ugly head up at me, tempting me to wallow in self-pity, I know just how to snuff the life out of him – I WILL GIVE GLORY TO GOD.
In moments of weakness, we usually think that others are far more blessed than us. But what is blessed? In Psalm 84 of the Amplified Bible, blessed is defined as “happy, fortunate, to be envied”. Indeed, when we look around us, we see so many people who may fall under this category of “happy, fortunate, to be envied”, or simply – blessed. That is, if we see without “Spirit eyes”.
These weaknesses arise when we focus our eyes on the things that are seen which are only temporary, and forgetting to set our affections on things above – the things that are not seen, the ones which are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).
Before I gave my life to the Lord, I honestly and truly believed that I was blessed. Why? I was living my dreams – a glamorous and fulfilling career that I was passionate about, successful business, travels, material wealth, pleasures… I knew and believed that I had the kind of life that is to be envied.
How little I knew! How ignorant I was! I didn’t know that in the eyes of God my life was a whited sepulchre that appeared beautiful outward but inside was full of uncleanness (Mat. 23: 27).
So, who are really blessed? Psalm 84 provides the answer:
The blessed are those whose hearts are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and who seek to stay in the Lord’s presence for in His presence, there is fullness of joy, at His right hand there are pleasures forever more (Psalm 16: 11); those who have set their love upon the Lord, and are determined to walk the journey He has set for them.
Here is the blessedness of setting one’s love upon the Lord:
Therefore, I will grab victory, the victory that the Lord Jesus has won for me, and shake off every cobweb of envy or self-pity. And I will choose to declare God’s goodness, and give thanks and glory to His name – this name that has saved me and turned my life around.
Naming and listing down His blessings in every day:
– watching the kids play
– scrumptious, crumbly top apple pie I made for the first time (thinking of mixing apples with bananas next time – banapple pie?)
– a still-hot slice for a kind neighbor
– almost-four-year-old boy messing with his Mom’s baking
– husband coming home carrying a big tin of premium Chinese mooncakes
– kids’ trip to Avilon Zoo
– the joy of writing
– the light and comfort of God’s Word
– staying awake during Friday Overnight Worship Service and listening to the preaching “The Blessing of Burdens”
– refreshing and faith-strengthening discussion with beloved husband up to the wee hours of the morning
– amazing testimonies of God’s wonders and miracles that continue to bless me
– unceasing prayers of our beloved Hon. Pastor Wilde E. Almeda with fasting and weeping, beseeching the Lord to continue to stretch forth His hand to save, heal, and protect.
– my faithful Shepherd restoring me
Participating with Multitudes on Mondays at A Holy Experience.