Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Mother's Day is not the easiest for me, although I think it should be a joyful time. Sometimes, I feel like I have an emotional struggle with sadness and wanting to rejoice with those around me who God has blessed to be mothers. This year I have a Mother-in-Law, which obviously, I have never experienced before. Plus there is the Stepmom, "adopted" Mom, Aunts who are like having another Mom, and awesome friends who happen to be Moms. I certainly cannot forget my Grandma, who turned 91 this month. She has been a Mom a long time and all these ladies are to be celebrated.

When my Mom was in the hospital, I would sing to her. Nothing impressive, I promise, but just cause sitting in a hospital is boring. I would sing hymns that she knew or I would randomly pick. I tried to sing hymns that I knew all the verses to, so the singing would last longer. When she was first in the hospital she sang along with me sometimes. We used to sing in the car together, so it was nothing unfamiliar or out-of-the-ordinary. During the last few days of her life, this is the song I would sing most often as I would hold her hand. It was one of her favorites and still is one of mine, verse four is especially beautiful as I imagine the truth of those words!

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
William Ralph Featherston, 1864

So for the Moms to be celebrated and the Moms being missed because they are experiencing the joys of Heaven, the best thing is life has been and will always be having a relationship with Jesus. Life is truly all about Him. I pray He is the One we love and celebrate every day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Forsaking All Others

I’m working through my books for the year. I’m a little behind because of a wedding, moving, and other good stuff that comes along with life. Right now, I am in the middle of Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Let Me Be A Woman. I bought the book about a year ago, just because I wanted it and it was a good price. Little did I know that it is a book of wisdom/advice she wrote to her daughter Valerie as a newlywed. Could there be a better time for me to read this?

I remember listening to Elizabeth Elliot on the radio at home when I was a kid. She had a 15 minute program called Gateway to Joy. She introduced each program with these words, “…I have loved you with an everlasting love…” from Jeremiah 31:3. Anyway, she is one of those spiritual giants as far as I am concerned. Her love story with her missionary husband, Jim, who was martyred by the Aucas in 1956 is truly a story of God’s sovereignty. It is better than anything the world has ever tried to recreate on a movie screen. Her book Passion & Purity details that story very well!

As I have been reading Let Me Be A Woman, I have been amused and challenged by her writing, but nothing has stood out to me quite like Chapter 27 – Forsaking All Others.

Here are some sweet gleanings from this chapter:

“Marriage is a choice of one above all others. Each partner promises to forsake all others, and the Bible says that a man will leave his father and mother and ‘cleave’ to his wife. Any choice we ever make in life instantly limits us. To choose to take this man as your husband is to choose not to take every other man on earth. When you decide to marry this particular sinner you have committed yourself to putting up with his particular sins even though you don’t have a clear idea of what they will be. You will begin at once to find them out, and as you do, remind yourself that you married this sinner. You can always look at other sinners and thank God you don’t have to live with their varieties of failures, but then what kind of sins would you choose if you could choose which ones to live with? It’s a good thing you are not asked.”

“Your growth toward maturity will bring you a wider perspective. The apostle Paul, always desirious that his converts should move on into spiritual maturity, prayed for the Colossian Christians that they might see things from God’s point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding. What could be a greater help to a wife than to see her husband as God sees him? God has created him, formed him, redeemed him, he is His. God is bringing him to perfection. We are all unfinished and not what we ought to be. If we can see one another from God’s point of view, it helps us see what He direction for the relationship.“

“To the Christian who has prayed for years to be led to the right partner and believes that the one he or she marries is indeed God’s choice, it is reasonable to conclude that the personality given is the one that best compliments his or her own, the one that meets needs in ways he or she could not have forseen or chosen. It is the very differences themselves that open our eyes to what we are and, if we pray for the spiritual insight and understanding that Paul prayed for, we see them as God sees them and appreciate the glorious imagination of the Creator who made them.”