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Aug 15

Lord, I feel my heart growing bitter and attempting to put up a big wall of self-preservation. It is scaring me. I am not going to make it if you do not intervene. I will become like those who do not know you, with an angry heart where love and peace cannot dwell. Please take whatever you want from me, to save me from myself. If you take my health, my art, my books, my eyesight — anything, Lord, I will still know with fervent certainty that you are being Faithful. I don’t even know if I am faithful or if I am just making things worse. Probably the latter. I just seem to be very, very ineffective. It is not my words that bring life and healing, but yours. And I can add no further action to the cross. Everything has been done; everything has been said. It is up to you, Lord, to change the times and make things happen. Help me be courageous and keep looking to you, moment to moment. Amen.

 
Matthew 18:2-10 ERV

Jesus called a little child to come to him. He stood the child in front of the followers.
Then he said, “The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children. If you don’t do this, you will never enter God’s kingdom.
The greatest person in God’s kingdom is the one who makes himself humble like this child.
“Whoever accepts a little child like this in my name is accepting me.
“If one of these little children believes in me, and someone causes that child to sin, it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and be drowned in the deep sea.
I feel sorry for the people in the world because of the things that make people sin. These things must happen, but it will be very bad for anyone who causes them to happen.
“If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose part of your body and have eternal life than to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into the fire that burns forever.
If your eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to have only one eye and have eternal life than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
“Be careful. Don’t think these little children are not important. I tell you that these children have angels in heaven. And those angels are always with my Father in heaven.

 
Lord, I do much better as a Little One, blindly trusting you rather than trying to protect my “adult” self and my “adult” interests. Help me to remain humble, not judge or condemn or hedge myself in, withdrawing completely from my uncomfortable surroundings. Help me to remain supple and yield to your touch. Help me to prize love over dignity and to give out kindness rather than scorn. You are touching me in one of my most painful places, Lord. Having to pay for the bad choices of others. Therefore I ask that you replace my resentment with your grace and mercy. Let this suffering be used for your glory, just more fertilizer in the garden we are growing together, Oh Lord.

 

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