John 3:30 (NIV) – “He must become greater; I must become less.”
I had plans to write. I outlined articles and devotions days before. It should take a couple of hours to complete one piece of work – maybe I could squeeze in two projects instead of one.
My body did not want to cooperate with my mind. My hands were stiff and swollen. I couldn’t hold a pen or manage a keyboard. Every time I tried to sit, my hips locked up, and the knots in my back started to spasm.
All I managed to do was rest in bed, listen to music and watch TV. The day passed without me being able to accomplish anything, even the most basic chore.
I went to sleep filled with anxiety and frustration.
This morning, I felt the pain before I opened my eyes. I felt the tears forming as I thought about another “unproductive” day.
That’s when I heard the songbird. The cheerful melody caused me to smile.
“Thank You, Lord.” I whispered, as I enjoyed the little bird’s music and began to feel encouraged. I realized that it was going to be OK. The delightful sound made me think about Jesus’ teaching on worrying. (Matthew 6:25-34)
I wonder, are you like me? Are there days when it’s easier to surrender and trust God with every aspect of your life? To allow Him to be magnified however, whenever, wherever He desires. To say “Yes,” when you don’t understand the purpose of pain and suffering? To let Him have His way with your life even if it involves sickness and weakness?
Sometimes I have to ask myself if I will ever have the confidence to say, like Job, “Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him?” (Job 13:15) I know that I want to follow Jesus’ example, but can I honestly say, “Not my will but Yours?” (Matthew 26:39)
John the Baptist had a perfect view of his role regarding Jesus. John willingly submitted to Jesus’ authority and ministry. He knew that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and that Jesus’ mission was bringing eternal life. So, John didn’t have a problem as Jesus’ ministry grew. John knew that Christ must be magnified on the earth. I want to believe that I’d quickly and obediently let go of my ambitions so that I can receive the best that God has in store for me. But, I’m quickly realizing that I have a ways to go.
I’m thankful for the little song bird because his joyful singing caused me to stop and think about Jesus’ words in Matthew 6. When I considered all that God has brought me through, I realized that He would help me during this latest challenge. I felt myself relaxing and starting to let go. I have always known that my writing is a gift from God, and I have to trust Him to help me cultivate it and use it for His glory.
Thank You, Lord, for giving us small reminders of Your love. Set us free from anxiety, fear, and doubt. Help us to remember that You plan good things for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)