I have done a presentation on the Proverbs 31 several times. One verse that convicted me over the years is: “she works willingly with her hands.” When I was believing God for Joe, I realized I worked. Oh, I worked, all right. I had three children, 3, 2, and a newborn. I worked sunup to sunset, and during the night. But it wasn’t always willingly, in fact, all too often it was grudgingly!
In my upcoming book, Missy’s Song, Missy is recovering from her battle to save her unborn daughter. Missy herself was critical after an accident. After weeks lying in the hospital, her little girl is delivered alive, but she lost her womb in an emergency surgery to stop the hemorrhaging. The doctor called her baby’s survival the greatest miracle he had seen in his many years of practice. After she gets home, Missy grieves the loss of her womb and at that stage of recovery where she can’t stand being an invalid. She has thrown a temper tantrum, and her husband can’t take it anymore. He never left her side the long weeks in the hospital, and he, too, is weary.
Her brother comes to her house, the only one to confront her, and I want to share this scene—Missy is furious and won’t sit when Jimmy asks her. “Stand then. I don’t care. Just look at these.” Jimmy flung the envelope on the table. He showed her photos of the accident scene and described her husband’s behavior when she was critical.
We can all protest we’d never be ungrateful if our baby miraculously survived, but most of us are ungrateful every day—this is a horrible winter, the kids are driving us crazy, and in the summer, it will be too hot. The pool is too crowded. We are housebound. We are go all the time. We’re bored. We have too much to do.
Joe and I receive the magazine, The Voice of the Martyrs. More people are martyred in this generation for their faith than ever before in history. We live in our warm houses, we eat sufficient food, and we are free to worship. Yet we complain.
Can we take a moment—maybe here, maybe in our groups, maybe when we go home—and pause to thank God for our blessings? To be grateful?
Can we wash the mountain of laundry with gratitude we have clothes? How about thankfulness for automatic washers and driers?
I hate to figure out what to eat—I don’t mind cooking, but figuring out a healthy, balanced meal every day drives me nuts! Can I thank God that I have food to cook? That I have choices when most of the world survives on rice?
As MOPS we meet on Thursday mornings. Are we grateful we can stay home with our children? Can we work willingly keeping our homes, minding our children, washing our husband’s clothes?
We could make it a practice for Lent and keep a journal, every day naming a few things we do, or should appreciate, That would be a good Lenten observance. Maybe at the end of the 40 days we can see how many things are on our lists, how many we share, and if any are unique to us.
We used to sing a hymn:
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.
For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide; Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.
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