Great Expectations?

Friday, October 15, 2004

I woke this morning after three-and-a-half hours of sleep with a whiplash from a particularly violent convulsion I experienced last night. The day has been gray and damp, begging the warmth of such comforts as fireplaces and hot chocolate--neither of which I have had access to.

I suppose perhaps the grumpiness had little to do with the bleakness of the day. In the aftermath of a wave of accusation, I've been wrestling with my own pride--and losing miserably. It wasn't that the email shattered me. The slamming attacks from the Enemy tried for that. It wasn't even that all of the accusations against me were founded. The email was a reflection of my own heart, my own pride, and my own judgment of others.

See, I'm not very good at looking at the good in others. It is very easy for me to criticize, waiting in the wings until others have received their due. Where is the humility in that? I haven't been able to find it. I haven't even been able to throw myself onto my knees and beg for mercy and restoration over it all. I'm too overwhelmed to know where to begin changing.

But God loves me, right where I am... He's got more longsuffering than anyone else I know. I would be so blessed to have His patience with the people He loves.

So why am I writing?

I guess I just wanted to jot down one thing I've been learning since I received that email. It means so much to people to know that they are a gift to others. What if, instead of picking the specks out of the eyes of my dearest friends, I had simply chosen to thank them for the opportunity to know them? What if, instead of trying to change people to fit me, I had conformed myself to the image of Christ and laid down my own life for them?

Pride doesn't like that. *I* don't like that.

This morning, God asked me if I would just praise Him for the things He had given... just sit down and think for a few minutes and thank Him for His love. I started to... and then the whiplash got to me. And then my grumpiness hit. And then I took out my frustrations on a dear friend, explaining to him that I couldn't live up to his expectations.

Never mind that I was backhandedly telling him that he couldn't live up to my expectations.

And I forgot all about praising God until He began to nudge my heart about going and thanking this friend for the friendship he has offered.

I guess... there is always going to be room for all of us to grow. My prayer is that I will learn to deeply appreciate and love those God brings into my life, while still seeing and being willing to speak the truth.

I'm really thankful for the people who have done that for me.


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