Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Unexpected Blessings

Last night one of the boys got up at 4:30 with a wet bed.  I dragged myself up, changed his jammies and stripped his bed and put him back in.  Unable to go back to sleep, I read on the couch for a bit (read: 2 hours), thinking about everything that had to be done before church in the morning and the family potluck after that.  I knew I was really going to regret those lost 2 hours of sleep.  This was not part of my plan!  

And then when I finally woke up around 8 and went to get Aaron up, I found him laying lethargically in bed, obviously not well.  Usually when he wakes up, he hollers for me to come get him and doesn't really want to sit on my lap, but this morning he just laid himself down on me.  So instead of rushing to get ready for church, I watched Chris and the oldest 3 boys head out the door at 9, put Aaron back to bed, and was able to listen to a sermon while sipping my coffee.  And then, while Chris took the boys to his family potluck, I had a quiet afternoon and even took a nap!

Now, while I would have enjoyed going to church  and the potluck, I did enjoy a holiday that was spent quietly at home instead of rushing here and there.  Am I to think this is coincidence?  No, the Lord knew I needed a quiet day and provided it for me.

I listened to C. H. Spurgeon's sermon, "A New Year's Day Benediction."    I pray that this year I would learn to lean on the promises of God and not on my own strength.  He promises to perfect, strenghthen, establish, and settle us, though we will suffer in the process.  But suffering moves us to the perfection that He will fully give us one day when He takes us home, so we must not begrudge it, but learn to leave all things to Him, even little things, like sick kids, messy houses, etc.  It's not our plan, but it's God plan.  A perfect plan.

Here's Spurgeon's conclusion:
 I would in concluding make this remark. I wish, my brothers and sisters, that during this year you may live nearer to Christ than you have ever done before. Depend upon it, it is when we think much of Christ that we think little of ourselves, little of our troubles, and little of the doubts and fears that surround us. Begin from this day, and may God help you. Never let a single day pass over your head without a visit to the garden of Gethsemane, and the cross on Calvary. And as for some of you who are not saved, and know not the Redeemer, I would to God that this very day you would come to Christ. I dare say you think coming to Christ is some terrible thing: that you need to be prepared before you come; that he is hard and harsh with you. When men have to go to a lawyer they need to tremble; when they have to go to the doctor they may fear; though both those persons, however unwelcome, may be often necessary. But when you come to Christ, you may come boldly. There is no fee required; there is no preparation necessary. You may come just as you are. It was a brave saying of Martin Luther's, when he said, "I would run into Christ's arms even if he had a drawn sword in his hand." Now, he has not a drawn sword, but he has his wounds in his hands. Run into his arms, poor sinner. "Oh," you say, "May I come?" How can you ask the question? you are commanded to come. The great command of the gospel is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus." Those who disobey this command disobey God. It is as much a command of God that man should believe on Christ, as that we should love our neighbor. Now, what is a command I have certainly a right to obey. There can be no question you see; a sinner has liberty to believe in Christ because he is told to do so. God would not have told him to do a thing which he must not do. You are allowed to believe. "Oh," saith one, "that is all I want to know. I do believe that Christ is able to save to the uttermost. May I rest my soul on him, and say, sink or swim, most blessed Jesus, thou art my Lord?" May do it! man? Why you are commanded to do it. Oh that you may be enabled to do it. Remember, this is not a thing which you will do at a risk. The risk is in not doing it. Cast yourself on Christ, sinner. Throw away every other dependence and rest alone on him. "No," says one, "I am not prepared." Prepared! sir? Then you do not understand me. There is no preparation needed; it is, just as you are. "Oh, I do not feel my need enough." I know you do not. What has that to do with it? You are commanded to cast yourself on Christ. Be you never so black or never so bad, trust to him. He that believeth on Christ shall be saved, be his sins never so many, he that believeth not must be damned be his sins never so few. The great command of the gospel is, "Believe." "Oh," but saith one, "am I to say I know that Christ died for me?" Ah, I did not say that, you shall learn that by-and-bye. You have nothing to do with that question now, your business is to believe on Christ and trust him; to cast yourself into his hands. And may God the Spirit now sweetly compel you to do it. Now, sinner, hands off your own righteousness. Drop all idea of becoming better through your own strength. Cast yourself flat on the promise. 

 "But the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."--1 Peter 5:10.

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