The First Lesson (and then some)

And now a word from Africa:

Towards the end of our trip, I kept on asking myself, "Why me? Why am I on this mission trip? Why do I get to experience this? What have I done to deserve this? How did this all happen?"

I got my answer.

All too often, I can't even see the gifts He has given me. All too often, I feel like a complete and utter failure in His eyes. Too often.

The first lesson is that I have to receive His gifts. I don't have to do anything but believe in His Son. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to be the nicest. I don't have to keep my calm all the time and be super mom. I don't have to be patient. I don't have to... anything

Taking God's blessings and accepting them freely is hard. How hard? 

How often do I toss aside a compliment from my husband? How often do I take that gift and throw it down the drain? Why don't I just accept it and say, "Thanks"? 

What if I just said, "Thanks" and smiled. Maybe then I would have to believe it? 

Am I so stubborn that I would rather go on believing in my twisted self-view? Why?

How often does a friend offer assistance to make my life easier? How often do I just plug on by myself thinking, "I can do it. I can do it. All by myself." (Sound familiar? Sounds like my 2- and 3-year-olds!)

The first lesson is to listen to Him when He says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—" (Ephesians 2:8).

The next lesson is to believe "to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves" (Ephesians 1:6).

The final lesson is to apply these truths to our life. Accept a compliment. Accept a friend's generosity. Accept the gifts He has FREELY GIVEN

I don't have to do it alone. In fact, He doesn't want me to!


{ jamie } said...

Wonderful post! Maybe we should both come back and re-read this every single day 'til it totally & completely sinks in. :) I have the SAME difficulty; it's hard to fathom that He really does love ME that much. But isn't it great He goes to such extravagant lengths to teach us? A trip to Africa, of all things!!!

Janelle said...

Great post. In fact, I remember offering to help you in an email last night... :)

Lori said...

It is such a blessing having you as a friend, thank you for all your words - they always ring true!

emilyosburne said...

So true, Carey. I love your blog.

Beth McC. said...

I love your blog! What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

3 Blessings said...

We are adopting from Ethiopia, so I have a big heart for Africa. Thanks for sharing your trip.

I am your newest blog follower :)