Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is the way I answer prayer for grace and strength

I don't know what it is lately.
It seems that for the last few days I have been wrestling with my selfish nature.

Whether it is the interruption of a moment that I thought I deserved (how funny, when I think of what I really deserve as a sinner!)

or a change that disappointed me ...

... or the lack of time to work on projects that give me pleasure ...

... or missing my husband who is working and learning hard!

A lot of me-ism, this.

When I step back and view myself from a distance, I am apalled at the unquelled selfishness I see.

However, the Lord has literally put a new song in my heart today. I have been singing today, and even took my Selena for a little dance whirl around the house.

I haven't been able to get this hymn out of my mind today. It so applies to the lessons this little mama has been learning. Words of significance to me are boldened.

I asked the Lord that I might grow,
In faith and love and every grace,
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.

It was He who taught me thus to pray,
And He I trust has answered prayer.
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request.
And by His love's constraining power,
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel,
The hidden evils of my heart.
And let the angry powers of hell,
Assault my soul in every part.

Yes, more with His own hand, He seemed,
Intent to aggravate my woe.
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

"Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried.
Will You pursue Your worm to death?"
"This is the way" the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and strength."

"These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set you free;
And break your schemes of earthly joy,
That you may find thy all in Me."

—John Newton

Lord, You alone are my all.

Now, back to work!


Beba said...

Interesting. Today, at the afternoon coffee with my friend and sister, we discusted about selfishness and how many times, during the day we think:" I deserve better, I deserve better." And as you said, what we really deserve as sinners? Without Christ, nothing. And hymn you wrote here broke my heart once and again

Beka said...

Oh yes! SO true! I love that hymn-- thanks for posting it. I had actually not thought about that hymn in a while. I am glad that God revealed this to you today, and laid it on your heart to share it, 'cause it definitely encouraged me, and I'm sure will bless many others too!

Maxine said...

Well, dear girl, you hit the nail on the head today. Be glad that you don't have to pay me a dime for each time that I've come face to face with selfishness in this heart of mine. It's always a goof thing when we see it and recognize it. Then we can once again ask our God to crucify it. Like you, I've had to even deal with it this very week.
This IS a heartwrenching hymn and so true. Aren't you thankful that our Lord doesn't leave us to ourselves?

Joel and Jaime said...

How very wise--to let God work through you and your weaknesses--to turn them into strength through Him. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the hymn - the text is really worth thinking about.
It's just great when God teaches a lesson that goes with a song, that I have sung about a hundred times before, but never gotten the message deep in my heart like that.

Holly said...

What a great post. I wrestle with selfish nature quite a bit, too. Thanks for sharing this-it was very encouraging to me this morning. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. Holly


Sara said...

I love the song you posted! This was a very encouraging post...thanks Bev!!

A said...

Hello! I found your blog last weekend, I seem to have misplaced in my mind just how . . . well, hmm, I guess it doesn't really matter! What matters is that I've found you and that I'm coming back! Your blog is beautiful! I joy to read! Your little girl is so precious!

I'll stop by again some time!


Mark Goodyear said...

I'm horribly selfish too. Horribly. And I struggle to figure out what it means to live in humility without reducing the idea to mere self-effacement.

Great post. And great hymn. I don't think I've ever read it. These lines especially touched me:

...He I trust has answered prayer.
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.


(I found your blog because I edit a website called TheHighCalling.org. Small world.)