"I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time-- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God... it changes me."
1. Reminders of What's Important. A friend from back home chided me about my own inward-focused self, or less flatteringly, my selfishness. At a class in church this morning, we discussed a book called When People are Big and God is Small which focuses on this very thing. Specifically, we talked about how we can grow to "Need other people less and love other people more. Out of obedience to Christ, and as a response to his love toward you, pursue others in love." Sometimes I think I'm the most selfish person I know. I'm thankful that there are people in my life who love me enough to tell me the truth about myself, and I'm thankful that I have God who is ceaselessly refining me in order to make me more like Himself. I'm also thankful that he continues to open my eyes to my sin so that I can confess it and repent.
2. Prayer. Of late, God has increasingly been showing me the power of prayer in changing my own heart and attitudes. I am often malcontent and my heart is envious and angry and lustful. I struggle with all these sins. And yet, I am learning that when I go before God with my hard heart and confess to Him, he changes me. I can't explain the transformation, but a gentleness and softness appears in that place where its very opposite stood before. I'm thankful for the power of prayer to change the attitudes of my heart.
3. My Brothers in Christ. Tonight I got to spend the evening in the company of three fellows who all love God. We had a picnic by the sea as the sun set, and our conversation was entirely edifying. I'm thankful for the example they set in their servitude to the Lord and their desire to honor Him. I'm thankful for their love towards others and their humility. I pray that He will sustain them, go before them, and lead them in the paths of righteousness.
4. Birds. I don't why but I've been noticing the birds lately-- they keep crossing my path. This afternoon I noticed beautiful green tropical-looking birds adorning my neighbor's home and then tonight at the beach I watched a trio scamper across the wet sand. All week long they've popped up in my field of view as little gifts of nature.
5. God's Provision in My Life. I sometimes sight of this fact, but at this very moment, God has me exactly where He wants me. I am blessed beyond measure to have a roof over my head, food in my belly, the promise of future paychecks, a church that preaches the Gospel, a Christian family to live with who model the Gospel, and people who love me and pray for me. Selfish sinner that I am, I often lose sight of these facts, but God continues to lead home on the path the leads to Him; he clothes me and feeds me. I am blessed beyond measure.