I was talking to a new friend the other day who knows about all the exciting that have been happening in my life by following my blog. She said to me, "Well, Nicki, God has really been pouring His blessings out in your life lately, hasn't he? To which I answered, "Boy, He sure has and I give Him all the Glory and all the Praise. It's totally been a God-year this year. Thank you Jesus!" And I really feel that way: Everything that has happened of late in my life, has been an outpouring of God's mercy and love and of Him answering prayers.
But a few weeks before I heard those uplifting words, I also heard this comment from someone close to me. "Hey, why don't you quit giving all the Glory to God all the time, and start taking some credit yourself for things that have happened in your life." That sentence kinda blew my mind, and made me start thinking about this journey we call life and who gets the credit for what happens to us, anyway and why?
I think our human nature want us to pound our chest and say "Look at all these great events that have happened because of me,' Aren't I something else?" Don't most of us think that we deserve credit when we do something amazing and we feel proud of ourselves, or others around us take notice of the things we've done? We are a mover and a shaker, right? Should we pound our chest and say, ' Look at me and all the great things I've done and all the things I've accomplished?"
If you are a believer and trust Jesus as your savior and have put your life in His hands, He wants all of you; everything you have, everything you do, everything you are. He wants you to be humble before Him. He wants you to glorify Him through your accomplishments. He seeks to pour out His many blessings upon you and use you to bring other people to Him. He wants to grow His Kingdom through you and me. He can't do that if we aren't humble and want to take the all the credit ourselves. If good things happen to us, it gives us an open opportunity to talk openly about the Lord. If we're taking credit for everything, God doesn't have a chance to be Glorified!
If I'm a believer and love the Lord and want to bring others to him, so why in the world would I want to take credit for things that are happening in my life, when I know with every cell in my body and breath in my soul that everything in this world happens--- as directed, by the Creator of the Universe, according to His master plan? The Bible says we are beautifully and wonderfully made. God created me in my mothers womb, He knows every hair on my head, and everything about me, so why should I take credit for anything that happens in my life. I wouldn't even be here, if not created by Him. He breathed life into me the day I was born over 55 years ago, and He is charge of every breath since.
My observation is that almost all of us go through life thinking we have control of what's going to happen to us. We are the master of our fate, we are the captains of our souls--or so we think. We plan and set about on our way, with high expectations of our great futures. I'm not saying it's bad to plan. We all need to have some kind of plan for our lives, some dreams to have and goals to set. But just when you think that everything is going along great and all your dreams have come true. CRASH, lookout below! God wants us on our knees, and humble before him. That way he can use us to help a hurting world. It's hard to do that when you're full of yourself. Or as my Dad likes to say :You're smelling yourself!
So, my life was going along great almost 13 years ago when I got stricken with MS. I was a happy wife and mother with two young sons. I had a very rewarding career that gave me tremendous fulfillment. I felt important; I was meeting and interacting with very interesting and exciting people across the country. I was involved with inspiring artists from around the world. I was creating beautiful books and seeing unbelievably awe inspiring artwork on pretty much a daily basis. I was traveling to New York and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the book publishing world. I was going to seminars, conventions, vacations, and still making it to the kids ballgames and school events, plays, concerts, get away weekends with the hubby, and living what I thought was the good life. I was supermom, wasn't I?" Everything was moving along very smoothly, and according to my plans. But how was I with God? Was I humble before Him?
I thought about it every now and then, because I did love the Lord, and I knew I had drifted away of late, but I was too busy for God at that time in my life. On the outside everything looked good. We went to church, bible studies, events at church, but how was I with my Lord and Savior Jesus? I was too busy to really think about it too much. That's when it happened.
Life can change overnight from one trip to the doctors office, and that is exactly what happened to me. One trip and I found out that all my carefully laid plans of how my life was supposed to be were blown out of the water. I was 42 years old, in the prime of life, and I was looking at a doctor with a very grim look on his face telling me that things didn't look good. "Sit down Mrs Watts, we need to talk." Right there, on that day, everything that I had come to know as familiar was thrown over the edge of the cliff. Now, at a moment like that, you can either panic, and say to yourself "What do I do now? How do I get back control of this uncontrollable situation or you can admit to yourself that maybe,....just maybe, ....you never really had control of your life to begin with."
When you go through a life altering event, like I did, you learn pretty darn quickly that you don't really control a darn thing during your time on this earth. We are all only here for a very brief period and then it's over. Your life is NOT in your hands, it is in the Hands of your Creator, God Almighty! And then the prayers start and you and those who love you begin praying, asking God to save your life, so that you can see your kids grow up, so you can grow old with your husband.
And, if it fits into His Divine plan, God begins answering your prayers and the prayers of your loved ones and things begin to change for the better. That's if He wills it and it is according to his Divine plan.
God spared my life those 13 years ago, because He had more plans for me, He had more work for me to do while I'm making this journey on earth. We all have a time to live and we all have a time to die. It says so in the Book of Ecclesiastes. My time to die was not 13 years ago when the doctors said it was. God showed them right then and there that they were NOT in charge, HE was. I can remember leaving that doctors office and turning to my husband and saying "I don't know how much time I have, but God does, and I plan to spend each minute I have left living for Him and giving Him all the Glory."
So, that is what I have always aspired to do each day, and will continue to do until I take my last breath. Because I believe with everything in me, that everything I have comes from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and therefore He gets all the credit, all the Honor, all the Glory and all the Praise and I will be forever thankful to Him for all his many blessings. It might sound weird, but in many ways, getting MS was the best thing that ever happened to me because it brought me back where I belonged, at the foot of the cross."
My verse for today is from: Psalm 100:1-5
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness is to all generations.
My prayer for today:
Dearest Heavenly Father:
Thank you that I can come to you for everything: every need I have, every prayer, every little concern in my life. What a pleasure to live with the peace that only you can bring, and knowing that there is nothing too big for you Lord.
Jesus, I pray for people that don't have that assurance, because if they are trying to live on the praises of men, they will soon be sorely disappointed. Only you give true peace, that surpasses all human understanding. Help us to give You all the glory, all the time, so that others may come to know your love and mercy, through us.
In Jesus Name I pray,