sitting at Jesus’ feet

Somehow talking to those much wiser than me
reveals how my “well-thought out” ideas 
are actually very juvenile –

like a child who thinks his first portrait
is like Rembrandt’s,
or his first tune is like Mozart’s –

but this is all part of growing in wisdom,
and I would rather keenly feel
how stupid I am –
and cherish with joy
each morsel of instruction
presented to me.

The fear of the LORD is the
instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.

(Proverbs 15:33)

For humility,
to know my frailty and
my ignorance,

to know how much I need guidance
and to rely on God.

the ironies of life

One thing have I noticed,
one thing have I observed
from the lives of those around me:

The more a soul seeks after friends or love or honour or riches or fame or glory
(or insert any other thing we seek after),
the more elusive they’ll be to that soul,
and the more vexation of spirit he experiences.

The less a soul seeks after all these things,
oh! the surprise that soul gets when,
besides the abiding presence of the All-in-all,
he receives many temporal blessings
he never hankered for.

The irony
is the the former will scrutinize the latter
with shining green eyes,
envying his successes and yet not willing to
delight solely in the LORD.

The old Puritan divine, Richard Baxter, is then wise for saying:

remember that honour is such a thing as is found sooner by an honest contempt of it, than by an inordinate affection of it, and seeking it. It is a shadow which goeth from you if you follow it, and follows you as fast as you go from it.

keep on the sunny side of the rock

Do not forget, that if, from the peculiarly sensitive temperament with which you have been endowed, you are exposed to greater suffering — then you possess also a greater capacity for enjoyment than many others. If a very little thing can give you pain — then a very little thing can also minister to you the highest and purest pleasure.

And in a thousand other ways, which it would be impossible to enumerate, your life is brightened and blessed, even by that very constitutional sensibility, which, in another sense, greatly diminishes its happiness.

-Hetty Bowman

comforting quote #2

They see other young people in easy circumstances, lacking nothing, with no hardships to endure, called to no self-denial, living in ease, with every opportunity for study, travel, and recreation. It is not easy for them to avoid a feeling of envy in such circumstances. Nor is it easy to accept the limitations of one’s condition complacently, without any feeling of being unfairly treated.

Yet the problem to be worked out by those who appear not to have an equal chance, is to accept their place with its disadvantages and its inequalities, and to live just as sweetly and cheerfully as if they were in the most luxurious circumstances. 

The danger always is that we may be hurt by life in some way. Yet nothing can really hurt us—so long as we keep love and peace in our hearts. No hardship of any kind can do us actual harm us—if we meet it victoriously. But when we allow ourselves to chafe and fret because things are hard, or to complain because things seem unfair, or to grow bitter because we do not have a fair chance—that moment life is hurting us.

The worst mistake anyone can make, in such a case, is to brood over what seems to be unfairness in his lot in life, indulging the feeling that he has not been justly dealt with. The result is that his heart grows bitter and hard, that he begins to pity himself and to look upon others more highly favored with envy, which soon grows into hatred. Nothing but harm can come out of such a feeling. It does not reduce the inequalities in any degree. It does not make it easier to get on. On the other hand, it spoils the life, turning its sweetness into bitterness. It also lessens the heart’s enthusiasm and diminishes its power to live nobly.

The only worthy way to meet such a condition, is with courage and purpose to master disadvantages.

-J.R. Miller 

turn your eyes upon Jesus

When you do think of any holy things, let it be of the best things; of God and grace, and Christ, and heaven; or of your brethren, or the church: and carry all your meditations outward; but be sure you pour it not on yourselves, and spend not your thoughts upon your thoughts.

As we have need to call the thoughts of careless sinners inwards, and turn them from the creature and sin, upon themselves; so we have need to call the thoughts of self-perplexing, melancholy person outwards; for it is their disease to be still grinding upon themselves.

-Richard Baxter

For every look at self,
take ten looks at Christ –
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
look full at His wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.