Recently, Bill and I were in a social setting that was relaxed and warm. It was one of those beautiful moments when you’re with friends talking and laughing, but also sharing from the heart. This is the good life! This is the picture that all the TV commercials try to paint. It could only have been better if we had been around a fire on a beach. Sadly, these warm moments are often the places where my pride pokes it’s head up for an “appearance”.
Something was said, and in an effort to be witty and funny I responded by flipping the words around to make an unexpected joke. We laughed…….but not everyone laughed. The Unseen Guest did not. I could feel the nudge in my heart. I calmed the sudden disturbance in my soul. But I could not shake it. A few days later as Peter preached I could hear the Lord remind me of that moment with my friends. I could hear Him whisper, “I don’t like it when you do that.” It was simple. Clear. To the point. The Holy Spirit was bringing gentle correction to me. The words I had used bordered on being coarse. The Lord was putting His finger on my tongue and telling me that He doesn’t like it when I use it that way. He wants my words to be sweet and life-giving. His words brought me life, and hope, and even encouragement in the midst of adjusting me! (How does He do that? Lord, make me like You!)
This one moment fits into a bigger work that I can see Him doing in me. He’s giving me a picture of the life-giving influence that we can have as older women. He wants to use us to bring strength and support to those around us. He wants to help us bring comfort and help to many. He wants to make us women of virtue and humility as we serve others.
Yet, as older women many of us have had disappointments and bitternesses that at times scream to be validated and acknowledged. Unmet expectations of what life “should” be like in these years can leave us sour and jaded. Our prideful heart can become discouraged as we have to “yet again” humble ourselves and confess our faults. But the wisest posture of our hearts will always be to look at self-pity as no friend–but as the vile enemy that it is. It would rob us of the joys that are to be ours in these years of our life. We have the BEST years ahead of us. The Sovereign One has marked out the BEST course for us. Humility is our best friend. It always will be! And the opportunities to “lift up the hands that hang down” will bring us a joy and satisfaction that we will be amazed at. We will find our life as we lose it.
So I’m a wannabe—-I want to be a woman that others can rely on for graciousness. I want my heart to be sweet. I want my words to bring encouragement and life. But we all know (because we’re old enough to know!!) that only the Savior can make me into this. Jesus, please do this miracle! And I’ll probably never see it until the “other side”—-but may I keep running after it.
photo by The Glass Tide