I closed my eyes and prayed. Then I stood at the plate and swung my bat. The ball landed in the catcher’s mitt with a loud pop. I missed. I tucked my bottom lip between my teeth and bore down—HARD. The ball came at me a second time, aiming for the center of my bat. I swung again. Missed. I moved away from the plate then kicked the dirt, telling myself I had to keep my eye on the ball. “Get mean,” I mumbled. I squared my shoulders, took in a deep, deep breath, went to the plate, and determined to hit that ball out of the park.
I hit it alright. Straight up. It landed in the catcher’s mitt before I got halfway to first base. Like the girly girl that I am, I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. I snatched my bat off the ground and threw it in the corner of the dugout.
You ever felt defeated?
Sometimes when I kneel and pray for something, I get off my knees determined to do the right thing, knowing that at my next opportunity, if I aim right, I’ll hit God’s message out of the park. But it never fails that just as I am determined to drive God’s message home, I end up missing the ball.
I had an opportunity a week ago to show a sister in Christ how Satan was using her. I started the conversation with good intentions, but when I saw that Satan was using her to get at me, I got angry. Before I knew it, I raised my voice in an effort to penetrate her weakness. If only she’d let go of anger, I thought. “Forgive others and focus on your own sin,” I told her, “instead of focusing on your brother’s sin.” Then and only then would she recognize how much freedom she had in Christ.
At the end of that conversation, I felt her pain through the telephone line. It took me almost a week to fully see what I had done.
I was so focused on her attacking me, or shall I say, Satan attacking me again, that I missed the opportunity to help her. And I’m not sure if I’ll ever get another opportunity to right this wrong.
When we kneel in prayer and ask God for his guidance, we must let him guide. The minute I felt anything other than compassion during that conversation, I should have stopped and prayed for us. I didn’t need God’s answers in the palm of my hands in order to feel useful. People don’t expect you to know everything. What they expect is human compassion and understanding—to know and feel you’ve been in their shoes.
I have no doubt that if I’d offered my sister compassion and a listening ear instead of a mountain of knowledge and scoldings, I would have encouraged her and helped place her in a position to seek God and trust him.
As it stands, she’s still troubled and I’m disgusted with myself.
Prayer: God, please help me to place my will on the altar. Father, may your will be done in me. Refresh my spirit, oh God, and help me to know that even in my weakness you are strong. As you release your love through me, may it also flow from me to the brotherhood of believers.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
I John 3:21-23
21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. . . .
“Is Your All On The Altar?”
by C.L. Fairchild
Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet
Who we REALLY are sometimes gets in the way of who we REALLY want to be – in Christ. It is through Him that we have our being and it is through Him that we are forgiven. God has given us the ability to think, and to feel, therefore, we should think about the consequence of our actions before we act. Do we do that? No. Why? Because as human beings we think our actions are usually correct. Thankfully, He forgives us for the hurtful things we do to others but then we must forgive ourselves and each other.
Good Sunday School lesson Donna.
Thanks for sharing.
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Not only does God teach, he also heals. I’d be in despair without his healing. He is so forgiving. Praise be the name of the Lord. Amen.
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Love this. So appropriate.
Thanks, Carolyn. Life can teach us a lesson, can’t it? Where would we be without God? Forgiveness soothes my soul. Oooh, how it does indeed.