Sunday, December 11, 2011
Ornaments of Grace: A Yielded Heart
I don't know that I have seen anything so beautiful as yielded heart, a heart given up to God and a spirit preferring others better than oneself. There are two people that come directly to my mind when I think of Paul's words in Phil. 2:3 "let each esteem the other better than themselves." and that is my sweet sister, Hannah and a dear friend of mine, Marcia.
I don't know how many times our Hannah, at such a young age, has yielded up her own desires for that of another such as staying home in order that her sister could go, opting out of a game that another may play, or offering to do a job that others would rather not do. What a heart she has!
Not too long ago, a family in our little fellowship had a traumatic accident in which their two little daughters were both severely burned on 25 - 30% of their bodies. It was an exhausting and painful ordeal for the parents to watch their little girls suffer in such pain. Though it was an awful thing that happened, and one that would not want to be encountered again, God's hand was clearly evident in protecting the girls from receiving burns on their hands and faces and for providing some of the most excellent care and treatments - right in their own home! It was so amazing to see the many people that gave of their time, energy, money, and so much else to bless this family during that time. One that stood out to me most was Marcia and her family. Even though Marcia had a home and family to look after, she committed herself to driving the 20 minutes to their house twice a day for days on end to help with changing the dressing and bandages, which was close to a 3 hour ordeal each time. Certainly there were things she felt were important to get done in her own home, or have preferred to have a quiet evening with her family. Her family probably felt the strain of not having Mama home as usual and having to take on more responsibilities with her away so much. Something like that may be easy to deal with for a few days, but when it becomes a few weeks, there is no doubt in my mind that it becomes wearisome to the flesh. Yet, with yielded hearts and preferring others above themselves, they were able to minister in a beautiful way to this family. And I would like to add right here for young daughters, that if it were not for Marcia's girls helping to sustain the home, their family would not have been able to be used to bless and minister in the way they had. Her daughters may not have been ministering in the front lines, but their ministry was just as important their mother's.
It is not always convenient, joyous, or easy to have a yielded heart. With yielding, comes sacrifice, surrender and compliance. Many times yielding comes in the form of submitting to authority. It may mean giving up a certain activity to stay home at your parent's request even if the activity itself is not wrong. It may mean laying aside a sewing project to help a sibling with their schoolwork or giving some of your free time to help around the house. Sometimes it gets hard when we're asked to give up our time or what we may feel is our "rights". One thing to keep in mind when trying to cultivate a yielded heart is that we are not our own because we belong to Christ, therefore, whatever we have belongs to Him, including our time and "rights". One thing I have learned to do when asked to give up something that maybe isn't necessarily wrong and I find myself "bulking" inwardly, is to examine my heart. Often times I find that my values were not where they should have been. Use those incidents in your own life to examine your heart, purify your motives, and if need be, repent of temporal values. You will find yourself drawing nearer to God when doing so, and becoming more like Christ as you cultivate this ornament of grace in your life!