I'm reading through "31 Days of Praise" by Ruth Myers, a treasure of a book. Invariably, the morning's praise is exactly what I need to see (and do).
I had to laugh when I came across this morning's section on Day 20. How timely!
Here's a small portion:
"Father, I thank You for the people in my life who seem to bring more pain than joy, for I believe You have let our paths cross for important reasons. Thank you for the good things You want to do in my life through the things that bother me (their irritating habits, their moodiness, their unloving ways, their demands, their insensitivity, their unrealistic expectations). I'm grateful that You are with me, to meet my needs when others -- even those close to me -- fail to do so. I'm so glad that You are also within me, working to make me more like Jesus -- more patient, more gentle, more loving -- through the very things I dislike... And so, though I may not feel grateful, I give thanks for them by faith, trusting Your goodness, Your wisdom, Your power and Your love for them as well as for me."
Isn't that powerful?? Sometimes, I think I tend to look at people (like my husband, for instance -- hey, just being real here!) like they are rough, unattractive, abrasive, hurtful stones and that's all they'll ever be. But the Lord has a different vision -- both of them and of me. He looks at us and sees precious gemstones.
He sees the beauty that He is forming deep inside -- His own character, His sweetness, His fragrance. It takes faith to see through the ugly exterior to the precious heart inside. Faith that I don't have -- but that He gives freely. So in the strength of that faith, I lift my thankful heart to Him.
Father, thank you for my husband. You formed him with all his amazing strengths and vulnerable weaknesses. You know his hurts, his wounds, his fears. You see far beyond what I see. Your grace is enough. Thank you that even at this moment, You are at work deep in his heart, growing him into a man that is like Jesus. Regardless of the future of our relationship, I am thankful for the years he has been my husband. I am thankful for the blessing he has been in my life. You chose well when you gave him to me. Please pour out Your love and grace on him today so that he knows how deeply You value him and care for him.
"I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples. For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, let Your glory be over all the earth." Psalm 57:9-11