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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Proud as a Peacock

"Proud as a Peacock" showed up at our door and stayed for three months.
The Lord has been talking to me about pride lately. I am a slow learner.
In trying to organize pictures for the book that I’m working on, I discovered this peacock picture, taken about 9 years ago. I remember that he strutted and fanned out of his feathers in front of the cottage door. I thought then that pride was all about blowing your own horn, giving credit to yourself and not to God, not so..
(As an aside, pride is not the reason for the peacock behavior, but a territorial defense and mating ritual, seeing its reflection in our window thinking it was another bird).

Two months ago, August 20, I read a passage about pride from The Best of Andrew Murray on Prayer*, that has stayed with me.
" God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6 NIV
Andrew Murray asked us to offer one prayer to God continuously for a month which I have continued.
“…show me and take from my heart every form of pride...Awaken in me
the depths of humility so that I might be open to Your light and Your Holy
Spirit...O God....(I pray... from the bottom of my heart)...Pain and darkness
results, but meets with Divine Love."

This week a sample of where pride was in the way, the Holy Spirit quenched, and pain resulting:
  • What I say: trying to interrupt people with my thoughts and not letting them finish, thinking I will forget what I wanted to say if I don’t. If it is important I won’t forget. Pride keeps me focused on myself and not what others are saying.
  • What I like: My husband wanted to throw away an old milk pail bucket filled with what I use to clean the bathroom, kept under the sink and get a plastic bucket instead. I love the old bucket and have intended to make curtains to hide it better so I bristled, besides, he doesn’t clean the bathroom. Pride puts my desires and wishes above other people who may be just testing to see if I love them more than a bucket.
  • Defending myself: Arguments in the morning, he criticizing, I arguing back. My pride in the way. Why do I need to defend myself? God knows my circumstances.
  • What I look like: A young couple showed up at my door at noon. I was up at six, but with the rainy day, I still had pajamas on. At first I ignored the knock, thinking my husband who was outside would see them, but then I noticed them still there. I had no robe handy so just as I am, I opened the door. I thanked them later for coming and helping me deal with pride in another way.
“But as this prayer of humility is met by divine love, the mercy of God embraces
it. Then your song is changed into songs and thanksgiving.”*
I just realized that the creatures at my door in blog post Focus September 20 was exactly one month from the time I prayed the prayer above. Praise God for his divine love and mercy, blessing and encouragement.
I pray you also might experience His love and mercy and encouragement in a special way this month and hope you might be a faster learner than I.

* Andrew Murray, compiled by Edward A. Elliott, (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, Inc., 1997)

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