Sunday, February 24, 2013
Thoughts From Year Four: Dying To Self
"When you are forgotten or neglected or purposely set at naught, and you sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ--that is dying to self. When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advise disregarded, your opinions ridiculed and you refuse to let your anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient loving silence--that is dying to self. When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, or any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure as Jesus endured it--that is dying to self. When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any attitude, any interruption by the Will of God--that is dying to self. When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation; when you can truly love to be unknown--that is dying to self. When you see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while in your own needs are far greater in desperate circumstances--that is dying to self. When you can receive correction well outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart--that is dying to self." --Unknown
This quote applies to ANY situation. But in my current situation, I think of it as in terms of my pain.
I wouldn't think that dying to self would apply to my health issues before I read this quote. But the depth that it goes in explaining WHAT dying to self really is reminds me that it really does apply to my situation.
There have been many times where my pain, and my suffering has been forgotten. There have been many times where the closest of friends have forgotten about it. I usually didn't let it bother me. I mean, if you saw me in person, even if you saw me every day, you'd never know I was hurting. It doesn't usually show on my face. And I used to never talk about it with anyone. So of course the few people who knew would forget. And I never blamed them.
The only time when I was put off by people forgetting me was when I looked at other people.
Whenever someone gets just a cold or something that passes within a few weeks, others would always be more caring and understanding towards that person. The people who just get a cold are not so easily forgotten as the ones who have had health issues for a long period of time.
That used to really get me. And sometimes still does.
Of course, this world and society is unfair in things.
They cater to people who don't "need" it anymore and forget the people who have real needs. Perhaps this is me knowing too many people who have health issues and who are often forgotten.
But I have to remind myself that this is part of dying to self. Being forgotten is dying to self.
It is this quote, which was written above
" When you see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while in your own needs are far greater in desperate circumstances--that is dying to self." That really strikes me every time.
I have learned to deal with being forgotten and have learned to rejoice in it. I'm far from perfect in it, and sometimes it still bothers me. But I've learned that it's okay not to be known...it doesn't matter who sees you and thinks "oh, they're really tough to still come to work since they're hurting really bad". No one is ever going to think that, because no one will ever understand. And you know what? That's okay. You don't have to have people who are always there. People will forget you and that's okay. Humans are far from perfect.
What matters is that God sees you. And He fully Understands what you are feeling and going through. No one else has to. He approves that you are trying your best to work through your health issues. To your Heavenly Father you will never be forgotten.
He sees you when you realize you've been forgotten. He sees you when you are suffering. He knows. He remembers. And He cares.
And in the end, that's all that really matters.
There is no guarantee that people will remember your suffering and needs. Often times we are forgotten. And God doesn't call us to be bitter over it. But He calls us to die to self through it.