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Joy in the morning

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Matthew 23:12
Jesus says, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis' "queen" of heaven was a simple lady named Sarah Smith, who had lived in a suburb of London. She worked hard and sacrificed a great deal on earth for her husband Frank. Then she went to a nursing home and died.

But she wasn't exalted in heaven because of her work. Plenty of us do hard, menial work, while the people around us seem better off. God's plan is certainly not for me to feel sorry for myself now and plan a vengeful time in heaven, when I can finally look down on those who looked down on me.

Something in this lady's spirit made her queen. She gave to everyone. She probably felt as much like God's daughter during her difficult earthly life as she did finally in heaven. She must have lived out the instructions in Colossians 3 (one of my favorite Bible chapters): "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

She encounters her husband Frank after he dies. He intends for her to pity him and give him his due. She invites him to live in joy with her; as she says, "I am full now, not empty. I am in Love Himself, not lonely. Strong, not weak. You shall be the same."

Borne on by his own importance, Frank rejects her offer and slowly disappears. His eternity will be small and bitter, lonely and full of pride.

My needs are never the point; what I can give away always is. Whatever I hold onto, I will lose. The sooner I embrace humility, the better. It is the only way to live.

You fill my empty cup, Lord. Only you, only you, only you.

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