The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’ (Jeremiah 7:1-4)
In Jeremiah chapter seven, the Lord told Jeremiah to stand outside the gates of the temple. He then told him to proclaim His words to the people that were going into the temple. God very angry with these worshippers. They had become so degenerate they were chasing after false gods. They were also stealing, murdering, committing adultery and even burning their children as sacrifices to false gods. Yet, on the Sabbath, they showed up to the temple to worship God, BELIEVING that all was forgiven because THEY WERE GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE. And God told them (and I'm paraphrasing here): "You think that is going to save you from my wrath? You think by walking through these doors on the Sabbath, you are automatically forgiven of all your sins, cleansed, and made new just because you're here? I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh!" (Jeremiah 7:9-15)
People often ask me, "How do you do it? How do you stay so positive?"
Really? Me? Positive? If you told my family that I'm a positive person, they would laugh their heads off! Unfortunately, they see the real me, and while I try not to let them see it, the "real me" comes out all too often. The real me needs too much help to get normal things done. If I want to go out, for example, someone else has to help me get dressed (usually my husband). Like putting on my socks and shoes, because my spine has deteriorated to the point where I can no longer bend down. Also, my legs no longer bend properly because of my lymphedema. Someone else has to be on hand to get my scooter out of the car, too, because I am not allowed to lift heavy things (I have two hernias). And someone else needs to drive because lately, I can barely reach the pedals in the car. Seriously, I think I'm shrinking!
For someone who is (or was) very independent and would often go out and do things with friends at the spur of the moment, it is frustrating not to be able to get up and go. I have to rely on others. I don't like it that I have become a burden to my family. I know I have, because when we think about vacations or going anywhere at all, it always comes with the "what about Mom?" line in the next breath. For example, to visit my daughter, who lives about eight hours away from us, we have to pack my scooter, a tub-chair, and my CPAP machine. We also have to stay at a hotel, so that means getting an accessible room. Did I happen to mention I'm also accident-prone? Letting me outside in the winter is the last thing my family wants to do because if someone is going to slip and fall, IT WILL BE ME. Hands down! Without exception, if something terrible is going to happen, then I will be the one it happens to.
Now, does that sound positive to you? My husband says I'm a pessimist. I say I'm a realist. How can I not be? We have been married for 37 years, and the first "accident" I had was on our honeymoon. I reached into my makeup bag and sliced the tip off my finger on an uncovered razor blade. I can't imagine what the maid thought when she saw all the blood.
Throughout the years, I have sprained ankles, snapped tendons, fallen down the stairs (three times, once with my newborn son in my arms). I have broken my thumb three times (going down water slides - don't ask), and let's not forget the accidents in the kitchen (just don't let me near knives). On top of all that, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease that, from time to time, leaves me with severe infections that require me to be hospitalized. All in all, my husband had no idea what he was in for. Poor man.
So how do I not give in to feeling sorry for myself and have a pity party? I have five key strategies that I have relied on for years, and without them, I think I would go mad. I share them here because maybe you are in a situation where you want to give up and cry. Trust me - I have had those days. Don't give into them. Pity parties are the worst sort of parties. They only have one person attending them - YOU! So before you throw one for yourself, try one of these strategies instead.
Of the many nuggets of truth I have found within The Revelation, this one is "mind-blowing."
In Revelation 20:12 it says:
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.