I asked my husband this morning, “What do you think God means when he asks us to ‘deny ourselves’?” We were sitting in a beautiful restaurant on vacation. It was a conversation starter, but I really wanted to know what his thoughts were on the subject.
I had a few ideas about it and was wondering if it had to do with giving up things like possessions. In other words, was I too comfortable with my life and the things around me? God had been speaking to my heart about denying myself. What is he asking me to do? I really did want Kevin’s understanding. He is a good resource, devoted to God.
We waited quite a while for the waitress to take our order. She had disappeared after giving us our menus. She finally came with two glasses of ice water. “Could I get a cup of hot water please?” I asked. We waited. The place was filled with beautiful art and interesting nick-nacks. I probably could have taken a detailed inventory by the time she returned.
Did I mention there were few people taking up space at the tables? She returned to take our order.
Still, no hot water. My mouth was dry and because of dental issues, ice water was out of the question, unless I wanted a headache. I politely waited, at least that is how I tried to appear. “Can I take your order?” She sweetly said. She really was a sweet gal. We ordered and hoped for the best. My husband asked if I could get that hot water. She returned about 10 minutes later with hot water. She warned me it was scalding hot and to be careful. I would not be drinking it soon. I was so thirsty! Believe it or not I was still trying to appear as if all is well.
Fifteen minutes or more passed when she arrived with our food. My husband had a pear and walnut salad on a bed of greens that rested on a gleaming white plate. A tribute to the chef! I had shrimp and crab cakes on a bed of coleslaw. It was on a small paper plate! Was I going to a picnic? I am definitely wondering what is going on. I had drunk the hot water after cooling it with ice from Kevin’s glass.
Ready for more water. She had filled my husband’s glass twice already. He asked for more hot water for me, bless his heart. I think there must have been a hot springs she traveled to in a distant land because I received it about twenty minutes later.
Nothing to rave about with this experience. The view was one that left me feeling less than special, almost abused. I decided to behave myself and act completely pleased. I was kind to the waitress, picked up my scalding hot water with a napkin (I just realized she brought it to me in a to go cup, that sends a message!!) wrapped around it so it wouldn’t burn my hand, forced myself to make pleasant conversation at the cashier desk and walked outside with a pleasant smile.
I waited outside for my hubby to return from a restroom stop inside. I stood thinking about the disruption to my ego. Looking at blue skies and feeling a gentle breeze, light started to dawn. “Deny your righteous self, Diana. Be humble and kind in all circumstances. Honor God with the love he abundantly has given you. Love others that way.” Was that my conscience speaking or was that God himself? I posed a question. I am pretty sure God just sent me to Class Deny 100.
I was in a beginner course, not even 101 level, no credit applied, not yet anyway. I don’t remember what my husband’s response was to the question, God kinda took charge. Practice pleases God.
For the building of faith: Matthew 16: 21-28 It is interesting and amazing how Jesus directly confronts Pater’s behavior, V23. He points out the ‘world view’ that Peter is projecting. Jesus rebukes this view and calls it, ‘Satan’. We are called to seek God’s view in our actions. To see beyond this temporal world and bring our thoughts into alignment with God’s perspective. The sight into the heavenly realm that Jesus has been teaching about. Hebrews 9:15-22 We have our own will that when we are called, it called must die that Christ’s will can live in us. All actions are brought into love. Where love is miracles can take place! Only by the power of Jesus’ blood are we washed white, purified by him and made useful. Amen!