Today’s A Year with Oswald is brought to you by Jill Hart.
VERSE: “Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil doing.” Psalm 37:8 (R.V.)
OSWALD: “It is one thing to say “Fret not,” but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret.…Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God. . (Utmost for His Highest – July 4th)
MY THOUGHT: I started off my day today by dropping my kids and my niece off at Vacation Bible School. All was well until we got there and they asked for money for the offering. I dug through my purse, but couldn’t come up with more than a few dimes (too bad they don’t take debit cards at VBS!). Then we walked past the VBS t-shirt display offering shirts that proclaim I <3 [heart] VBS! They are so cute and I really wanted to purchase one for each of the kids, but money is tight right now and I knew it was an expense we didn’t need.
As I drove home after getting them happily settled into the proper groups at VBS I began fretting over what I wasn’t able to provide them with that morning. You know the kinds of thoughts that plague us: “I’m the worst mom.” “What kind of mom doesn’t have offering money in her purse?” “I wish I could afford to buy them everything.”
These things ran through my head over and over and I was feeling pretty low when I got home. My husband was heading out the door on his way to work and noticed my downcast expression. He asked what was wrong and I launched into an explanation of why I felt I was a disappointment as a mom.
He looked at me a little incredulously and promptly solved each dilemma. He said something along the lines of, “The kids should be learning to give out of their own money. We can encourage them to take money from their allowance tomorrow. And as far the t-shirts go, we can swing them if they are truly important to the kids … but I have a feeling they won’t get worn after this week.” I was, I will admit, a little stunned that he had so easily handled what I thought were major failings in my life.
And then I sat down to read Oswald….and was promptly put in my place by the Lord.
The tears began pouring down my face at that one simple phrase. How did God know exactly where to meet me this morning?
“…it tendeth only to evil doing.”
Could this be true?
And then I saw it – the pride of wanting to provide that offering money for my kids instead of teaching them the valuable lesson of sacrificing their own money as an offering to the Lord.
And the desire to want to buy them things they want, not things they need. I know in my head that giving them everything they want will only produce spoiled children with an “I deserve it” attitude, but as a mom I long to give them everything they want. And yet, that’s not my job is it? My job is to give them what they need. If God blesses us and provides some “extras” in life that credit should go to him – not me.
And so, I start this day over with a fresh, new outlook. Trusting God to with my “fret” and as Oswald went on to say, “Put all ‘supposing’ on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing.”
Today I will be deliberate. And tomorrow, too.