Self-Sufficient: To Be or Not To Be

Thou art all my good in times of peace,
My only support in days of trouble,
my one sufficiency when life shall end.

Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
and even when it crosses mine
teach me to be pleased with it.

Grant me to feel thee in fire, and food and every providence,
and to see that thy many gifts and creatures
are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.

Thou bottomless fountain of all good,
I give myself to thee out of love,
for all I have or own is thine,
my goods, family, church, self,
to do with as thou wilt,
to honour thyself by me, and by all mine.
The Valley of Vision

Self-sufficiency…a thing to be prized in our American culture. To be CAPABLE. To be able to handle life even when things are hard and seem impossible. To be able to live overseas in another culture. Some think “Wow…I could never do that. I will just leave that to the experts.” Confession: I used to be of the same mind. My thought was that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I didn’t know how I would learn another language. How would I learn a culture enough to actually be able to reach the people? How could I learn to take care of a family in a place that doesn’t have many of the comforts I was used to?

There’s a certain pronoun used way too many times in that previous paragraph. “I”! You see…I’ve come to learn that I really can’t. I have no ability in myself to learn this complicated language. I have not nearly enough knowledge to adjust my way of life enough to be as comfortable as I was back in America. The culture is a mystery more times than not. Also…I’m confident that no matter how many years I were to reside in this foreign land I would be no more sufficient in and of myself.

What a BLESSING that God did not bring us here to sort this all out ourselves. He is the “bottomless fountain of all good.” And He calls me to give my all to Him in whatever I’m doing. It’s true that I can bring MORE glory to Him here in Thailand if I speak the language. So, I desire to learn Thai. Not so I can easily order off a menu and have small talk with someone about their day. It’s not so I can have a good life here. To bring Him glory is the ultimate goal!

To learn to take care of my family here in Thailand is all done to give Him glory. Consistent scheduling, meals, and routine makes for more opportunities to share the gospel and be hospitable, giving HIM glory! Learning the culture enables me to bring less attention to myself and more attention to my Saviour.

This task ahead of me is no easy one. But how much easier all these things are when they are done with the vision of giving Him glory! What a calling! To bring glory to God…in everything we do. It’s not limited to a country. Or a stage of life. It’s something that every woman can do whether she is single, married with or without children, a single mom, or focusing on her grandchildren. You can give glory to God by learning how to manage your home efficiently. You can give glory to God by learning the role and responsibility of godly grandmotherhood. You can bring God glory in the way that you respect your authorities and minister to others.

Sometimes it’s easier to take on the big vision. For example: I want to bring God glory in the way that I raise my children. But it becomes more difficult when I break it down into the little tasks that fill up my day. To bring God glory in the way that I raise my children I must…respond correctly to her when she throws milk on the floor. I must teach him obedience when I’m too tired to do so. I must respect my husband in this instance that I disagree with him. Do you see how the goal of bringing God glory can get lost in the every day? We must persevere with each little task.

What about you? What task must you complete today that seems impossible? Mundane? Unimportant? How can God use you today to bring him glory even in those moments? Rely on the all-sufficient one to help you through those very things.

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:11
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31


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