Encouragement for Today - March 1, 2007
With Love, From Your Younger Self
By Amy Carroll
2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…’” (NIV)
I’ve been joking around about it for more than a year, but now I’m thinking that I really might do it. I have been saying that I’m going to start a journal for myself to read when I’m 70--you know, thoughts from my younger self to my older self. Some of my current thoughts I’m sure will be laughable to my 70-year-old self. My inexperience will show, and my spiritual walk will seem immature.
My friend Ruth presented me with my best journal entry yet. Ruth’s closest friend, her husband Sam, died over a year ago in October. When our families gathered for our annual Christmas get-together last year, I asked Ruth how she was really doing without Sam. She told me that she missed Sam terribly, of course. Then she followed with a quote from her sister that had been widowed early in life. “Amy, I have stood in front of my Sunday school class and taught the sufficiency of God for 30 years. If I can’t live that out now, what does it really mean?”
God has been teaching me a lot about His complete sufficiency, and I think it will be a key to growing in godliness until the end of my life. Here are some areas in which He’s teaching me.
1. The Sufficiency of His Word—For many years, I approached the Bible with some fear. Surely this was a book that took an expert to understand. I felt I needed an author or a scholar to tell me what God’s Word said and meant. He has been teaching me that with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have everything I need in His Word. I’m now a slow but determined student!
2. The Sufficiency of His Counsel—The prophecies of Jesus includes this one from Isaiah 9:6, “…And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NIV) Jesus then taught us in the gospel of John about the Holy Spirit: John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (NIV). I have Jesus and His indwelling Spirit to counsel me about everything I need concerning life and godliness. He is sufficient to give my life purpose and direction.
3. The Sufficiency of His Comfort—We live in a fallen world, and sometimes I want to groan along with it. God’s grace and power is sufficient in our weak places, though. He even promises to use our weakness, our suffering and our pain for our good. Many times He may be calling us to join Him as instruments of comfort. Consider II Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (NIV).
These are just a few areas that God is showing me His sufficiency. I’m sure you could add some of your own. I’m just praying that as I grow into an older woman that I am continually growing into God’s sufficiency and out of my own. Someday I want to look at a younger friend and answer her question with a quote from my friend Ruth, “I have stood in front of my Sunday school class and taught the sufficiency of God for 30 years….”
Dear Lord, so often I live in my own sufficiency. I want to learn about Your sufficiency and how to live in it. Help Your name to be so associated with my name that I would bring glory to You in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Start a journal for your older self. Record the sayings and actions of older and wiser people.
Begin living now the way you want to be when you are older. Curbing our tongues is one way to show that we believe in God’s sufficiency!
Who can I observe as role models for growing older and more like Jesus every day?
What are some of the flaws that I want to eliminate and/or avoid as I grow older? (Ask God for His sufficient power in this area.)
Psalm 119: 111-112, “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.” (NIV)
Psalm 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (NIV)
I Thessalonians - 24, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105