Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bosom Enemy

I have slowly been reading through Little Women.  It has been on my list to re-read for the last couple of years, but I've never gotten very far into it.  Why, oh why, does anyone think it is a good idea to make children's books which very fine print?  I have had the same struggle with Anne of Green Gables.  I just can't handle that it takes so long to read one page.  It's a weird ADHD symptom I have, I guess.  I want to make progress through a book and flip pages at a quick rate. I actually first read Little Women when I was in high school, just before the movie with Winona Ryder came out.  I really wanted to see the movie but felt like I should read the book first.  I got through it then, so I feel that as an adult, I can get through it now, by golly!

Anyway, I digress.   Tonight I was reading a chapter, and I was surprised at the clear godly message that it presented.  A little background on the chapter.  Jo and Amy got into an argument and Amy retaliated by burning one of Jo's beloved books that she had been writing her own stories in.  Jo stated that she would never forgive Amy and at bedtime Mrs. March advised Jo not to let the sun go down on her anger.  Jo did not listen and the next day when ice skating with Laurie.  Amy followed and ended up falling into the ice.  Jo immediately realized the error of her ways of not forgiving her sister.  While she waited for her sister to wake up from her resting after the trying events of the day, she and her mother had a conversation about trials and temptations. Jo exclaims, "My dreadful temper! I try to cure it; I think I have and then it breaks out worse than ever."  Her mother tells her to "watch and pray, dear, never get tire of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault...Jo dear, we all have our temptations, some far greater than yours, and it often takes us all our lives to conquer them."  Mrs. March then goes on to tell Jo that she used to have a temper just like Jo's and it has taken her 40 years and she still has to work on controlling her tongue when she is angry.  She calls Jo's temper her "bosom enemy." (which was such a vivid picture because it reminded me of Anne's bosom friend in Anne of Green Gables).  Mrs. March ends by saying that Jo can overcome and outlive the temptations if she learns to "feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one.  The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom.  His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength.  Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hope, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother."

It was such a good reminder of the sin struggles I have and how I feel like after 15+ years of being a Christian, I should be done with them.  I know better, but when I get frustrated, I just want them to be gone.  This song came to mind:

All  I once held dear, built my life upon,
all this world reveres, and wars to own,
all I once thought gain I have counted loss;
spent and worthless now, compared to this:
Knowing you, Jesus, knowing you,
there is no greater thing.
You're my all, you're the best,
you're my joy, my righteousness,
and I love you, Lord.

And my prayer is that I would not hold that bosom enemy, that coveted sin area, as dear in my life, but that I would see it as worthless compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

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