OK, so not all of the time, but I'm learning.
Not good news. Horrible news, in fact. My dear friend said it's like being in a boxing ring and she just keeps getting punched and punched and punched. And you get up again only to take more punches.
So many lessons for each of us in this kind of adversity. My lessons? In the midst of learning about prayer and intercession and godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow, there are some humbling lessons on what it truly means to lay down my life for someone else. "See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me into the everlasting..."
A lot of selfishness has been exposed in me. Selfishness and self-pity. I have no phone. I have no money. I am sick, so I can't see them. I feel like I can do nothing. (Yes, I know prayer is the most important thing, but we're talking about selfishness here and when does sin ever make sense?) I want to be the one to run errands for them, to comfort them, to provide for them, to make their life easier. I,I,I,I...
And then God in His neverending grace and mercy is my comfort. Even in this, He is my consolation. Such a wonderful heavenly Father. Which is, for me, the most important lesson of all. See your sin and then move on. Do something about it and then thank God for His forgiveness and mercy. It's so easy to beat yourself up, to dwell on your wretchedness.
Now there's a cycle of sin if there ever was one. Self-loathing is just another form of self-pity which is just another form of pride. Oh, how we love to think of ourselves often and with such intensity. So we'll be having none of that, thank you very much. I will choose to be grateful to God for His mercy in illuminating those things which hinder the pure heart I so deeply desire.
Ever hear of Francois Fenelon? He wrote on this very subject:
"Little faults become great and even monstrous in our eyes, to the extent that we increase in the pure light of God. Just as the rising sun reveals the true size of objects which were seen dimly during the night, the increase of inward light will show our imperfections to be far greater and more deadly in their roots than we had thought them. We witness, in addition, a host of other faults, of whose existence we had not the slightest suspicion. We find the weaknesses necessary to deprive us of all confidence in our own strength. This discovery, however, far from discouraging us, serves to destroy our self-reliance and to raze to the ground the edifice of pride. Nothing marks so decidedly the solid progress of a soul as being able to view its own depravity without being disturbed or discouraged...
We must be neither astonished or disheartened. We are not more wicked than we were. We are really less so, but while our evil diminishes, our light increases, and we are struck with horror at its extent. But let us remember, for our consolation, that the perception of our disease is the first step in its cure."