Have you ever struggled with something?
I mean something that caused a serious limp in your Christian walk and potentially damaged your testimony as a believer?
Were you completely conscious, even then, that there indeed was something? But still stayed stuck? Did you pray about it and maybe even have your friends pray for you? Only to remain stuck there anyway? Were you not yet ready to admit that your real trouble with the “something” was that you wanted your own way? And were you in fact actually having a completely unwarranted and embarrassing (albeit quiet) temper tantrum?
Or at least, that was me. Until this morning.
Our family’s in a tough place right now. A mind-bending tough place actually. A place we didn’t expect to be. And I have been quite aware that my reaction to it has been anything but that of a God-honoring and faithful believer. In fact, as my thoughts, feelings, and attitude have continued to develop–what I’ve seen in myself is a stubborn (and ridiculous) refusal to accept my lot. An immature and willful heart that has only regressed from tween-aged whining to toddler-like dissent.
Actually, I didn’t see it that clearly at first. Really, not until this morning.
This morning, over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table, I suddenly confessed aloud to my husband that I was existing in a state of perpetual unwillingness (“I don’t waaant to”) and realized mid-confession that it was in fact worse than that (“No. I won’t!”) Mercifully, he quite soberly accepted my confession. Then, surprisingly, he confessed to me that he was doing the same.
Well, at least we were being honest now.
So, off we went. Two confessing sinners on their way to church.
And then came this:
There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner’s cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious
Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all
I am absolutely wrecked.
This is the truth–and the truth has set me free. . . again.
Life is not all about me.
Life is not about what I want and I don’t have some special right to have it my way.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, abandoned his rightful place in the universe to become a lowly human-being headed for mockery, torture, and death–all for the glory of the Father and salvation of my soul.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 NASB
What is it really for me to be called to persevere in times that are difficult? To submit myself willingly to whatever the day asks of me? What is it really If it means honoring the Lordship of Christ and bringing glory to the Father?
Lord, let me be emptied of “self” and help me to let go of what I wrongly believe to be my prerogatives. Let me humble myself by becoming obedient; enduring this time without even mental complaint and doing those things you make available to me with a grateful heart.
Thank you for being ever-so-much stronger than me. For being like a calm and knowing Father; holding tightly to the twisting screaming toddler that cannot understand, and seemingly, cannot endure.
You are merciful and gracious beyond all reason.
Thank God, He is stronger–in every possible way.