Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shrapnel and Amazing Grace

Yesterday morning, early, I was spending time with the Lord and confessing to Him (who already knows) my horrible attitude the day before. I had let a broken vase, burnt bread, squabbling children and a forgotten commitment to keep a friends children completely wreck me. My voice was loud and my words unkind toward the sweet child who broke the vase. I sent a scathing string of words via text message to the husband who had laid aside his work and sermon prep to go to the grocery for emergency pesto to put on the pasta I was preparing. Ungrateful much? Oh friends, I was utterly a mess. What are we to do when a pretty gets smashed, the anger bubbles fierce, and our words explode right at ones we love, the shrapnel piercing their very hearts? 

So, there I was the next morning, coffee mug in hand, bible laid open, heart stripped bare, asking the Lord what in the world my problem could be. Because isn't he there in the broken vases, the sibling squabbles, the burnt bread and the last minute shifting and changing of plans? Isn't he there in the midst of poopy diapers and laundry mountains, and the daily washing and putting away of dishes, over and over and over again? Is my faith so small that a shattered inanimate object and the chaos of little people can make me absolutely lose. my. mind. without a moments' notice? Yet God whispered his love loud there at that table where my family breaks bread and laughs and read devotions about His love, strong and true. God IS here. If I don't see him, if I don't SEEK him in the mundane, it's my choice. The opportunity is there to turn each moment over to him and trust him for grace in the spilled milk, the crayons on walls, and a child's anger at another child. It isn't easy. It requires a sort of surrender that is uncomfortable and seems to stretch us to the breaking point. Jesus reminded me (again) that he is indeed here. He does see. And he wants to be my everything.  

When my world is wrecked by the circumstances of this mommy life, it's not because God isn't in it. It's because I am not making the choice to live steeped in his truth, filtering my circumstances through the lens of eternity. These things, the daily grind, it all matters to him, I only need to give it over to him. In my study in the wee hours my heart was pierced by Proverbs 12:18 which says, " Rash words are like sword thrusts, but a wise tongue brings healing." Oy! So much work to be done in this heart of mine! How many times have I stuck a sword into little souls? How many times have I spoken rash words to the love of my life? Yes, I am imperfect and I will inevitably fail, but my desire is to press in hard towards Jesus and live in His grace. I desire to speak healing, life-giving grace-words, even when I feel like spewing ugliness. 

Every moment is an opportunity to seek the Lord. To strive for holiness. To be refined. When I stop seeing the each day as an opportunity to become more like Christ, I begin to flounder and flail, becoming all tangled up in my flesh. Friends, the gospel is not a one time event that changes us from enemy of God to friend of God. It's a daily laying down of self and picking up of the cross. The work of the gospel should change me DAILY. Moment by moment. My attitude, reactions, and responses hinge on my faith and belief in what Jesus Christ did on the cross. In the light of his unfathomable suffering, my struggles are small potatoes. In those struggles, I can rest assured that they each serve a purpose. Our trials, both big and small, are meant to complete something in us, to grow and mature us (James 1:2-5).  

When we do fail (and we will, because we are human) we can humble ourselves, confess, repent, and seek forgiveness from those we have lashed out at. We can press in, to the One who loves us and whose perfect record has become ours because of blood shed on a cruel, rugged cross. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! Aren't you so grateful for the grace and mercy of our Lord? I know I am! Press in, mamas, to the one who knows you inside out and loves you no matter what, and sojourn on!