Opportunity Knocks-Loud and Obnoxious

Yesterday was a bad “grace” day. By mid-afternoon I was pleading with God to take my physical discomfort away, reminding Him (because He needs reminders) of all the things I needed to do and how my pain was hindering His kingdom work.

I didn’t get a response.

Sometimes, no response IS the response as He allows me to see the foolishness of my human thought processes.

As I contemplated what to write about today, maybe a new 2-Minute devo, God finally offered a suggestion.

Be honest.

Oh, right, good idea.

The truth is, after my latest blog series on respect, serving spouses, and nagging, God gave me ample opportunities to practice what I “preached”. The problem is, The Little Man was pounding away at the base of my neck and showing grace to my husband took a backseat to my personal discomfort.  I mean, should I really be required to serve, respect, love and honor my husband (who was having a “Let’s pick on my wife” kind of day) when I feel like a ten ton truck is running through, over, around, and under my head?

It’s a hypothetical question, of course. No matter how I feel, I still have the Holy Spirit within me, and I can still choose to follow or ignore His voice.

I wanted to come back from the weekend victoriously triumphant of my successful obedience to God’s word (hello, pride, not good to see you again).  I wanted to proclaim how listening to Psalm 119 every morning and night had radically altered my attitude. But the reality is, no matter how much I’ve learned or how much I’ve grown spiritually, I am still susceptible to miserable failures and as I stated previously, yesterday was a bad “grace” day. I failed to show my family grace.

The overwhelming voice of the Holy Spirit beckoned me to humble myself to my husband last night, and I did. We didn’t go to bed angry, but the day was largely wasted on hurtful words and angered silence.

My dad once told me God will take us around the tree as many times as needed until we learn the lesson. Well, I’ve been going around this tree for years. I have suffered with several chronic health problems, and despite diet changes and commitment to take care of my body, I still have issues. However, being in pain doesn’t give me a license to mistreat my family. It never will. Sooner or later I will need to let God show Himself through my attitude while I am sick, not just when I feel great.

Around the tree I go.

As I read Luke 15:11-24 I am moved to tears once again. This story is so meaningful in my life, and it rings true this morning. God hasn’t condemned me for falling on my face yesterday; He has celebrated my return to His way today. He stands with me in my pain and assures me he won’t give me more than I can handle (1 Cor. 10:13). He has allowed this circumstance and He can use it for His glory now that I’ve confessed my pride and selfishness.  There was no room for God to work in my life yesterday because I was arrogantly taking His place.

Today is a new day. I am not a failure but a victor. I don’t always get it right, but I’m beginning to recognize the signs of pride and put them to death quickly on His cross. Whether a prodigal for ten minutes or ten years, He is always waiting to celebrate a humble return to His throne.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Where much grace is shown, much should be given.

4 thoughts on “Opportunity Knocks-Loud and Obnoxious

  1. Your title to this post, totally had me cracking up {and my sons making weird faces at me while I chuckled}. Yes, OBNOXIOUS. And then straight to watery eyes when I read this: “I am not a failure but a victor. I don’t always get it right, but I’m beginning to recognize the signs of pride and put them to death quickly on His cross.” I don’t think we’ll ever graduate from the Cross program this side of Heaven.

    • Indeed, that is one course I will not be completing before I die, but I do hope to at least get an A one the practice exams 😉

  2. Rebecca, yes! He doesn’t condemn us for our failures, but celebrates our return, day by day, moment by moment, because He is a God of grace, of love. He IS love! Oh, I get that struggle to be patient and kind, understanding and grace-filled in the midst of pain. It is a struggle for me every day. I was permanently injured in a car accident with my five kids almost six years ago. Their injuries healed within weeks. Mine did not. My daughter asked me about a year ago, “Mom, if God healed you today, would you want to be healed?” My response surprised me. “No, I don’t think so,” I answered quietly. She was shocked and asked why. I told her it’s because I know me and it’s only through the pain and limitations I face every single day that I have learned patience, kindness, grace, dependence on God every. single. step. of the way. I can no longer do it on my own, so I have to give God my day and allow Him to prioritize it, give me strength for what needs to be done, and allow the rest to wait. And the gift in all of this? My son was diagnosed with multiple long-term illnesses two years ago. He lost 22lbs in 6 weeks and wound up in the acute care wing of Children’s Hosp. He was 15 years old and quiet by nature. It’s my constant struggle with pain, nausea, inability to eat, etc. that opened the way for communication. I “get” what he feels and it gives him hope. Only God. And you know what? If this is one of the reasons I never healed after two years of surgeries, procedures, OT, PT, meds and appointments, it’s ALL been worth it. Such grace… It brings me to tears. Thank you for these honest words, Rebecca, and may God bless you deeply, richly today.

    • Thank you so much for your comments, Cindee. Some of my illnesses are a result of my own foolish choices as an addict, and others have been a problem my entire life. It is SO HARD to be grace-full when I’m in pain, and honestly, I fail more than I care to admit. BUT GOD is NEVER disappointed in us, He simply waits for us to get back up and try again. I’m a slow learner in this particular area, but it is getting better, bit by bit. Sanctification is a process! 🙂

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