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.
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.