Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Case of the Crazies

Here's a nugget of real life that I'm embarrassed to admit but realize somebody, somewhere out there might relate.  It's a classic case of absurdity meets truth, and it also will give all who read this an accurate viewpoint of just how insane I really am.  I still believe, though, that much is to be learned by us all sharing life with one another.  And who knows?  Perhaps through my case of the crazies, I might be in some way saving someone else from themselves.  Here it is...

Recently, one of my children achieved a huge milestone in his/her life.  When this happened everyone in our household celebrated and thanked the Almighty God for this HUGE accomplishment.  I wanted to shout it from the mountaintops.  I wanted all to know what my perfect and brilliant child had achieved.  Being the humble person that I am, I only shared the news with about 50 people and thought that was okay since I could've posted the news on facebook and even have sent a press release to the local newspaper.  See, people, humility. 

Well, last night, this prodigy child of mine relapsed.  You can imagine my shock.  I was sure this was something we had overcome, but I was sadly mistaken.  We were right back where we had been for so many weeks.  As I was sitting with my kid during this difficult moment of falling off the wagon, I heard the voice.  (Oh, come on!!  You have voices in your head, too.  Admit it!!)  The voice that told me if I would've just kept my mouth shut about my child's success this never would've happened.  This voice had the nerve to tell me that this was God's way of punishing me since pride cometh before a fall.  And if I would've kept this information to myself God would've allowed me to have continued success.  But since I didn't, our Heavenly Father (still the voice talking) decided having this much good luck was just not in the cards for me. 

Then, and just as quickly as I heard those ridiculous words uttered to me, God Almighty's voice rang like a bell in my ears.  He made it clear that that is NOT how He operates.  In fact, think about this for a moment with me.  If our God operated that way, then all that love and stuff He obsessively mentions in His Word would mean nothing.  And let's not forget that no where in Scripture does it say, "Thou, Oh Lord, is a Cause and Effect Kind Of God." 

The truth is all the good in my life has come from God.  And of course, I deserve none of it.  But He loves pouring out His love on His children.  The most important reminder I got from all of this was that if I think I have to prove myself to Him just to get Him to allow good things to happen in my life, then my thinking goes against everything in regards to the Cross.  I mean...isn't that why God sent Jesus and allowed Him to die on the cross?  So that through His resurrection I would be forgiven and set free from all of my sins and failures?  Jesus loves showing out in our lives.  And when He does we should be quick to give Him all of the credit...even when it comes to the achievements of our children.  But when people fail us (yes, even our kiddos), it's not because we have failed God.  That's just not how He works.  In my life, when times get tough, it is almost always because the Lord is trying to teach me something about Him and/or help someone else learn a lesson or two about His sovereignty.

So, there you go.  Welcome to Crazy Town where I am officially the Mayor.  My mind is full of all kind of weird things.  Seriously, if I shared just a few of them, you would be afraid.  Very afraid.  But praise God.  Because in this moment, my absurdity met the Truth.  And the Truth set me free. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big Like a Hurricane. Small Like a Gnat.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." -1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)

Life is full of trials.  This we all know.  Our trials come in many shapes and sizes and come like waves in and out through the many seasons of life.  It's funny to me how we find our strength.  When a trial of epic proportion hits our lives, we muster up strength we didn't know we had, and although the pain is deep, we somehow make it through the hurricane and look back and realize that wasn't as hard as we thought it would be.  Then, little trials hit our lives.  Little and obnoxious trials that feel and sound like a gnat flying around in our ear.  Sometimes it's the little trials that really get under our skin.  Sometimes the little trials cause us to throw ourselves on the floor and throw a temper tantrum that makes a three year old's tantrum look like a cute gesture compared to ours.  Either way, a trial is a trial and God's Word guarantees us that life is full of them.  But the Lord is clear on how we should handle them.  We are to rejoice and know that each trial increases our faith which is worth more than gold.

Dear Father,
As a mother of three, I am always tired.  My exhaustion is nothing in comparison to what you felt and faced on the cross.  In this phase of life, my trials are in the form of sleep deprivation and frustration as a result of adjusting to life with three kids.  Help me to remember today that when I'm tempted to throw myself on the floor kicking and screaming to instead throw myself upon You.  Give me the strength to rejoice when times get hard and to be ever mindful of my ever growing and ever changing faith.  Just like my faith, You, Father, are worth more than gold.  And I want more of you.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.