Do you ever feel like God might have messed up? This life, this job, these kids…..even this marriage. It’s just too hard to be what God really intended for me right? I don’t deserve to live this way….
Most of us have probably thought these thoughts before. Maybe even said them out loud. Maybe even acted on them. I have.
This season of my life is one where I feel like God has taken one of those big sheets of coarse sandpaper and roughed me up a bit…..trying to shape me to look more like Him. He has a lot of sanding left to do! But each day, as I try to clear my head and spend a little time with Him simply listening for His word, I can see Him revealing Himself to me.
I have to be honest, at first I was a little offended by the abrasiveness by which I felt I was being “shaped”. When faced with stress and hardships it is so easy, almost natural, to give in and think, “yep, it’s too hard….God’s messed up with this one.” In the midst of what seems like an endless day of fighting kids, messes everywhere, and a husband that is overloaded with work my stomach literally turns inside me with a sadness I can’t quite identify. It feels off. Something is wrong. Is it my kids? My husband? My job? My friends? Me?
Here is what God is teaching me…..and by all means I mean teaching…….as in a process. I need to realize the child who pushes the limits (and all my buttons), the spouse who I have communication gaps with, the boss who expects perfection, the friend that tries my loyalty…..these people are all put in my life with a divine purpose for MY sanctification. To be raised unto God’s glory ad service. It is no accident, no one messed up. When I begin to wallow in the frustrations of my day I am making this whole life about me. It isn’t about me, it is about Christ. I think sometimes we forget that we are part of a plan but we are not the centerpiece, Christ is. When our stomachs turn with anxiety and our internal temperatures rise in anger and disappointment we must remember this world is not here for us!
Here is the hard truth….God uses our kids, our marriages, and the people in our lives to help us along in the pursuance of becoming more like Christ. It is easy to show patience when the little angels are playing nicely. It is easy to show love when our spouse is home by 5 with roses and a surprise weekend getaway. It is easy to be a great employee when you are treated with respect and appreciation. That’s not the case when kids are throwing Tonka trucks across the living room, hubby doesn’t want to talk, and you haven’t been paid in 3 weeks!
I recently head a sermon on the book of Colossians. The pastor asked the question, “What does Christianity get me?” What would you say? The answer is CHRIST. He is all, above all, in all, and all things were made by Him and FOR Him. A simple change in perspective from me to Him can make all the difference in my parenting, my marriage, and my life as a whole. It just isn’t about me. I have to keep telling myself that. Every day.
When my brain is exhausted from running budget numbers trying to figure out how to pay the bills….it isn’t about me.
When I am literally loosing my hair from ripping apart fighting kids and cleaning up poptart jelly from the couch…..it isn’t about me.
When I am angry and hurt because my husband hasn’t met all my expectations….it isn’t about me.
It’s about Christ! Do you see? He is begging me to become more moldable so that He can shape me to look more like Him. When I push back in anger and feeling like things just aren’t fair I am being exactly like that 3-year-old who sits down in the middle of the grocery store aisle, refusing to move or give in; throwing my own little temper fit because things aren’t going my way.
What if today we took our filters off and examined our life from this new perspective? What if we looked at each hardship and challenge, fight and set back, as way in which we could bring God a little glory? Through our actions and our thoughts we can choose to do just that! I am not by any means saying this will be easy or that it is even something I am doing……I am saying, what if? What would it hurt to try?
So this is my challenge to myself and to you, whatever you are facing today…..look at it with a new sense of purpose. Look at it as another step in your sanctification process of becoming more like Jesus. What one step could you do today in regards to that problem that would bring Him a little fame? I can assure you it won’t be easy and it won’t be the popular thing to do. Is it possible that He might be trying to show you or even teach you something you never knew before? Will you help me stay accountable to looking through this sanctification lens?