I’m not the type of person that people tend to get loud with. Maybe there’s something in my eyes left over from a life of survival, or maybe I just know how to dodge ignorant people like Neo dodges bullets. It’s probably a little bit of both. Yet, I found myself in an interesting situation today. As I knelt on the floor to clean up after my boss she stood there yelling over top of me. I laughed to myself in a slightly maniacal manner and told God how dissatisfied I was with my current occupation. As I went on cleaning, the exhausted tyrant (who had skipped her nap) grew louder. She fussed as multi-colored candy sprinkles fell from her mouth and onto the floor where I was still collecting them. She had gotten into something she shouldn’t have and I was stuck cleaning the mess while she cried about what I would not let her have. Do I even need to make a cleverly worded mention of how this parallels the way we treat God?
Time and again I jump into things I have no business meddling in. Time and again I let my fleshly cravings dictate what piece of the world I will conquer next on my quest for satisfaction. Time and time again, He is there to pick up the pieces and show me how He is the answer to the void I feel. I stomp my feet and scream. I scream at Him sometimes when the pain is too intense. There are appropriate times for this type of prayer. It can be difficult to decipher between healthy and unhealthy complaining. I have gained some wisdom in this by trial and error. When I screamed and begged for Him to change something, it was often in vain. But when I cried out and begged Him to change me, well…that is a prayer He has never failed to say “yes” to.
There is always something God wants to do inside me when the tension becomes unbearable.
Today as my toddler cried out at me, I cried out at God. Then I cried out to Him. That’s when my perspective shifted and the world righted once more. Monica Jr was still cranky and sleepy and I still had a ton of chores to do. I still didn’t want to do any of them. But with my heart softened, I went through the motions and decided to see things His way. Suddenly, instead of being trapped in a kitchen as an indentured servant, I was transported to the best training ground for leadership this world has ever known: Christ-like motherhood. If I could handle this little monster screaming at me then I could do anything!
Nothing incredible happened on the surface. I apologized to my husband for my brief crankiness and he stated that he hadn’t even noticed. I’m still undecided if this is a win on the part of my self-control or a setback in our communication, but I’m going to go with the former for now. Point being, I was not crying out at my husband either. I used to do that often. His recent deployment has brought things out of me I knew were there but didn’t feel like accessing so long as I could get “help” by complaining. Where our marriage used to be bound with angst (concocted by yours truly), it is now almost too good to be true. I have grown in my walk with the Lord and stopped (almost completely) treating my husband like it is his job to fulfill all my needs. If “happy wife, happy life” holds any truth, then I’ll just keep drawing near to the Lord for the sake of my husband as well as myself.
My true joy and peace is in Him.
He is the One who notices when I cry and curse under my breath while I am scrubbing floors. He is the One whispering, “I have a good purpose for you”. His voice calls me to higher thoughts than negativity and hopelessness. He is the One who is there with me when I sprint to my prayer room, lock the door, and crank out a quick praise because without awareness of His presence I am basically a train wreck. He is the One who gave me each of these words as my uneventful, very long day finally came to a close. Jesus is the One I will someday hear saying “well done”… but if I listen hard enough, if I draw closely and still my soul… I can hear Him already. He is pleased with me today.
And you? If you are trudging this same road, or any road where you choose Christ-likeness amid chaos. If no one told you… He is pleased with you as well. Well done my brothers and sisters. Well done.
Until next time…