Wednesday, May 9, 2012
We headed out the door for our morning walk, my husband with empty hands; me with my hands filled with the Sermon on the Mount and the little transistor radio we searched high and low to find. I like to listen to Chuck Swindoll as I make my way down the street. When he is finished teaching, I turn off the radio and work on memory verses.
This morning I felt a little nudge to turn the little dial to our other Christian radio station. The program was one geared to new mothers. "Oh - not for me," I said in my Grandmotherly voice. "I'm all finished with that season of life." But the little nudge got a bit more forceful, and I kept listening.
The conversation began to focus on contentment, and I felt that little stab in the heart. Somewhere, in all the talk of sleepless nights and defiant toddlers I heard them calling my name. I've been sighing a lot lately. The truth is, I've sighed in every season of life (when I wasn't actually saying it all out loud) impatiently waiting for things to get just the way I thought they should be.
Season followed season and somehow life handed me things I simply hadn't planned on. My expectations went unmet. I learned to watch my tongue (to some extent), but the sighing continued. To the ear of my Father it spoke volumes.
He began to show me things I hadn't seen before. It was in those moments, when life was at its most difficult, that I drew closer to Him. In one of my darkest moments He lovingly told me that He really wasn't all that interested in making me happy. His greatest desire was to make me more like Jesus.
I understand that, but somehow it is in life's little irritating moments I have the greatest difficulty remembering it. When the same little things begin to get under my skin until they become so big they obliterate all that I have to be grateful for, I forget that there is grace for those too. Instead I sigh and contentment is lost in the big exhale. He longs to use those moments, too, to draw me close to Him and to conform me to the image of His Son.
I think of the Children of Israel whining and moaning about having to eat manna every. single. day. - all the while forgetting the walk on dry land between walls of water.
He reminded me this morning, that there will always be things (terrible suffering or little irritants) to make me wish for "other than." Instead of sighing and complaining, I need to let grace use those very things to do some major overhauling or perhaps just some minor adjusting, to make me more like Him.
" My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become"
II Cor. 12: 9,10 The Message
Linking to Jennifer's blog today: