I was convicted recently (another way of saying the Holy Spirit spoke to me in His wisdom) that my "I can't waits" are not something that bring honor to God. Quite the opposite, in fact. They do not come from an attitude he has called me to have. I see it now as a way of saying, "God, this plan you've come up for me now, in the present . . . well, I don't like it. I've got a plan for myself that I see in the future that I basically want now."
Often, if I'm very honest with myself, that IS exactly how I feel. I'm not that happy in the now, in the present situation He has given me. But that's just it. HE, the Great I Am, the Lord of the universe, the one who loves me and has chosen me to live forever with Him in Heaven after this breath of life on earth is over-- yes, He is the one who has given me the present. I am to live in it with joy and thanksgiving. This God who "holds everything together by the power of His word"(Hebrews 1:3) has called me to "rejoice in the Lord always." (Philippians 4:4) The New Living Translation phrases the same verse in an even more challenging way: "Always be full of joy in the Lord."
Rejoicing in the Lord most definitely includes praising and thanking Him for what His omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent hands have given me. My daily portion comes from the One who formed me in the womb and who has made every cell in me since. I can rest and trust Him to not just number my days but direct the activities and occurrences of each one that passes.
Where lies the biggest challenge for me is having the "mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16b) Truly to accept with joy God's purpose and intentions for my life by faith. To be able to say to God, as Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
As I again read the verse from 1 Corinthians, it says "we have the mind of Christ." It is in the present, a state of being as the Holy Spirit lives in and through us. Even so, there stands my sinful, worldly nature that incessantly seeks to make more of myself than of God, of my wife, of my children-- of all others. It continues to seek to wedge itself in between my Biblical understanding of how God should reign by His Spirit in my life and the actual words, actions, and thoughts that are my life's fruit.
Pride-- the source of every other sin-- seeks to make ME great and God small, even nonexistent. Pride tells me that my plans are so much better than what God might come up with. What a ridiculous and preposterous thing to say or think, yet how often do I live with just that exact posture?
God's plans for me in the present, in the NOW, in the future, are good and for His glory, not mine. That's how it should be. That is not at all to say that I will be happy about each one of those plans. I really am struggling with having joy in the midst of a houseful of quintuplets. It is not infrequently that I ask God, "Why did you choose me for this?" It is an ok question, if asked with Mary's humility. All too often I phrase it with Sarah's untrusting attitude.
I wonder how long it took for the disciples to be able to leave the Sanhedrin honestly "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." (Acts 5:41) It is my prayer
that I can have such an attitude. That can only come from the Holy Spirit as I trust in Him and in His strength.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my children. They are beautiful, priceless gifts from God and I thank Him for them every day. Yet my pride gets in the way. Lord, work in and through me for your glory.
And now for the obligatory photo.
|The quints in their natural habitat, all with looks on their faces that pretty accurately reflect their individual personalities.|