We won’t know the depths of His love and commitment until we are in the place where everything seems to be falling apart; it feels as if everyone is against you, yet God is still with you, and He whispers in your ear.
Ever have one of those days? Days when it seems everything is going wrong and everywhere you turn there is another “something” being added to the pile? I know reactions to these situations depend heavily on our specific personalities, but days like that can have us questioning everything about ourselves and that is not a good place to be.
My husband will react in anger most of the time. It’s his defense mechanism. So stress and self doubts and all of that garbage come out as anger or aggravation. My instinctive reaction is to cry, which I hate. It takes a long time to understand your flesh, why you react the way you do (what’s the underlying issues or emotions?), and to even begin to seek a path to a healthier emotional place. God wants you to have peace.
My journey in this valley, trying to get to the mountain top, has been hard. Self discovery and analysis is sometimes messy and extremely unpleasant. The past few months at my job have been difficult, with a lot of friction with the boss and my co-workers, with near constant criticism every day. Sometimes it seems everything I touch turns out badly.
Yesterday was the day it all came to a head. We recently hired a new person and had to get a computer for her to use and get it hooked up to our network. From the moment the computer guy came in at 10am, until the moment I left for the day at 3:45pm, something was going wrong. I hadn’t added a user to our license for our software, which was a quick fix, but it should have been done already. After that, everything went downhill, culminating in hours on the phone with the software company and our internet service provider, and being reprimanded for several other things done wrong or undone.
Suffice it to say that if our boss had been a firing man, I’d be out of work. He was not happy with me at all, and neither was anyone else in our office. It was a bad day! But…enter God’s Holy Spirit. He has been taking me on a journey of self-discovery for quite some time. It has been hard, and I am certain it is not over yet, but here is what I do know – God has decided I am ready to endure this trial. I must be, because He will not allow me to be crushed. Only He knows when the appointed time has arrived. He knows it will be painful, but He is there in my pain no matter how bad. He knows my flesh needs to die if I am to become what He has designed me to be, and by His Spirit living in me I begin to see the why in the struggle.
Why is this happening? I must be sanctified. Why must I be sanctified? I must become like Jesus and that requires a lot of cleaning up on my part, but I also must be sanctified for my own good. I have to learn a new way to react that helps me, not hinders my progress. In my flesh, I feel sorry for myself when things like this happen. Some situation of my own making comes back to haunt me, but I want to deflect all criticism; I want to be pardoned, not punished. God is the only One Who will pardon and perfect. Until then I must proceed, bearing every cross of my own sin until my body gives up my soul and I am changed in that instant into His likeness. “Listen, [Paul said,] I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). This passage is one of my favorite – the sheer poetry of Paul’s word stirred my heart from the first time I read them and every time since.
So yesterday, as the things kept piling up, my flesh tried to goad me back into that place of self pity, where my mind would chase around imagined scenarios where everyone is mad at me and everyone is gossiping about me behind my back. But, thankfully (although it was hard enough) I could hear the Holy Spirit whispering to me. He rebukes self pity, and when the tears tried to come, He whispered again until I was strengthened. Miracles happen every day. Yesterday a miracle happened to me. Not the pardon of earthly men, but the gift of emotional strength. I say it’s a miracle because never before have I been able to stem the flow of tears once they begin. No matter how much I would talk to myself and resolve to be strong, the self pity always drove me back to tears. The Holy Spirit held back my tears. That’s a miracle.
Don’t miss yours.