The morning arrived and I had high hopes of getting started with my quiet time & a cup of coffee. I had plans of showering and then spending some time reading the book we're starting in Sunday School, Crazy Love. Very quickly I realized my hopes were going to be dashed. I kept trudging through in hopes my morning would improve while realizing my quiet time was going to be anything but quiet.
You see, the storm was brewing and and this was one of those mornings things were not gonna go as "planned".
I eventually lost my temper with the kids when the third bout of crying happened. I had asked them to please play quietly and nicely! Didn't they realize I was trying to spend time with God?! How hypocritical of me though. Instead of demonstrating God's love and patience I chose to lose mine. How could I go back and try to read this book when I wasn't very loving? How could I teach my children patience when I wasn't willing to demonstrate it?
So, I apologized and decided to just start the day. I made breakfast and the morning went along with me still feeling all stormy on the inside.
I could blame it on hormones (which wouldn't be completely false) because all I want to do is cry lately. I could blame it on lack of sleep (again, not false). I could even blame it on not having a moment to myself and desperately needing it (completely true).
However, the truth is I was feeling like I deserved this quiet time. I deserved a moment to gather my thoughts and then jump into my day. I deserved to do something for myself before giving to others. I, I, I.....Can you say "selfish"?
I was being completely selfish and justifying what I wanted instead of paying attention to what God wanted me to be doing. I began to stew over all the things that I felt entitled to...all the things "someone" should realize or recognize. I kept thinking about how I felt, how tired my body was, how much work being a stay at home and work at home mom is and how I wanted someone to come home and rescue me. To come in and be my strength and support. It just snowballed from there...
Then I realized that while someone should be that rock, strength and support I was expecting it to come from only one source and when that source failed me things crumbled.
No matter how a human being may fail me God never will. He alone should be my strength when I am weak. He is my support when things crumble around me. He is my rock and my shield when I need protecting.
Instead of looking outward for this I need to be looking upward!
"I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety."
Those are only the first two verses so I encourage you to read all of Psalm 18 because it is so powerful and encouraging. God is who gives us strength. Not ourselves, not our spouses, not our friends or family. They will fail us. God never will.
In speaking about strength I was remembering something the pastor said on Sunday that really spoke to me. We were looking at Mark 3:1-6 and it was speaking about how Jesus healed the man with the withered hand. Now this man had had this withered hand all his life. It was not able to be used. The man knew this. He knew he could not do anything with it. Yet Jesus gave him a command to stretch out his hand. A hand that was physically not able to be stretched out. The man, knowing this, stretched out his hand and Jesus made it whole.
Then the pastor says this,
"The strength to do everything we have ever needed to do in our Christian life comes from God. God's ability steps in to take over our disability. It requires an active faith and trust in God."
I have tears in my eyes even now!
How did he know exactly what I've been feeling?! He didn't, but God did.
He knew I've been feeling disabled, helpless, overwhelmed, tired, in pain and without strength. He knew how alone I've been feeling at home, all day with very little adult interaction. He knows the cries of my heart and the feelings I feel.
The pastor also said this,
"God gives us the grace and strength to go through the suffering and the physical pain.
It just requires an act of obedience on our part. We have to confess our need first and trust God for the strength to do what we need to do. God will not mock our weakness."
Needless to say I walked out last Sunday with a lot of emotions.
God may not take away the physical pains or the the struggles of the day. He may not change hearts and actions of others so that things are made easier for me. However, He will give me the strength to make it through even when I don't feel like I have the strength or ability to go on.
Just like Jesus calmed the stormy seas God can calm the storm in my heart and give me the strength to carry on when everything inside me says I can't.
God's ability steps in to take over our disability.