Sunday, August 23, 2015

These Are the Days

I’ve sowed my wild oats. I’ve walked some reckless paths. I’ve trudged through some dark muck – you know, the deeper-than-your-boots kind that fills your shoes until you’re dragging through life with what feels like 100-pound feet. I’ve been the prodigal, sloshing with the swine one day and welcomed back to the fold with love and forgiveness the next.

Now, I am a wife and stay-at-home mom. According to outward appearances, I live a very moral life. But the funny thing is I feel more desperately in need of God’s grace now in my tame, domestic existence than I ever did when I raucous and reckless. Simply trying to hack it as a wife and a parent has made me more aware of the depths of my depravity that the licentious living of my past ever did.

You see, the sins that plague me now – selfishness, anger, pride – might not be as obvious to the people around me or considered as taboo by the church, but they are just as dark and ugly and real as drunkenness, sexual immorality, drugs, etc, etc, etc. Like a cloud of gnats that doggedly swarm your face, fly up your nostrils, and disturb your vision, these sins assault me daily with persistence.

Merging my life every. single. day. with a man who thinks differently than me, does things other than my way, and possesses his own set of needs inconveniently in competition with mine. Spending every waking moment of my day with precious little ones looking to me, learning from me, disobeying me when I REALLY meant it that time, and wanting my attention when I’m tired and want to be alone. These are the realities of current life that are refining me – poking at my hidden, ugly, dark places and stirring up my gnat cloud of sinfulness.

When I loose my patience, say something unkind to my 3-year-old daughter, and watch the tears well up in her eyes. When things don’t go my way, land on my husband as I’m looking for someone to blame, and see his back turn in hurt and disappointment. Oh, there are what seem like a million opportunities every living, breathing second of my day for my impatient attitude, my self-righteous anger, my selfish desires, my secret, ugly wish for my OWN TIME ALONE WITH MY CELL PHONE to rear their nasty heads.

And they do. And they cut my soul like a hot knife through butter.

Matthew 18:6 – I desperately do not want that millstone.

1 Corinthians 13:1– I desperately do not want to be that noisy gong.

Now, NOW, are the days when I really, truly see how much I need Jesus, how broken I am, and how badly I want to be first all the time at the expense of everyone around me. This season of marriage and motherhood that is both blessed and hard, both joyful and heavy, these are the days that I truly understand the greatness of grace and the kindness of my savior. These are the days that I deeply know that I NEED him. These are the days when I am desperate for him.

And, PRAISE GOD, these are the days that he is faithful. He answers me when I cry out. He forgives me when I come to him broken, again, over that same sin, again. He gives me JOY – the deep, deep kind – and hope that lifts me up, sets me back on my feet and makes me beautiful again. He restores what my clumsy, ugly hands have shattered into a million little pieces and rains grace – just buckets and buckets of it.

And just when I think the grace has run out, he showers me again.


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