Grumpy on a Sunday Morning
I woke up grumpy this morning, feeling frustrated and defeated. I actually had the thought, "why do I even try? Why do I read my Bible if I just end up being the same ol failure today that I was yesterday?!" I had thoughts of skipping time in the Word because after all "What good does it do?"
I felt the Holy Spirit smack me upside the head...not hard, just a love tap, hard enough for me to feel it, but soft enough to know He loves me. "If you don't call on Me this morning, feeling the way you do can you imagine the day you are going to have today! Don't even get me started on how angry you will feel tomorrow!" I heard His voice whisper to my heart. "Alright, I will spend time with You, but I am not going outside this morning, the birds are way too happy for my grumpy heart to handle. Also, I need coffee."
The reason I was feeling so out of sorts is because my boys had been especially "boy" the day before. They fought over everything and anything. I had responded to them out of frustration several times, stooping to their level and throwing everything I had ever read about in those "how to be a better mom" books I had read out the window. (I have read a lot of books, you would think I would be an expert by now) I actually growled at them at one point, I was so over the top over their attitudes. Not sure that helped. At the end of the day, I went to bed feeling like the day had smacked me in my face. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling defeated. Why am i so inconsistent? Why did I get so angry? Why did I let them control me? Why didn't I take charge and put an end to their attitudes? Why did I stoop to the same level of maturity as them? Why did I growl at them? Why did I not do this? Why did I not do that? Whaa, whaa, whaa...the list went on and on and at the end of all my insecure whining I had come up with the result. It must be because I am an awful mom. I don't love Jesus like I should, I am obviously a hypocrite of a Christian. I am not who I say I am and I should just quit. That is it, I will just quit. Not for ever, of course. But I will just take tomorrow off. I'll ignore my kids, pretend they don't exist. Maybe after a day of me not talking to them, they will appreciate what they have. They will miss me and do everything I say after that, Kind of like when you are a child thinking you will just run away then everybody will feel so bad for the way they treated you. Those are the kind of the thoughts I was having. Those were the thoughts that lead me to believe I would be better off without spending time in the Word. But when Jesus says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" He means business. Even when I am acting like a spoiled brat of a child He is there. lovingly directing me back to where I need to be, at the foot of the cross reminding me of the work He has done for me.
So I sat in the semi darkness in my family room, gloomy enough to fit my attitude, but light enough that I could read. I opened up my devotional book...The heading read.
"Don't be disheartened because you feel weak. By grace your Savior lives inside you, and He is your strength."
It was as if God knew the morning I would be waking up to. (and He did because He is God) As I read through the devotional and the Scriptures, it dawned on me who had woken me up in the middle of night reminding me of what a failure I was. I assumed it was God chastising me for not doing the things I knew to do. Things He had taught me several times. But as I read "The law of the Spirit has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." and, "If the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit Who dwells in you." (Romans 8) I realized that it was actually Satan telling me what a failure I was. "You should quit, you should give up. You don't measure up. You are always failing." I lay there next to my sleeping husband feeling guilt flood over me. Now, as I held the precious truths of the Scriptures in my hand, I was reminded that God is not a God of guilt. He is a God of hope, forgiveness, regeneration, restitution-of conviction. He desires to take what is wrong in my life and make it right. When I feel guilty, I am the focal point of my thoughts. I am the center of my attention. I feel like I will never be good enough. When I feel convicted, it is a whole different story. Christ becomes the center of my thoughts. I feel strengthened, I feel motivated, I feel like I am not carrying the load alone, I feel...forgiven.
So, my precious friend. If you are ever like me and you spend the day failing. Remember, your feelings of guilt are a ploy used by Satan to try to keep you away from the Word, to keep the focus on "your lack of accomplishments." Satan wants you to continue to be defeated. To remind you of all the times you messed up and what a hypocrite you really are. Just know-when you feel like you don't want to be in the Word is when you need it the most. That is where the Holy Spirit meets with you to convict you in order to encourage you. To remind you as He did me, that I dwell in His strength and He lives inside me and will give me everything I need to get through this day, and maybe I shouldn't growl at my kids because it is probably neither effective nor attractive.