I had a moment today. Well to be honest I had a few, but it all started with a particularly bad moment.
Something happened. I was upset and came home immediately after that for lunch. I had a little cry and vented all my frustrations out loud to God in my kitchen.
What followed, though, was quite contrary to the typical “moment after a moment” that I tend to follow. (Hopefully my many uses of the word “moment” doesn’t get too confusing!)
I had my little cry, my vent out loud to God in my kitchen – I was spitting the dummy, let’s just be honest – but then, in a rare but incredible turn of events,
I put on my big girl pants…
and made lunch…
10 minutes later, my husband came in the door. He knew I was a bit upset. We sat at the table together, and the tantrum-throwing-spitting-the-dummy-child in me rose up and was deeply desiring that he would force me to spill the beans — to hash it all out and process it all in an effort to be validated in how I was feeling by just speaking it out loud.
“How are you doing?” he asked me.
The girl with the big girl pants answered, though – “I’ve been better.”
Then the child started pouting, saying, “Come on…dig a bit more…ask some more questions…let me show you my righteous anger…” He didn’t, though. He didn’t say anything else except to offer to help with the dishes a few minutes later. It was a profound moment that night, though, when I recognised that by not speaking it out…not giving life to my own humanity and selfishness (aka my flesh), God was able to actually move and work in my heart.
Tonight, when asked about something relating to the very thing I was upset about earlier, I found myself responding entirely different. Responding with a desire to serve and with joy.
“Who are you?!” the pouting child in me wondered!
“Just go back to sleep – quit your crying” the big girl replied!
In James 1, it talks about temptation.
“…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1: 14-15
This is a really interesting picture, and I can see the opportunity for this in my story from today. Fortunately, I don’t believe this happened, even though the temptation was certainly there.
I love how the author writes so descriptively, though. “Dragged away” – I picture someone dragging a corpse…heavy, painful. “Their own evil desire and enticed” – wow.
Enticed (v) attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage.
We, in the core of our own humanity, want the advantage, but because Christ has set us free, we don’t have to live in our own humanity. We aren’t bound anymore! (Read Romans 8…you’ll be inspired!)
My “own evil desire” today was to be right. To be validated in how I was feeling. That’s absolutely centred on my own desire, on myself. It’s not putting God on the throne. It’s not giving Him room to teach me, to refine me. It’s ignoring Him entirely actually, but we do that!
When we are wronged or challenged or pushed out of our comfort zone – we run and kick and scream until we get our way, and even if we do get our way, we aren’t truly satisfied. Maybe for a moment, but in the end, we are still babies…lacking maturity and growth and our big girl pants!
I’m thankful for today. It hurt in the earlier moment, but by choosing to not speak out to my husband all my frustrations, choosing not to let him validate me or make me feel better, choosing to keep my eyes on God and lean into Him alone, I had an incredible later moment. A moment when I saw God move in me and change me and shape me.
That’s all I hope for – to be moved and changed and shaped by God.
I’ll finish with this last comment. A couple months ago, Chris Adams spoke at Public Mtg and he said this (paraphrasing):
“So often when we are put into trials or hard times, we beg God to get us out…to fix it. What we should be praying, though, is for God to keep us there as long as He needs to mold us more into His Son’s image.”
I think God is keeping me here – for about 3 years now – to mold me more into His Son’s image. I haven’t necessarily prayed for that, but I am thankful that God is so committed to our refinement. I am so thankful He keeps pursuing us and our growth.