Are you in a situation that is making your life difficult or even miserable? It can be a situation not of your own making or even something you did with the best of intentions. We all have areas of our life that we don't want disturbed. We all have little pet peeves that can get blown up in our mind and we find ourselves turning into complaining shrews.
If we've had stress in our lives, the littlest things that disrupt what little peace we have, can feel like we're teetering on the edge. Our nerves become frayed and we forget all about being a light in this world because we're too focused on the darkness of stressful situations.
Thankfully, God is so gracious to have patience with us and will pull us back from this darkness by reminding us who we are in Jesus. I had this happen to me over the weekend and it was like a lightbulb going off over my head. You know - like the old cartoons when a character had a bright idea. It felt that dramatic when it happened to me.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man."
- Colossians 3:23
I realized that I was not being obedient to God by all my complaining, frustration and even anger over the things that were happening around me. By obedience, I don't mean the kind of obedience that we feel obligated to do or forced to do. I mean the obedience we do and feel loving about because God first loved us! I'm talking about that obedience that comes from God giving us so much love and grace that we can't help but share the same to others. Doing what we need to do for the Lord and not for man.
You're probably saying how simple and why is this such a huge thing for me? It's huge because in all my stress, health issues over the past three-plus years, and changes I've had to endure, I've become quite selfish and scared. And in case you didn't know, when you become selfish and scared, your heart becomes harder. I didn't want to give up certain things or accept the changes so I dug my feet in and refused. However, I can't do what I need to do with a loving and glad heart if I'm not thinking about doing it for Jesus. Further more, try thinking about doing what you're doing for Jesus and having a bad attitude. It can't be done! I can't say to myself, I'm doing this for Jesus and be crummy about it. When I do it for him, my heart is lighter, I want to do a good job, and I want to act like someone He will be pleased with!
I'll be honest. I haven't felt this peaceful for a long, long time. Do I still have moments of being childishly selfish? Of course. The great thing is, they don't last long because I'm focusing my heart and mind on the Lord. I'm also accepting those things I'm not able to do anymore and being thankful for the things I can. My body still is not strong and I don't have a lot of energy. I have to accept the changes and know that they are part of God's plan. I need to protect my time, energy and body - but with a glad heart!
Please pray with me on this. I am asking God for a happy attitude, a loving heart, discerning wisdom, and an extra measure of self control from the Holy Spirit. I'm so thankful for you, dear friends, and all your encouragement and prayers.
Blessings - Julie