Tag Archives: cross

I Got Squeezed and Guess What Came Out

13 Mar

Last night I barely slept, a normal result of overdoing it physically, which I did the day before.  So today was tough because I’ve always been a person who needs those minimum hours of sleep.

This evening I made a “quick” run to the store without having said a prayer for hours.  The person in front of me at Kroger wasn’t buying anything except stamps and yet it took about 7 minutes for him to get finished up.  The pressure of my yucky day and of wanting to hurry out of there so I could get home and catch up on work that I got behind on had a squeezing effect, and what came out of me was, sadly, not pretty.

I used all of that impatient body language that sends a clear grocery store line message, “I’m not happy with how slow this line is moving!”  For a punctuation effect, I did finally pray, saying aloud softly but with tension, “God, help me.”  (Yes, I realize that I looked like a crazy woman.  At least I was polite when it was my turn!)

No one has influenced my spiritual growth more than Joyce Meyer (but don’t let my bad behavior be a reflection on her).  She taught me that when you’re impatient with people, you’re failing to demonstrate the love of Christ.  (She learned this the hard way, too.)  So I didn’t allow the fruits of the Spirit to flow out of me in my brief encounter with society today.

I was thinking about this as I drove off toward home with my “YS 2 God” license plates.  And you wonder why Christianity has a bad name?  Well, it’s not all my fault – just partly.

Although I sometimes seem like a hopeless case, I’m not going to give up on my goal of allowing God to shape my character so that I’m a better reflection of Him.  After all, it’s not like I’m trying to get to the good character buried inside of me.  Instead, it’s getting me out of the way so that Christ can shine through that makes the dream happen.

By the way, it’s comforting to know that God’s not disappointed that ugly stuff comes out of me sometimes when I’m squeezed.  He doesn’t love me any less; Jesus already knew it before He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.  And He died for me anyway.  (The ultimate squeeze.)

Anger Can Really Clean House

12 Mar

As I gave the house a good cleaning today, I got angrier and angrier.  It became more obvious as I went along that no one is helping me keep the house in order.  All of our household rules about picking up after ourselves are routinely ignored, which puts a huge demand on me unnecessarily.

As T. D. Jakes said when we were at church yesterday, anger is a good thing, as long as you let it go before the sun goes down.  And in this case, I believe today was a last straw in a good way.  I refuse to go through this aggravation again.  But I’m the one that will make this happen by enforcing the rules every hour of every day.

“Are you finished with that?  Put it back where it belongs.”  So simple!

When I was feeling sorry for myself in the midst of my anger, I thought about how often I fail to truly appreciate God.  Every day He gives me life, breath, and a heart that’s filled with the joy of loving.  He also meets all of my needs without fail all the time.  How do I thank Him?  One thing for sure, complaining is no way to show gratitude to God.

Did you know that it was complaining that kept God’s original human family from entering into their place of overflowing promise?  All God wanted was for them to remember that He delivered them from bondage and He would meet all of their needs as they followed Him on the path He laid out for them.  The end of the trail was overwhelming success!  So what’s to complain about there?

I’ve repented of my complaining, I’ve apologized for my grouchiness, and I’m excited about this new determination to follow up every day on keeping the house beautiful.  But I’m still angry at myself for taking God for granted.  What else should I do to make sure that I’m not taking advantage of God’s goodness and blessings?

Actually, I think I know how to express my appreciation for God.  Take up my cross daily, forget about looking out for my own interests, and follow Jesus.  Simple!

Luke 9:23

New King James Version (NKJV)

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.