But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Do you ever feel like you’re just stuck? I hate that feeling when you want to grow spiritually, but you just can’t seem to get anywhere. You want to move past certain hurts and sins, but you just don’t.
I read a story several years ago about a 480lb lady who was stuck on her couch for six years! The article says that “after years of staying put, her skin had literally become one with the sofa and had to be surgically removed.” It’s a tragic story that leaves you thinking “how could she let it get that bad without asking for help sooner?” It’s really easy to look at someone else’s messiness and judge them for it… It’s another thing altogether to ask yourself the hard questions…
How often do I stay put?
In today’s world it’s hard to feel like you’re a good enough parent. I sometimes think that if I was a parent 20 years ago it would be a lot easier than it is now. 20 years ago we didn’t have to worry about growing up in a world filled with terrorism, awful stuff on the internet in the palm of your hand, or video games that graphically portrayed nudity and promoted prostitution, theft, and drugs. I still remember my grandpa’s reaction to my mom’s first car phone. Anyone remember those? It came in a carrying case, plugged into the cigarette lighter deal, and had a chord on it. When he saw it he said, “I’ve lived too long.” I can’t imagine what he would say now if he could see the things we see on a daily basis.
Everything now is so fast paced. We live in a world where we are more connected than ever and can find any information we want in a matter of seconds. Our kids have never seen a commercial for Encyclopedia Brittanica. But because of all of this new stuff we have now, we run a much higher risk of being disconnected from our families under the same roof than we ever have before. This past Christmas when our extended family was all together there were multiple moments when you could look around the room and everyone was on their own device doing their own thing in their own little world. It’s comical and sad all at the same time, but it’s the world we’re raising our kids in.
I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve told my kids that they should listen and obey the first time… Or a dime for each time I’ve said, “how many times do I have to tell you…”. If people passed out coins for parental insanity (trying the same broken strategies over and over and expecting different results), I’d be living large by now!
We’re watching a video series on community by Paul Tripp in my Sunday School class at church, and one of the “velvet bricks” that he threw at us was that “one of the most irritating things of all time is when your kids actually need to be parented.” He said, “that’s center of the universe thinking.”
It shouldn’t surprise me when it happens, but it always does. I guess it’s because I get used to relying on myself. Not that that’s a good thing, in my opinion. I wish that I could go all in with the “lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him” plan, but I fail big time in that category… on an hourly basis… take that back… on an every 5 minute basis. But in spite of that… God loves to hook me up!
There have been so many of these “hook ups” from God in my life over the past couple of months that I can’t even begin to explain them all. (When I read that back it sounds so cocky… I hate when people brag about how good God has been to them… shoot… that sounds horrible too… well, I’m a lot worse than I think I am…). It’s simply God’s grace. I’ve done absolutely nothing to deserve His blessings, but he has confirmed His love for me over and over and I love it! And it scares me to death at the same time because it’s easy to think that the hard stuff is gonna be coming right around the corner…
But I can’t live in fear of what “could happen”… that’s no good for anyone. I just want to delight in this moment. To be thankful for what he’s doing and where he has me right now. Jesus is far greater than I ever dared hope and he’s showing me these days that he knows what I need and loves to provide it. What a friend I have!
In the morning I’ve been trying to remember to read from Scotty Smith’s book Everyday Prayers. He does such a good job of daily appropriating the gospel to his life, especially in his conversations with God. He is giving me a good model of what pursuing gospel sanity really looks like. And even though I’m about a month off schedule (which is easy to feel guilty about…yet another reminder of how much I need the gospel), reading through these prayers has been really good for my heart.
Today Scotty is teaching me to ask some good questions:
If so then maybe you’ve got a sick heart.
Don’t be ashamed of it… join the club. We’ve all, at some point in our lives, had hope deferred. And the Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 that hope deferred makes the heart sick.