So I am making myself a bit vulnerable with this entry. You may think I am strange after reading this (and I will admit that you are probably right) but I am going to go ahead and write this entry because–perhaps…just maybe–there may be someone out there who can relate to what I am about to write.
So, here goes. Every now and then, on a rare occasion, I start thinking that I have my act together spiritually. I look at the world around me and I think…hmmm…I could be a lot worse. I find myself thinking something like “God must surely be impressed with how spiritual I am”. And, gradually, I become just a tad bit prideful.
I would like you to know that I have discovered the sure fire cure for this kind of proud thinking. Here it is: Stay in a camper for an entire week with 1 husband, 3 teenagers, and 1 pre-teen and all of the stuff that accompanies said group when the weather is 95+ degrees with horrible humidity and intermittent showers (that do nothing to relieve the heat wave but are very effective at making everything wet). I found that this trip brought home rather quickly just how sinful I am.
While most of us became a bit grumpy and short-tempered, I would love to write that I was just the icon of godly motherhood–calming everyone with my peaceful demeanor, serving everyone cold drinks, and giving soft answers that turned away wrath. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I would venture to say that it was FAR from the case. I may have been (mind you, may have been) the worst of all of us. I was so disappointed in myself. If I cannot behave in a godly fashion during a heat wave then I consider myself absolutely pathetic.
I came face to face with my sinful nature and it was not a pretty sight. In fact, it was downright discouraging. How could I have let such paltry things push me into such selfish and unkind responses? After swallowing my pride, making apologies, and trying to make things right, I have realized that I did learn something from this experience.
If there is any benefit, whatsoever, of this past week, it is this– I realized once again how great my sin and how awesome God’s grace. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The forgiveness given by my Heavenly Father is amazing and complete. And that is it in a nutshell.
With that said, tomorrow is a new day to begin. Hopefully, I can be more like Jesus with whatever minutes, days, and years I have ahead of me. In the meantime, I want to remain full of gratitude for the forgiveness I have in Christ when I mess up. And when I happen to grow prideful, I will surely get knocked down off my perch once again. It’s inevitable. As I Corinthians 10:12 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall”.
But perhaps that is God’s grace working in us, as well, working to keep us humble. And for that, I am truly thankful.
UPDATE (9/12/15)—Once a week or so, I like to share an old post on the G4L Facebook page. I chose this one for today because it was encouraging in two ways. First, I am still falling on my face regularly and experiencing God’s grace. He continues to keep me from growing too prideful. And for that, I am thankful! And, second, I love that I can see how I’ve grown in the past five years. I still have an awful long way to go, but I am making progress–very slow and steady progress. And that’s good news!