I have to be honest. I was a bit gloomy last week. Might I even say depressed. I was just uncharacteristically down. Truth is, as I looked out over 2013, I couldn’t see a whole lot of things to look forward to.
Yes, we are expecting baby #5 in early March, and of course, I’m looking forward to seeing if this is our fifth boy or first girl. But what was before me was the thought of how impossible it seemed to handle one. more. thing.
I sent an email to a friend, “How, oh how, am I going to manage an infant in this home in another 8 short weeks?”
After weeks of trying to get our schedules together, she promptly wrote back, “Let’s have dinner tomorrow night.” Thank God for friend’s that drop everything when you need them.
It seemed all over Facebook, I was seeing friend’s claim their “word” for 2013. And in my gloomy state, all I could seem to come up with for myself was “SURVIVE”.
I told you I was depressed.
Upon sharing with my husband, he gave me needed encouragement. “God surely has more for you than that.”
I took a shower. Put on real clothes. Dressed the kids. Did the needed chores that I had been so dreading (note: it took like 15 minutes to start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher and pick up the kitchen. Amazing how LARGE you can make these tasks when you are in one of those moods!).
And popped in a Joyce Meyer CD, that my above mentioned friend shared with me long before, and began to prepare lunch for my 4 boys.
The title was “Living Without Frustration”. Perfect considering everything in my entire life felt frustrating that morning.
And through Joyce, God gave me my word for 2013. GRACE.
But, it was a new definition of GRACE for me. I was very familiar with GRACE in relation to my salvation. I’d always loved the definition, “Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you do not deserve.” I knew my salvation was an testiment of God’s grace.
What Joyce gave me was this definition, GRACE is trusting God to do what you cannot do. It is the POWER of God, freely available to us, every day, in whatever amount we need, enabling us to do, with ease, what we could never do on our own with any amount of struggle and effort.
The teaching that really hit me between the eyes was when she laid out this equation….
Frustrated is where we end up when we stop relying on God and receiving His GRACE, and we’ve decided we are going to make something happen our own way.
It is trying instead of trusting.
Are you trying to solve your own problems?
Are you trying to change your marriage?
Are you trying to “fix” your spouse?
Are you trying to make those kids do what you want them to?
Are you trying to potty train a 2 1/2 year old who wants nothing to do with it because the thought of 3 children in diapers is just too much? (Or is that just me :-)).
That is not GRACE. That is works.
We are reflecting this month here at FLT about being a “work in progress”. In a month of the year when everyone is trying, changing, resolving…maybe we all just need to start trusting. Trusting that God has made us who we are. Trusting that He will show us where we need to focus and grow (and I promise you, He won’t give us a whole list, but one thing at a time).
Trusting that God is also working on our frustrating spouse. In our difficult relationships. In our overwhelming circumstances.
God is waiting for us to hit that point where we say, “Alright God. I give up. If anything is going to happen here, it will have to be You.”
God’s answer will be “Exactly. That is the way it always is. Apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)”
That is when change happens.
What all our spouses, marriages, families, lives…what WE all need is some GRACE. GRACE that we receive by faith.
It is my “word” for 2013. Maybe it will be your’s too.
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