Monday, September 03, 2007

Preaching the Cross to Myself

I've had a couple of bad weeks. Nothing major, just a week and a half of constant raining, Dan working tons of late nights, and general snarkiness of my kids. I'm sure most of you can relate. My point of this post is not to complain, but I have to set the stage . . .

Now typically I don't lose my patience a ton with my kids during the day. That just isn't my temptation during most days. But when I don't get that break around 6 o'clock that I have come to expect (and I assume, deserve) then that is another story. And I didn't get that break at all 2 weeks ago. In fact, our Friday, which we usually spend together as family time, was packed full of events, and then Saturday Dan volunteered to help a friend work on their house for the day. I was near my breaking point and I kind of cracked. I hadn't been responding in the right way most of the week, but by Saturday I was fed up. I was cranky and impatient with my family, including my husband. So when he finally came home that evening, I was so upset that I didn't want to spend any time with him. What a way to reward him!

I knew I was sinning. I knew in my "head" that I wasn't responding rightly and I didn't care enough to change it. I prayed, but it was more like, "Oh God, you don't know how bad I have it. Make it all better!" instead of, "Change me, work in me, help me respond the way I know I should." That's when 2 friends entered the picture the exact way the body of Christ should operate. One encouraged me by praying that I would respond the right way, and the other reminded me that when things are tough, it is a perfect time to reflect on God and how He can meet our needs. It all sounded good when Sunday came and I was expecting a better week ahead, but the better week never materialized. I had an equally stinky week this past week.

But do you know what the difference was? Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I preached the cross to myself. I spent time in the Word and prayed for the power to respond the right way to life's struggles. After all, isn't that exactly what the Cross purchased for us? And then, to top it all off, our pastor preached on 2 Peter 1 yesterday and it was the highlight to end my week. I still missed my husband last week, my kids still irritated me, I was not perfect every moment, but preaching the cross to myself gave me a God-oriented focus to my actions and my heart, and that made all the difference.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord, help me not become ineffective or unfruitful. Use your Holy Spirit and your Word to remind me that you have given me the power to not sin. Show me the cross before all my actions and thoughts that I might do the same to my family. Amen.

2 comments:

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Thank you, Donette. I'm struggling right now, too, and God used your post in my life like He used your two friends in your life.

Gretchen said...

NEtt,

This is one of the best posts I've ever read. Thank you so much for your transparency and your God-centeredness. I have been slogging through the slough of despondency, too, and I'm so thankful for the cross! It's amazing how cross-centered God wants us to be!

So, I would have used to say "I hope things get better for you" (which I do, of course), but now I'll say, "Press on, sister! His grace is sufficient and His strength is perfect in weakness!"

Love ya!
Gret