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Endurance

May 20, 2011

I have always been a defeated perfectionist. I create a very high standard that even Jesus couldn’t live up to. It’s true! God’s definition of perfect is not our definition – whether that’s better or worse.

But since the birth of my last daughter in January I have been overwhelmed by my sense of inadequancies. As a wife, a mother, a child of God, in my body, my thinking, and my doing I have been wrestling with what I do wrong, what I don’t do, what I can’t do, what I shoud do, what am I gonna do??

A friend of mine shared a revelation on a scripture that started a turn around for me: “it’s not a lion.”

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!” – Proverbs 22:13

Now, you may say – I am not a lazy sluggard. But are you acting like one? Because I was. I was letting everything roar at me like it was a lion. But it’s not a lion. It’s a LIE. Why should I be overwhelmed? Sometimes laziness comes because we believe we are overwhelmed instead of taking things one thing at a time. We only focus on what we can’t do, what we aren’t doing, and what we won’t be able to do:

I yell all the time, I’m so aggrevated with my kids, my house is a mess all the time, I can’t keep up with it, how am I going to homeschool all these kids, am I going to live long enough to parent them, what if my husband dies young, what if he gets a dibilitating disease, what if my children hate me and never talk to me when they grow up because I’m such a mean mom, what if my husband leaves me, what if I die young?

On, and on, and on. One night as I was going to sleep and having my last conversation with God for the day, I started my mantra of being so sorry for all the stuff I do wrong that segued into how am I ever going to do it right and the Holy Spirit prompted me:

If you can meditate on all the things you do wrong, and you can’t do, and you’re not going to be able to do, can’t you just as easily think on the things you DO do right, what you CAN do right, and what you are going to do right?

Well… YEAH! Duh! Why can’t I? Why would that be so bad, or perhaps it would be even better!

So my “its not a lion” turned into “what I am doing right, what I can do right, and what I’m going to do right.”

And these things made way for my latest meditative action: the fruits of the Spirit.

If I yell at my kids all the time and I’m always aggrevated and overwhelmed in my house, don’t I need some patience, some kindness, some goodness, some gentleness, some faithfulness and some self control? Not to mention love, joy, and peace. For years I’ve asked for these things to manifest in my life. I’ve used every gardening analogy there is in my prayers: “Till up the soil of my heart so the fruit can grow, Lord.” “Water the tree of the Spirit so it will bear fruit in my life, Father.” Nothing. Am I a withered fig tree?

No. The truth of the matter is if I am saved, and I am filled with the Holy Spirit, I <em>already</em> have access to HIS fruit. Its the Fruit of <em>The Spirit</em>- he doesn’t have any gardening, fertilizer, water, or fruit-bearing issues. But:

I have to choose to partake of it.

OH.

Well, I can do that! So now, when I start to shout, or get aggrevated, I say to myself: I CAN “choose” to eat of the fruit of self control. It is available to me. I can CHOOSE to be kind. I can choose to be faithful in my house to clean it up little by little. Kindness and faithfulness are available to me, and I CAN choose to partake of them because I AM filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s not too hard to choose, it’s what I can do and will do, it’s not a lion.

Its what I’m doin.

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