It’s in my quiet times with the Lord that I feel at peace. Everything is calm and serene and as I read His word and every last one of the scriptures speaks to my heart. Be kind and gentle He says. Sounds pretty easy in theory. No problem I think to myself and then life happens…
I am a wife and mother who works outside the home. Half of my time is spent working at a job to earn money for our household and the other half of my time is spent making our house a home. What I mean by that is I cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills, run errands, taxi my kids around, and grocery shop. I am no different from millions of other moms out there as far as responsibilities go and yet I am set-apart because of my faith.
Set apart by my faith…yet at times struggling with a not so gentle approach to life.
From time to time bad days would happen and I felt as if I was caught up in a whirlwind full of life’s demands. Pressure would mount up and frustration would get the best of me and I would react and not in the way the Lord would want me to. The aftermath usually consisted of me shaming myself by repeating in my mind what a failure I was. I knew what the word said about how I should handle these situations but my flesh would kick in and all was lost.
Where did I go wrong? I read my word and I prayed for strength. So what was wrong with this picture? Why couldn’t I get a “handle” on my reactions?
“You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice,
slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other,
since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on
the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image
of its Creator.”
Colossians 3:7-10 NIV
Did you catch it in the verse above? I am to be my new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge in the image of its Creator. “Being renewed” means it’s a process and it will take time. The word “knowledge” got me thinking about my mind-set and how it was nothing like that of my Creator.Life’s frustrating moments weren’t the problem They were always going to be there. The problem was my mind-set. Instead of focusing on the Lord and His truth in the situation, I was letting my fear, frustrations, or insecurities wreak havoc on my emotions causing a reaction. The world says worry about you, look out for yourself, your happiness is what matters. If life doesn’t line up with this world view we have been spoon-fed then we get frustrated. Then comes the blaming and then the shaming.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So there it was, my thought life needed to coincide with my faith life. It’s so simple to get lost in your own thoughts. We feel like we are the only ones in our own minds. Truth be told, God knows our thoughts.
“Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say,
“This is what the Lord says to the people of Israel: I know what you
are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.””
The bad reactions that we have from time to time are only reflections of what is going on in our heart. What is in our heart is what comes out. If we worry, stress, focus on what someone said to upset us, or fix our thoughts on whatever else may be bothering us it is only a matter of time before we break. Each day we are being renewed and it takes a conscious effort on our part to die to ourselves daily. Jesus is there to give us the strength but it’s our responsibility to guard our hearts.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will
experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ
Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure,
and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and
worthy of praise.”
There are going to be times when we mess up. We were made wondrously flawed so that perfection will never be achieved as long as we are on this earth. However, we have the awesome call to be God’s church while we are here. He gave us the knowledge we need to get unstuck and start living shamelessly. It’s only through His Holy Spirit that it is possible and may He get all the glory for our changed lives, hearts, and attitudes. Only then will we truly be able to “keep calm and carry on”.