Well, let there be no doubt about it...this post is an honest look at "my flesh hanging all out". I wish it were pretty...but it's not.
The last couple of months I have really been struggling with a complaining spirit.
Work at the school has truly been so wonderful....but it takes so many hours out of each day...and leaves that much less for that much more that needs to be done at home. Let the struggle begin:
"How come these kids can't do a better job picking up after themselves? This is ridiculous!"
"Unbelievable, I just cleaned off the counter and now look at it!"
"I just want a day with no demands. Is that even possible?!"
"Lord, I just wish there was some extra money so we could get take out and I wouldn't have to cook every night."
"Why does it take so long to make a meal that is consumed in minutes?!"
"There is so much to clean in this house!"
"I am so tired...I don't think I can help with one more homework project."
"Can't the kids just figure it out on their own?!"
"Why does life have to be so hard?"
Pretty ugly, huh? Lots of flesh hanging out and not a lot of sweet fruit of the Spirit to be found anywhere! Sure, a lot of these thoughts never even leave my head...but many do. But, even if no one knew about my complaining heart...God does...and He calls me to please Him not only in my actions but in the thoughts of my heart!(Psalm 19:14)
The Lord has convicted me that my attitude truly does not have anything to do with my situation but the status of my heart. And, as the Lord has humbled me, He's made it clear that my heart has been set on one thing...ME.
My dad said something in church this morning that rang with deep truth:
"False gospels seek to satisfy the flesh. But God's Word is clear. The flesh must DIE in order for my soul to be truly satisfied."
I was forgetting that. I have been living, loving my own soul instead of loving Christ most of all. I have been living for myself, instead of considering other's more important than myself. I have been clinging to my weaknesses and crying over them instead of clinging to Christ who gives GREAT strength in those weaknesses. I have been seeing the daily tasks of life as drudgery and "exhaustion makers" instead of seeing them as gifts of grace, as jobs tailored made for me by the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Had I been taking my thoughts captive (instead of listening to them) I would have found joy (not in the jobs, necessarily) but in knowing I was "doing my work heartily for the Lord", "toiling with all HIS energy that He powerfully works in me", and bringing Him glory whether I "eat or drink or whatever I do".
John Newton put it this way:
"If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth's grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of it's meanest village; it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot: the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God's will."
O Lord, I know that there is victory in You. But only when I see you as the treasure above all treasures. Only when I cling to you as my portion...my whole portion. Only when I have no other gods before You...including myself. Forgive my complaining heart and help me to walk with joy before You!
"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!" Psalm 57:7