Discovering what love is one day at a time
Recently, I was on an errand for my son to get food before a sporting event. He only had a certain amount of time to escape to call me and another small window before he had to be accounted for and ready. I drove up to the window at the “fresh fast food restaurant” to be greeted by a voice that told me to please pull forward to the next order microphone so they could take my order. Wouldn’t you know it, I sat there while the car ahead of me was served and then the first car that was behind me ordered, pulled around me and received their order…That’s when I said, “Hello…anybody there? "
“Yep be right with you”….
“Ok, no problem”
….and then the second car…ordered…and pulled ahead…and got their order…and pulled away….
[Hellooooooooo anybody there, my flesh screamed. Isn’t it crazy how selfish our flesh is. How easy it is, if we do not guard our hearts, to pick up offense, or become angered or unhappy because we may feel that we were treated unfairly. ]
As my flesh was screaming and clamoring to be heard, I really had to look carefully at those thoughts before I decided if I would set them free to roam the country or to assassinate them on the spot.
I was encouraged when the second car used hand motions to the clerk at the window to point to me, and the clerk looked like she was about to fall out of the window trying to see what the driver was talking about. “Crackle crackle,” went the intercom over and over between the cars…yet no voice until the daring window leaner spotted me…
”Has anyone helped you?”
“No, actually, I was told to pull forward to order.”
“Did someone take your order?”
“No, you are the first one to recognize that I am here”
….. “Oh man…sorry about that”…….
The correct response here could have been, Thank you, for your apology. I appreciate that, however I do understand this is a really busy time for your staff, accidents happen. Instead she was met with silence, because inside I was recognizing how weak and desperate I am for the need for His grace to be strong in me...(noting that my heart was looking for justice) the nice part here,is I didn't lose it, but I certainly wasn't overflowing with His loving-kindness. Oh, how I desire that my heart be so full of grace and mercy that I am not one that is looking for justice, but always looking for the free flowing grace to be pouring like a rushing river out of my heart to whomever I meet.
Definitely had to take care to make sure that I did not agree with the thoughts that were bombarding me as I waited to be served. I think that was the beginning of the thoughts that kept me from losing it in the flesh…(Do you realize that you are waiting to be served…Someone else is preparing food for me to take to my son, I can afford to purchase something prepared by someone else to give to my son…someone else is working hard to serve me while I sit all cozy and warm in my car, I do not have to get up and out of it, but just drive up to a window get it drive away and deliver it to him…..nice) I think the complete love filled thoughts might have looked like... (I wonder how I can bless them when they remember that I am here...I know that they will feel bad, I know I would if I was in their position and forgot about a customer.)
Sure would have been easy to get sore about the wait…that others went in front of me…that they told me to pull ahead but completely forgot about me…that I had to wait a whole 15 min before anyone noticed… or paid attention to my voice singing (ok..Ok...ok…is anybody out there…I’m just sitting here…. is there anybody home?) Certainly, based on flesh serving principals it would have been a great opportunity to become hostile, negative, unfriendly, and unsympathetic. I easily could have chosen to be resentful over my circumstances, been cold in my responses and in bitterness, and bit her head off. So thankful, that I didn’t, that I have the Holy Spirit, to nudge my heart, when my flesh starts to rise…because…the thoughts that were unsympathetic did cross my mind…BUT it’s in those moments that I had the choice, to take thoughts captive, and not let them boss my response around. The Bible is pretty clear in regards to our responsibility to others; we are to follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled.
It’s really important that we take a look at what we are encouraging ourselves with…Are we encouraging our thoughts to stay in that place of animosity or opposition ready to bite at one another due to our distress of our own minds…or are we encouraging ourselves with thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude, looking for ways to bless one another…Are we chasing after peace, with all, and really looking carefully so that we aren’t devoid of, lacking , or suffering want of the grace that He has so freely given us?
Certainly, when a root of bitterness springs up, it is definitely a sign of our own superficial experience of His divine Truth. A place that we truly can recognize our own unwillingness to permit that Truth to make its way into the most inmost recesses of our soul. Roots of bitterness spring up and our behavior is then that of revolt, like a soldier who consciously abandons his previous loyalty, and stands in a place of compromise. I love that we get opportunity over and over to be reminded of how complete His grace is for us, and that it is for our own profit that we might be partakers of His holiness, even though the chastening of the Lord is not so much joyous, but afterwards it yields peaceable fruits of righteousness, after we have walked through it.
So how important then is it for us to commit ourselves to His protecting and upholding power; for us to allow Him to build anew in us and be partakers of His grace? How important is it for us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior and not to neglect or disregard His free gift, and to be strong in His grace?
Oh, how desperate I am, to NOT be the silent soldier standing on the edge of compromise, because of my pride and unwillingness/unbelief.
So thankful for His grace, that He is not finished with me yet, and that He is faithful, even when I am not.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 22 years. We have two young men ages 18 and 13.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.