A common misconception that people have about us Christians is that we “have it all together.” Ha – what a hoot!
Thankfully I know that I’m not alone. As a matter of fact, every friend I have struggles with those moments when they just fall apart, a lot of times just at dumb stuff.
During those moments, you start to stew about “why” this is happening to you. I mean, Lord – don’t You know that this really bothers me?
I like to think I’m not selfish and always try to put others’ needs in front of my own, but I know that’s not true. Oh, I do okay for a time (sometimes unfortunately just for a few minutes), but then something irritates me and all of a sudden my mindset shifts.
Are you with me?
One time that came to mind recently was shortly after moving to Texas. After living on the west coast for the majority of my life, I wasn’t used to the heat day-after-day from early spring through October.
On this particular afternoon, I noticed for some reason our air conditioner didn’t seem to be keeping the house very cool. I decided to go outside to examine our unit, as if somehow I’d be able to figure out what was wrong. Then I made a note of the brand name of ours, and the brands of our two next-door neighbors.
I then went inside and Googled air conditioners, doing a comparison on the three brand names that I had written down. And to me it looked like we had been given one of the cheapest ones. That wasn’t fair!
Gary was working at home that day, so I immediately started in on a rampage: “You should see what I found on Google about A/C units – our builder installed a cheap one!”
Gary was in one of his patient moods deciding not to bite at my bait, but instead simply stayed calm and called the A/C company which was listed on our thermostat to see if they could send someone out.
A little later a nice young man came and tested our unit. I was still all fired-up about my Google findings, so I decided to put him to the test. “This unit really isn’t sufficient for our home, is it?”
He stated our unit was certainly good enough for our home, and after running a few tests found that the problem came from a leak in one of the hoses. He fixed it, and waa-laa! Everything worked great.
Once he left I started to calm down, and wondered why I’d gotten so riled-up about the issue in the first place. Didn’t the Lord Himself guide us to this home? Did He not know our needs?
Did I not trust Him?
For those of you who struggle with these same issues, be encouraged! Because the Apostle Paul himself had moments where he felt the same way:
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do what I hate… And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway... I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong… But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…
Romans 7:15-25 (NLT)
As I sat the next morning after the A/C stress-day, I was reminded of those words of the Apostle Paul. If he himself struggled with the same stuff I did, I figured I was going to be okay.
And, of course, I later read this in one of my devotionals: “God looks for persistence – rather than perfection – in our walks with Him.”
Yes, sometimes our lives are one-step forward; then two-steps back. Yet keep on going – God knows right where you are!