Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Running late?

Love is patient

It's not even half an hour into my day and I'm already getting impatient. If anything this just reinforces my need for grace because it seems impossible to express love through constant patience, particularly when I lose something. It doesn't matter if something super important or something relatively inconsequential. As soon as I can't find it the inconvenience drives me absolutely barmy and patience is the furthest thing from my mind. So, clearly losing things is something to bring before God in prayer. Is there something in particular for you that causes the same reaction? Or am I just way too obsessed with the inconvenience of losing something?

In terms of how it affects my ability to love others... Well all you have to do is try to help me find it and our relationship may be at risk. It's bad. Really bad. I don't know what it is but I do know that God will help us through anything if we submit ourselves before Him in prayer!

The other challenge for me today was running late this morning (my fault). At the start of this debacle it wasn't so much impatience as blind panic. I had an unusually long day yesterday and tiredness tends to make emotional difficulties more problematic than usual. 'Oh, I'm running a little late' can rapidly spiral into, 'I don't want to go into uni. I want to go home right now. I can't face anyone.' This hasn't really happened in recent months but as I said, tiredness tends to make me a little more vulnerable.

The strong temptation this morning was to hold onto these thoughts and feelings instead of turning away and going to the Father. Even when a behaviour is bad for us sometimes we like to hold onto them because they are familiar and we feel in control. This sense of control is, I believe, a trap that keeps us away from God. We prefer to lean on our own understanding rather than humbling ourselves before Him and trusting in His promise of a "peace that surpasses all understanding." 

This is a photo of one of the scriptures I regularly declare (in simple terms, 'say aloud'). I keep it near my desk as study's a big "worry" trigger for me.
So, how did this affect my ability to love others? Well on a human level it meant my wonderful father, who dropped me at the train station, received something close to reproach for (supposedly) making me go to uni instead of thankfulness, and distrust when he said I'd be ok (considering he prayed for me as well I had more than enough reason to trust him). On a spiritual level it led to me putting a 'block' between myself and our heavenly Father.

Once again I am reminded of my inability to be perfect. This is a challenging idea for me. Because I cannot meet God's standards He sent His Son for me. I don't have to do anything, nor can I do anything 'good enough' to justify my salvation. To a long-standing perfectionist this doesn't seem to make sense but it is the truth.

God can help me grow in patience but I'll never be perfect. I might have to tell myself that over and over again but I trust that as I grow in my faith in God's grace it will gradually become easier. We are told to "take captive every thought" and this means identifying a wrong thought (wrong as in it's a lie/against what God says) and submitting it to Jesus in prayer. Once again this means swallowing our pride and denying that 'wonderful' sense of control. But it's worth it.

"...the truth will set you free."
(John 8: 32)