Monday, December 6, 2010

Love is.

I have a confession. I have a bit of an anger problem... and a worry problem... and a fear issue... and a sensitivity button...

And it all seems to come out when I least expect it.

When one would expect frustration: driving, in lines of stores, forgetting to pull something that should not have gone in the dryer, walking away from the oven and having your food burn.

When one would expect worry: sick family members, someone being an hour late, thinking a bill payment didn't go through.

When I should worry: Never.

Darn you, Sermon on the Mount.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:25-27

Our church is walking through the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 - exploring what it means for Jesus to be: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. I left service yesterday meditating on our Mighty God.

"Jesus' mighty power should radically shape my day-to-day life." - Scott Brown

Meaning - either Jesus is more powerful than my worries, fears, or frustrations... or He isn't. The way I live my day proves what I believe about his power.

I talked through this aloud with David in the car on the way to finish up some shopping. I was frustrated... frustrated that I spend time in the Word, read my Advent book, pray for friends... and still end up so royally screwing this up.

D was quick to remind me that God desires my heart more than anything else and that I can't tackle each day with the hope of perfection... only the hope of dependence.

So here's the game plan... I'm focusing on 1 Corinthians 13 this Advent. (D asked when the wedding was taking place.) One word per day. Yesterday the focus was love is PATIENT. How perfect for spending the afternoon at a crowded mall. I was amazed at my response to the long lines and ordinary scenarios that would have ordinarily left me completely frustrated.

Living and believing I have a Mighty God just by being patient sounds like a really small thing - but can I tell you that I made friends with the cashier at Bed, Bath & Beyond? A cashier we have interacted with for the past months as we worked with our registry... who ordinarily tests my patience...

Today the word is KIND. I'm working in a coffee shop and am trying to remember to give smiles readily and open doors for others as I prepare my heart for the coming of the King.

"Lo this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9

(*For the record, love is not sending me a clipping from the cartoon "Love Is...")
(*And also - that ornament... circa 3 year-old preschool. I've always been really good with glitter.)


Shannalee said...

This was so good. I'm in a BSF study this year, and we're doing Isaiah--that verse you referenced was a HUGE comfort to me. Not only is He the wonderful, capable, skilled counselor, but He's the Mighty God with full power to do something. I love that. And I love your idea about meditating on I Corinthians 13. For what it's worth, I have, out loud, asked the exact same question about why I can read my Bible, meditate on Christ, spend time communing with Him and still fail. Over and over again. Your husband gave a great answer, that God values our heart. Which also shows how amazingly good HE is!

shannonmichaelis said...

Make more friends with hard-to-get-along-with people because it shows the love of Christ more! Take a deep breath - this Advent season is so much more rich and joyful for you this year vs. the last....