When I awoke this morning the grumpy-bug was attached to me like a leach, and no matter how hard I have fought him he has held fast.
My flesh rears its head, longing to react to those around me in unloving, ungodly ways…bubbling with complaints against loved ones and circumstances…refusing to recognize blessings and magnifying perceived injustices.
Self cries, “Self, self, self! Me, me, me!! My plans! My comfort! My agenda!” I grow faint in the battle fought in my own strength, and part of me doesn’t seem to care. My grumpiness surfaces, and my words and countenance increasingly reflect sin – thus hiding the light of my Savior which ought to be shone.
Nothing seems to be going my way. I’m seemingly unable to accomplish anything I had planned for the day. It feels as if I’ve got nothing to boast in; nothing in which to find joy…
Then the Spirit gently reminds me that all of these things I’m worrying about aren’t what I’m supposed to rejoice in, anyway – and that I’m completely incapable of winning this battle on my own.
In the margin of my Bible I find written:
“When you complain about your circumstances, you are complaining about God.”
Do I really believe He is on the throne? Don’t I trust the circumstances He allows for me? Dare I grapple for the throne myself? Dare I complain about my Creator and Savior and Lord?
How dare I demand joy from other people or from personal successes (which are only possible through Christ anyway)! As Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in the power given them over evil spirits but to rejoice because their names are written in heaven, so must I (Luke 10:20).
In this I can rejoice: that Christ has saved me from myself and my sin and the just punishment for it. That in Him I can cast off the old man and put on the new. That in Him I’m delivered from darkness, and dependent upon Him I can act like it. That this battle with the flesh is temporary, and one day I’ll be in heaven fully able to please Him in thought, word, and deed.
I can rejoice in that He allows me retreat from the battle, allowing me to seek refuge under His wings in prayer and in His Word, and find His strength according to His glorious power to love as He has asked me to love and to allow Him to bear fruit in my life.
Because of Christ, I can approach the throne of God boldly and pray for myself as Paul prayed for the church at Colossi:
“[That I might be] strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” ~ Colossians 1:11-14 ~
Because of Christ, I can sing with David:
“I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” ~ Psalms 9:1-2 ~
Huh…where did that grumpy bug run off to??