Yesterday I was impatient and ugly with someone I love.
When you are hurting, physically or emotionally or physically AND emotionally, you just don’t have the energy to hide the ugly.
But the pain didn’t create the ugly-it just revealed it.
And I am sorry to say that even burying a child did not cleanse me of some ugliness I wish I didn’t have in my heart.
I keep asking God to fill me with His love, mercy and grace. And I am more full of those things than before.
But there is still plenty of (if not hate then) less-than-love, judgement and impatience. Trials don’t automatically lead to refinement or stronger faith.
Tribulation can drive someone away from God as easily as it can drive them to their knees.
If I’m not careful-if I’m not very careful-I can use my pain as an excuse for all kinds of bad behavior.
So I’m here to confess: I am so, so sorry.
I’m sorry that when my glass gets tipped, anger and bitterness spills out. I’m sorry that I’m not more faithful to extend grace when I hope grace will be extended to me. I’m sorry that speaking truth so that I prove my point and wound a heart is sometimes more satisfying than speaking truth in love.
I wish every deed I did and every word I spoke was full of life and never full of death.
I hate death. I. HATE. death.
It has taken enough from me. And I want no part of it.
Father, I want to be a beacon of light and life. Lord, make me so. Fill me to overflowing with YOUR love, YOUR life, YOUR grace, YOUR mercy. Left to myself I have no hope. But by Your Spirit, it can be so.
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.
James 1:2-5 PHILLIPS