Ever run smack dab into a just plain ol’ grumpy person? Maybe it’s you? Maybe missional living; reflecting Christ effectively to the world; is tainted by your bouts of anger, frustration, or impatience.
I am not going to lie…my “A” type personality sometimes cripples me from stopping and smelling the roses, from seeing the beauty in those solitude moments of waiting, watching, trusting God is moving in the slow lane.
In fact, in the grocery store the other day, there were ten people each waiting in only two check-out lines. Like a leopard, I paced back and forth, isle to isle, trying to figure out which one was shortest.
But sometimes we lose time, move farther back in our cause, when we work in the flesh and vain-fully attempt to compete to be first…even if it’s just in a check-out isle.
I finally settle for a line, impatient, and not so happy.
The lady behind me starts boiling too; until she erupts, insisting they open more isles. I grin at her, nod, admiring her persistence to not wait like a victim, but get things done.
A new isle finally opens. The new checker calls the guy in front of me over. But to my surprise, he turns around and says to me, “Go ahead. I will wait. I am working on my ability to be patient.” Ouch!
It was then I shrunk small within myself. I mean, who really waits in a line unnecessarily just to see how they can tame the dragon of anger that can sit dormant in all of us?
Maybe you struggle with impatience with your kids? Maybe you’re like me, and get an agenda, and then want the universe to somehow align with your so important purposes? Either way, as Christians…as people trying to live for the good of God, for His glory, in His identity….we must prayerfully seek the fruit of the spirit that is patience.
A few days later, I had been praying and fasting, when a man behind me in the gas station goes ballistic, honking radically at me for no reason.
Could this be “paybacks” for my leopard like pacing in the store?
I won’t go into details, but this horn-laying-bully just kept blaring at me for no reason…except maybe I had a crossover, and he had a large, diesel, semi-like beast so near, He could almost taste my bumper.
This time I responded calmly. I didn’t scream or go over and talk to him, insisting he was wrong and I was right. I just stood tall, stuck up for myself, and then quietly went on to get gas.
I was even more shocked when I realized I just drove away from that situation, not even mad. After all, wasn’t I the same person who days ago aligned with the angry lady behind me in the check-out isle?
The only difference was, this time I had committed my day to humbling myself, surrendering to God’s plan, and confessing my dependence on Him…even if His plans didn’t look like mine.
We all want to be Jesus loving, Christ demonstrating, mirrors of God. But before can, we must purposefully acknowledge our sin and repent that we can’t ever do it alone.
We need the resurrection power of His blood, His Spirit fresh and alive in us, His fire burning away the dross of our own carnal nature.
We need a touch of grace.
I am the first to say, we can never slay the leopard, or snuff out the dormant volcano inside us….
For if we could, why would we need Jesus?
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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