This afternoon my (just turned) four year old granddaughter said to me, "Grandma, I'll play this horn while you sing "Amazing Grace". So she did. And I did. Priceless.
But God's amazing grace is exactly what has been on my mind for about the past 24 hours. In the midst of my own self-pity as I have been working through the family issue that has pained me so much, He has taken pity on me and picked me up and dusted me off, and set my feet back on the Solid Rock!
It never ceases to amaze me that when God takes over, things can happen really fast! In just a few short days I have gone from a lot of anger and a whole lot of other volatile emotions and sleepless nights, to a real sense of peace and trust in the One who knows me inside out.
When I started blogging about 11 months ago, I made a decision that I wanted to be "real" in what I wrote. There is a lot of power in the pen, so to speak, and I determined that I wanted the blog to be an accurate account of my "life between the buns". That doesn't mean that I feel the need to say things that would be unnecessarily hurtful to others. Sure there have probably been a few things I've said that would have been better left unsaid. But for the most part, I have tried not to just portray the mountaintop times of my life, but also record things that, if I had a choice, would not be part of my "history".
Still, the temptation is always present to put the best foot forward at all times and not to air the dirty laundry. I'm human just like everyone else, and I want people to think good things about me. I don't want them to see my struggles or my doubts.
I took a big risk when I posted about my inner turmoil over the upcoming "wedding" of my niece and her girlfriend. All kinds of questions went through my mind: How will my blogger friends react? What will they think of me now? What will my family and friends say when they read it? And perhaps the most pressing -- Why do I have to be so intense all the time???
I'm not digging for comments on this post or looking for a pat on the back. I just want a chance to say to each one of you who have commented and/or prayed for me that I felt it. I have felt it big time. And I want you to know that God has used YOU to transform me and help me regain some clear thinking. I mean it when I say I am now at peace over this whole thing. No, I still cannot support the decision of the people involved. But I am no longer thinking about me, and how this has affected me.
There is something so much bigger going on. For the first time in my life, I think I have a handle on what I've always thought to be a very difficult teaching of Jesus. It is found in Matthew 10:37-38. "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."
Conflict is an inevitable result of following Jesus Christ. The battle is between light and darkness, between eternal things and things that are temporal. The Gospel continues, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (verse 39) Jesus is simply stating that if we think that the life we live in the here and now is all there is, and we love it's (sinful) pleasures more than we love Him, all those things will eventually be lost. But if we let go of that kind of thinking and living for the sake of allegiance and obedience to Him, His perfect will, and His perfect law, we actually will discover what REAL life and living is.
In a few short days I have literally gone from praying, "Lord make this all go away--don't let it happen" to praying "Lord, change me! Work in me! Make me respond in a way that best represents YOU".
No, it's not about me at all. It's all about HIM and His amazing grace. All I have to remember is how I too once was lost, but now I'm found. I was blind, but now I see. Remembering helps me to pray for those who are still confused, hurting, lost, blind. Those who, because of continued rebellion, are still living outside of the amazing grace that is offered so freely. The grace that helps me be more concerned about their souls than about my righteous indignation.
I'm certain there will still be days ahead where the circumstances will be distressing. But I think I have more perspective now. My blogger friend, Shirley said this to me and I appreciated it so much:
"...we have to remember that all sin, including our own, is equal in the eyes of God--it is all about disobedience to Him and what He declares to be best for us. That puts all of us on a pretty level playing field..."