I’m grouchy. Aren’t you glad you decided to read this? I promise it will be super uplifting. ha!
We all get a little grouchy sometimes though, do we not? Today’s just my day. My husband knows better than to try cheer up tactics on days like this – they just. don’t. work. I need time to get through it. Time to get over myself. Usually a good sleep and the promises of a new day! But it’s only 9 am so that seems a little far off just now.
I’ll just say it. I’m sick of my 7 articles of clothing. I’m at 3 1/2 weeks. 4 days left, and I want nothing more than to throw up my hands, admit defeat and slide into a different pair of jeans and a pretty shirt and have a long flowy sweater over top. Not because it’s cold. But because I crave something different. Anything different!
My closet doors were open last night and I gazed longingly at a pale pink baby doll dress. I stared at the weave of the lace on a tank top. I dreamed of skinny jeans and skirts paired with flowing tops and layers. My heart wanted all of them. I wondered if it would be wrong to play dress up but not really WEAR any of the clothes. Just try them on. Feel different textures. Look – different!
It’s things like this that show me just how weak I am on my own. Just how very short I fall when I rely on will power to get me through. Just how much I lack self-control when I’m the self that’s doing the controlling. It’s times like this that I feel my humanity. My depravity. How deeply sin is rooted in my heart and no matter what I do to try to get rid of it, it’s there. Always, there.
So, I can whittle down to 7 items but it loses steam and my wanting nature creeps back in. I can give away scads of clothes to those less fortunate than I, but still find myself asking the question of, “Do they really need them?” I can will myself to keep going and I can force myself to give more away but the state of my heart doesn’t change when it’s operating on it’s own.
It’s times like this when I see so badly how much I need Jesus.
It’s moments like this when I see that being a moral person isn’t what this is about. It’s not about doing justice because I’m nice. It’s not about giving clothes away because I’m a good person. It’s not about wearing 7 items of clothing to show the world just how great I am at giving things up or how much will power I have.
Nah. All of that would be, well, just nice.
But God called me to more than nice. He called me to sacrifice and that means giving away more than just the clothes I don’t like anymore or the ones that have a little stain on them. No, he called me to suffer and to give all.
So what exactly does suffering look like when you’re living in the first world? I don’t know. But here’s a thought. It means giving away some of the clothes I like best because someone else needs them. It means not just purging the things I don’t wear anymore but even more. What if I actually gave away until it hurt just a little? Without the thought of, “I can always go buy more.” Those things that I’m holding so tightly to because I really like how they look or I remember when I got them and they make me smile when I put them on. What if I gave some of those too?
It’s been a strange week around here and one that I’m sure many of you have had. I’m giving more than I ever have, I’m spending so much time in scripture and feel constantly in prayer. I’m walking through the week as though I’m on top of this thing and I somehow, so wrongly, expect that to mean that the week should go well. Should breeze by easily. Should be smooth sailing and clear skies from here on out.
Instead my washing machine broke beyond repair. Great. I have seven items of clothing to choose from and the activities as of late have been gardening, hiking and running. Saying they all stink would be an understatement.
Then my cell phone met it’s demise and found itself floating in a puddle of coffee. My contract isn’t up yet so no “free phone” offers are flying my way either.
I got yelled at for driving perfectly safely in my own lane by someone who felt they should be allowed to just cut right in. They called me mean names and showed me certain fingers.
Then a best friend made the mistake of commenting on how attractive my chipping nail polish looked and do you know what I did? I just started to cry. I couldn’t hold it back anymore. She had no idea I was so sensitive about my nail polish!
Sure it’s just stuff that can all be replaced but when piled on top of each other it can feel like a lot. And when your boys been home for only 6 days and you send them off again for another 3 because you have to work, it can feel like a lot.
I don’t know if this is suffering at all. I’m sure anyone living outside of North America would laugh at me with my petty first world problems. But here’s the thing – I live in the first world so all of my problems are first world problems! Somehow along the way it’s become cool to be unsympathetic to people because of our trials here in comparison to the rest of the world and I get it – to a point. But I also get that we all have days, weeks, months or even years when things just aren’t going as we thought and when we feel like our world is crashing in and we’re slightly fearful because we’re not sure it’s ever going to stop!
And it feels a bit like suffering. And it might make us just a bit grouchy.
But what I know above all else is that it’s not going to stop me. It’s not going to make me doubt God or His promises. It’s not going to make me angry or into a fist shaker and it’s not going to make me rush out and spend a fortune on all the things that now need to be replaced.
What it’s going to do is bring me back to Jesus. The place I go every day. Multiple times. It’s going to bring me to Him and I will praise Him above all else and thank him for his unending mercies and His patience with me, a spoiled North American who wants a new iPhone.
Cool thing is, He gets it. And He’s with me in this journey. And He might be trying me to see how I handle it and my washing machine might have just been done. Either way it doesn’t change the mode of my heart and that is endless worship and ceaseless prayer.
Because we’re called to more than just this. More than just wearing 7 items of clothes and more than iPhones and nail polish. We’re called to glorify our Saviour no matter what, even when things aren’t going just our way. We’re also called to sacrifice and I wonder if this isn’t showing me just a little bit of what that’s like. What it feels like to not be privileged today. To not have everyone telling me how great I am and having friends around me to bolster my confidence.
Without text messages I’m left with just me and Jesus, working it out. The way I kind of think it’s suppose to be.