Last Thursday morning, I sat with my weekly Bible study group engrossed in the lesson. At least I appeared to be engrossed in the lesson. I had the whole pencil perched, head cocked, pensive look thing going on. In truth? I was lost in my own thoughts of how that particular lesson related to me.
Isn’t that too often the way?
Even when I’m about studying The Word of God, that sin nature has the nasty little habit of making it all about me.
This particular morning, I was thinking about frustrations and roadblocks, mostly of the human sort, which The Enemy had put in my Pilgrim's Path. And so I sat there, nodding on the outside but pouring out a lamentation on the inside. It was really pretty pitiful.
Then, a funny thing happened.
A soft breeze blew through the open window. Almost as if in slow motion, it lifted and turned a single page in my Bible. It was a shiny red Kodak moment.
It was also a touch surreal, and I felt the oddball need to glance around the room to see if anyone else had been disturbed by said breeze. All signs pointed to no.
So I glanced down at the page,
and there it was,
a message from God,
an underlined passage of scripture
jumping out from all surrounding verses.
“Do not lose heart.”
Awww. I felt empowered for a pair of minutes, and I smiled to myself at being so confirmed in the spirit. Do not lose heart, you poor frustrated soul…
I flipped the page and returned to the discussion at hand.
But then, that annoying voice... you know the one... began to speak inside my head. It said, “Go back and read the rest of the passage.”
Now, I was pretty content with the part I had read, and I said as much to the voice inside my head. Apparently it disagreed. The little nagger kept repeating, "Go back and read the rest of the passage." I'm almost positive it called me Deb-or-ah.
Finally, I turned the page.
And I looked down.
And this time, I noticed
not four underlined words,
I had conveniently overlooked the fifth one.
It was the word "AND".
Well phooey, my word from God was not a complete thought at all. It was part of a larger whole. There was context to consider.
Yep. Right there in the middle of my personal pity party, He flipped the page of His book to show me another take on the aforementioned frustration. While I was using words like persecute, and trial, and attack, he was using words like discipline… and rebuke.
I spent the rest of the Bible study and a good part of the afternoon thinking about that passage and how it related to me. I thought about my attitude of late as well, and I came to a conclusion.
And I thought... was it possible that the current obstacle in my Pilgrim's Progress was my own attitude? Was it possible that the frustration du jour was not sent against me but for me? Was it possible... even remotely possible... that what I perceived as the Enemy trying to frustrate my plans was not that at all, but a loving Father giving his daughter a good old fashioned time out?
for her own good…
to “think about it”…
to work on that attitude, missy….
All signs point to yes.
So I have been in the corner since Thursday, doing some fast praying about my attitude. And you know...even if I'm wrong and it was just some random breeze blowing, that's still a pretty good place to be.
How about you?
Have you ever gotten the spiritual smack down?