Well, IT came back again today. IT surprises me almost every time. Most of the time I don’t even realize it’s there until it’s too late. When I finally figure out what has happened, the damage has been done.
Earlier today, I was feeling rock solid. High on life. High on God. Lovin’ it all. I was in the “God Zone.” Lovin’ people, shakin’ hands, kissin’ babies, holdin’ puppies and baby chicks, laughin’ with friends, encouraging the discouraged, trying to win the fight in saving northern white rhinos and ivory billed woodpeckers. I was paying for strangers’ meals and for everyone’s postage at the post office.
So maybe my “God Zone” wasn’t quite that big, BUT… the bottom line is, I felt pretty untouchable today. Joy was oozing out.
Then, this evening, before I even realized it, that fun-loving “God Zone” girl disappeared. It all started when I came home and saw the laundry piled up on my bed in the bedroom. Next I realized there wasn’t much food in the fridge and I REALLY should have gone to the store. As I passed by the bedroom mirror, I reminded myself of my weight gain since my son was born. While putting clothes away in my closet, I began thinking about the things I wish I had but don’t. Then my 2 yr. old son wanted to eat a package of m&m’s and after I said no, he fell onto the floor crying with his best Oscar performance to date. While at the height of his tantrum, I just stared at him thinking, “Is there a noble cause I should be fulfilling at this very moment? Am I missing it?”
Walking to the office to pay bills, I passed photos in the hallway and started wishing my entire group of family and friends got along wonderfully and no one was getting a divorce, in jail, on drugs and alcohol, or dying. After paying bills, I was reminded once again how fast our money goes. I knew my husband would be home soon and began wondering why he couldn’t read my mind with the telepathic signals I sent his way every day. I wished my sonic vanilla coke didn’t have any calories in it, and all the pollen in the world didn’t exist so I could finally stop sneezing!
One thought followed another about what I didn’t have, what I should have, what I deserve, who should do what I thought they should do or not do, etc. It was an ugly snowball that kept rolling and growing. That joyous outlook on life that I had earlier in the day had completely shifted in just under an hour!
The side effects of that shift consisted of sharp words and impatience with both my husband and my son. I went from feeling full of life to feeling depressed, frustrated, and lonely in my pity party. I even got ticked off at the lucky charm box because it was empty and still on the shelf. Is it that difficult to throw it in the trash two feet away?!
FORGETTING. That’s the IT I’m talkin’ about. That’s the big IT in my life that always sneaks up on me when I least expect it. When I finally notice, the damage has been done. I’ve hurt someone by doing or saying something that is mean spirited and certainly not of God.
That’s why I have to be extra careful about remembering God’s goodness in my life. In a short moment, I can forget, and my self-centeredness will take over. Before I know it, I’m not resembling the God who has taught me what love looks like.
This isn’t anything new of course. In Romans Chapter 1, Paul was talking to the Christians in Rome about this very thing. He said,
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Paul goes on to talk about how their darkened hearts led to greater sin. In my case, in just an hour, I forgot the blessings God has given me. I didn’t honor him and in that short hour I already had lost sight of His goodness. I was ungrateful. I FORGOT.
This is a reminder of why we are to pray without ceasing and give thanks continuously.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told…
“Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Keeping in touch with God in prayer and through His word helps us to remain in the vine (in Christ). As long as we are in the vine, we are producing fruit and showing others God’s love.
In John 15:5 Jesus himself said,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.”
And in John 15:8,
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
The fruit he is talking about is the fruit of the spirit (Galations 5:22), which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”
It’s that fruit that makes an impact for God. It’s the fruit that makes us ooze with joy like I was earlier in the day. It’s the fruit that softens a heart and prevents sin from rearing its’ ugly head. It’s the fruit that makes people notice who God is, the fruit that changes EVERYTHING.
I pray that tomorrow I don’t forget what God has done for me. Not only will it change the outcome of my day, but with God involved, it has the potential to change someone else’ day too…maybe even someone’s life…for eternity.