Does your mind ever cause you to stumble? Mine does.
Perhaps you (or someone you know) can take a problem and literally work it from every possible angle and not rest until an answer is readily obvious. For me, it can be something as simple as unpacking a box and finding items that, truthfully, should have been tossed a few months…years ago. After determining that neither the kids or Steve had missed any of the contents, Goodwill was more than happy to accept the package (and even kept the box…less work for me!).
But sometimes, well, most times, those with brains wired like mine tend to examine harder, deeper, much more complex issues that don't have an easy, set do-it-yourself solution. This completes my first week as full-time single parent, full-time family minister and full-time supporting wife of a second-time college student (Steve will have 2 degrees…I have absolutely no motivation to go back to school anymore!). I'll be truthful, tonight has been my best energy-held evening all week. I get up at 6:45AM…well, Josh is most likely waking me before 6:30. I get dressed, Josh gets dressed, he brings his socks out to me, I get breakfast ready for both boys, put Josh's socks on, get Caden up and dressed, throw any soiled laundry in the washer, clean-up breakfast, brush everyone's teeth, comb hair (mine is perfect by the way!) grab shoes, grab lunches, get in the van and go. Today the sprinkler system kicked-on right when all 3 of us were by the van…the boys loved it, I didn't. I literally slammed the driver door shut, sitting dripping wet in my seat…furiously texting Steve reminding him to change the stupid timer settings (again)…and all of the sudden Josh started laughing, then Caden, then…after a longer delay, I added in. AsI looked at my boys, shaking their wet heads as water drops flew on the windows of our van, I started reassessing my thinking. Was I literally trying to solve a problem by timing everything out just right…or was I missing this opportunity God has given me to really bond with my kids?
I've been chewing on that moment all day…and smiling.
I have a LOT to be irritated with. Dr. A has refused to sign-off of my IVIG treatment, the second request in 3 weeks. The first request was eventually signed, but then the company the IVIG was being ordered from folded. Thus, we started again. New tests needed to certify my condition. Once those results were recorded Dr A was asked to sign-off…and he has delayed. His delay is a cautious one I admit, knowing the fight these tumors have been in my life…why add the risk of them returning through medication? However, the type of IVIG I am having should only need one treatment…the same as before…and after a few days much of my ongoing pain is gone. So, after this week of a few sleepless nights plus an overflowing schedule, increasing pain…well, you can imagine my view of this situation. Tomorrow is his deadline…I'm praying that he signs or suggests another pain treatment because there is NO WAY I'm going through this again next week!
BUT THEN…right when I sat down for my quiet time tonight (yes, I actually had that tonight…I was excited too!) I found myself caught-up in this downward spiral of negativity. Why did Josh put his pull-up inside 2 pairs of shorts inside his hamper? Why was Caden SO clingy? I'm in so much pain! How in the world do we have this much laundry? Why are they mad that I didn't call them back…I think I'll call them now at 10PM at night and see if that works in their schedule! Why don't my pain meds work? I'm too tired. I can't do this. I hate you Dr. A! Why can't I just get rid of this CIDP like the brain tumors and everything else! God what are you doing? Why are you making me go through this?
You can see how easy my mind drifts…sometimes, if I'm not careful, it can take control of an entire day…an entire few days even. Ever been there?
My quiet time tonight involved a very interesting devotion, which led me to a passage I have read several times before, but tonight it literally stopped me:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal's death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 NLT)
You, if you are a Christian, cannot read that without being humbled. Suddenly, everything that you feel has entrapped you just fades away. In the midst of your current problems, past failures, regrets – things that were done to hurt you and even those moments you hurt others…those unresolved problems come to clear focus here. Suddenly, you remember Who you are in Christ and more than the reality that HE CHOSE YOU FIRST, HE CHOSE HIMSELF LAST. (Oh no she didn't….Oh yes, I did.). This Jesus, God in the flesh and salvation to all, did NOT come to be served, but to serve others…and for those who find their identity based on their relationship with Christ, in reality, all is forgiven, all is made new and we should live our life in freedom – sharing this reality with others too.
Sometimes I think we get this assumption in our worldly head that we deserve better. After all, look around you. Everywhere you look, people are wanting bigger houses, higher paying jobs, a quicker cure, better food, easier weight-loss and somehow God gets blamed when it doesn't quite work out the way WE had planned. Somewhere along the line we Christ-followers have turned into Christ-watchers going, “What can God do for ME today?”
What if our mind centered on, “What is God doing through my life today?” Sometimes WE don't need to solve problems that we see as needing a solution. Sometimes we need to take a breather, re-center our mind and go, “Okay God, clearly I'm not in control…I'm not just giving you the wheel here, but you own this life…take it, mold it and use it for Your glory.” Sometimes blessings truly are our “problems” in disguise.
What are you trying to solve today? Where is your mind going right now? Consider this as your opportunity to re-center your focus and be used for Him today. Don't let the day of opportunity slip away!