Tuesday, July 24, 2012
the gift of conviction
Have you ever been mad at God? I mean, like really angry. You know, where you shake your fists up the air, and say, "God, I am mad at you!" Well, that was me a few night ago. For most of my life, I've had a tendency to not be completely honest with my Heavenly Father. Don't get me wrong - I mean, I don't flat out lie to Him. But, I leave out a lot of my true feelings when I am praying about things. I say what I think He wants to hear. (Which I know is all so ridiculous, because He knows my thoughts. He already knows exactly how I am feeling without me ever having to say one word.)
But, still, I guess I pretend I don't know that when I tell Him that everything's fine. That I am totally cool with how my life is going. That I am not struggling with sin. That His will be done in my life, no matter what.
I really do want His will though. I want to please Him. But, so often, I make the wrong choices. I watch TV shows that I shouldn't be watching. I say the wrong things. I yell too much at my kids. I am lazy when it comes to keeping my house clean. I so often care more about what other people think that what my Creator thinks.
So, the other night, I wanted to watch this TV program after the kids went to bed. I had been excited about throughout the day. Then, about 30 minutes before the kids' bedtime, Robby pushed some combination of buttons on the TV which completely messed up the screen. I mean, I've never seen the TV screen that way before. I tried and I tried to fix it, to no avail. And I sent the kids upstairs to get ready for bed, because I knew that I was gonna lose it. I could feel myself getting worked up.
Cause here's the real rub: the TV show that I wanted to watch wasn't the best choice. But I wanted to watch it anyway. And I was disappointed that the reality of not being able to watch it was pretty sure.
So, instead of realizing that God had probably allowed the TV to go kaputs so I could make a better choice for my evening, I did the totally immature thing and had a big temper-tantrum with God. I am embarrassed to write this, y'all. But I want to be real with all of you.
I stomped my feet. I carried on. I even hit that TV screen a few times. And then, I cried out, "God, I'm mad at you! I was really looking forward to watching that! Are you punishing me?!" And as I carried on, the TV all of a sudden came back on. In the midst of my fit, God put that TV back on. And I should've praised Him and honored Him and made the good choice.
But I didn't.
I watched that TV show.
I've got tears in my eyes as I type this.
I flat out turned my back on God that night.
And the past few days have been rough. I've been like a child, who deep down knows they need to apologize, but won't.
So, last night, after wasting yet more time watching dumb stuff on youtube, He was calling my name. He was gently wooing me to His side. And then, He led me to this worship song from a CD that I wore out when I was first really getting serious with God.
As soon as the song started playing, the tears started to fall. My walls started to come down, brick by brick. He was melting my heart.
I fell to my knees. My head on the carpet, laden with toys all around me.
My dear Father embraced me.
And forgave me again.
You see, I am a sinner.
But, He is in the business of loving people just like me.
He is in the business of forgiving.
And as the tears washed my face and wet my hair, He gave me a gift.
A truly precious gift.
The gift of conviction.
And I accepted His gift, and cried out to Him to forgive me.
I woke up this morning, feeling clean and pure.
With a new resolve to make better choices.
To love Him, not just with my words.
But with my actions.
It was in that temper-tantrum that I truly got honest with God. I wasn't pretending to be some super-Christian. I was being totally real with Him. And in that transparency, in that exposure of sin, intimacy began. I was able to be intimate with my God. To let Him see the real me, sin and all. And then, miracle of miracles, He came into my heart, yet again, and set me free. You see, when we come to Jesus, He is always setting us free, making us more and more like Him.