Yesterday was really a great day! My sweet husband and I spent the morning together, we had some new furniture delivered in the morning, and were generally enjoying getting some things done that we otherwise would not been able to do under other circumstances. I took advantage of the time by getting a jump start on our dinner, washing and chopping all the produce I purchased yesterday.
The trouble began when I saw a half cucumber in the drawer in the fridge. I thought how nice it would be to make that great cucumber salsa we all love. I began searching through the cookbook on my tablet that I thought contained the recipe and was unable to find it the first time. Because I always have a hard time finding the recipes in that cookbook, previously I took the time to bookmark and note my favorites to keep from getting overly frustrated searching through the on line book. I must have looked through that ebook twenty times searching for the recipe, getting more and more upset each time. I knew it was in there! I recalled making the recipe while looking at my tablet so it had to be there!
As I searched without success I became more and more upset and frustrated that I wasn’t finding it and in the end, I got angry enough to pound my fist and yell- a lot. My husband beat a hasty retreat mumbling something about having and errand to run at about that time, and I was left alone with the aftereffects of my sinful explosion.
It was only then, as I held my head in my hands bumming that I sinned in my anger, remembered that the recipe was not in that book at all. I located it and realized I didn’t have all the ingredients anyway. (Sigh)
I moved on to making something else, and as I stood at the kitchen counter doing a mindless task I thought about how I had lost my temper.
“Lost my temper?”
I “lost my temper?” Hardly. More like I found my temper. I found it right where I left it, in the recesses of my sinful heart. My heart that wanted to have what I wanted was denied. My focus on believing I should not have to endure searching for a recipe for thirty minutes. (Oh please. That sounds absurd to me when I look at it objectively, because it is.)
I didn’t lose my temper, I gave away my peace. For a few moments of selfish anger I chose to respond sinfully to the circumstances the Lord allowed into my life. In Christ I have been enabled to respond rightly, I certainly have enough self-control to respond differently- I have done so dozens and dozens of other times! What was different about today?
Like Paul said in Romans 7:15, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
And in verse 19: For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
There are plenty of things I could use to try and justify my sinful outburst but they would all fall flat. Here is the truth:
So I find this law at work:Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law,but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25
The Lord graciously reminded me today that I still need the cross. He gently showed me that I still need my Savior. He lovingly reminded me that despite my failings He loves me with an everlasting love.
My faith is a journey and sanctification is a life-long project. I have not arrived. Each time I fail it is a little “better” of a failure than the time before. Each time I fall, the distance is longer from the last time. I am gaining ground and I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6