Thursday, December 2, 2010

praying for the grace to be a joyful melancholy

last night at our community group we talked about thankfulness, God's sovereignty and how he designs hard things for our good and His glory.

of course that got me thinking about our kids and how God has designed this situation for me and for us.

things are often hard these days.  i am experiencing a lot of vacillation.  one minute i love being with the kids and thankful for God's work in their lives.  but the next minute i am overwhelmed and thinking about everything i wish i could be doing as a mother that i cant with so many kiddos running around.  i often feel like i am running on empty, leading me to be negative and joyless.

but here is the thing.  i know myself and even if i had lots of time and an easy job i think that i would still find ways to feel stressed and overwhelmed.  the reason i think so is when i think back over the past 4 or 5 years, i would say that i have felt overwhelmed and drained most of the time... during college, during my STINT year in germany, during my internship year at ohio state and also our first year in california as i worked as a behavior therapist.

i know that part of it is my personality.  i am an introvert, and it seems like God is constantly putting me in positions where i am pouring myself out in the lives of other people.  furthermore, i am an overachiever so i am constantly buried under the weight of my expectations on myself.  and being a melancholy-phlegmatic, by nature i look for what is hard, and i wallow.  it is very easy for me to be down and hard for me to be up.

but i dont want to be that way.

and if that was the end of the story, i would have reason to mourn.  BUT...

for while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. for one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— BUT God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:6-11 ESV)
but i say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. for the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. i warn you, as i warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. BUT the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:16-24 ESV)
my soul is bereft of peace;

i have forgotten what happiness is;
so i say, “my endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD.”

remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
my soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.

BUT this i call to mind,
and therefore i have hope:
the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

“the LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore i will hope in him.”
the LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.

it is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

(Lamentations 3:17-26 ESV)
that last verse especially strikes me.  how un-american to wait for something, let alone wait quietly!  though it is un-american, it can and will happen by his grace (free gift).
and ALL of this is by his grace.  i need it.
that is why i am praying for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment