It has been a stressful couple of weeks for us emotionally and spiritually. I could go into all the details of attempting to buy tickets, kids being sick, doctor's appointments, and all that, but it is not any different than most of you face each day, so I won't bother! The thing I want to write about tonight is our class that we are taking through World Harvest and all the things God is teaching us!
Last week's lesson was on repentance. I am learning that repentance is so much more than saying I am sorry. Motivation is a key thing in repentance - and I realized that often my motives were not pure. I wanted to feel better, change a situation, see different results, get out of something - and in my mind I thought that I could manipulate God by saying I was sorry. Of course, it is not like I never understood all of this before - I have been a Christian long enough to know how to word things and seem more spiritual. But in reality, I was not sorrowing about what my sinning did to God in his great love for me.
I really can't write anything that sums it up as well as part of the lesson, so I am going to take a passage from it:
"...there are two great misunderstandings aout our heart. First, we think too highly of oursleves. We loath looking at our hearts and seeing what we are really like. So we are constantly surprised at how angry, lustful, and hateful we can quickly become. Our response to sin is something along the lines of, 'I can't believe I just did that!' Bottom line: we don't believe what God says about our heart condition. Second, we think that we have the power to change our hearts. So in response to our sin, we make resolutions, or try to impose various laws on ourselves, Since we have a light view of our sins, we think that the law has power to change us. After all, if we only have a minor problem, a few resloutions and laws ought to be able to sort everything out."
That's what happened to me this week. When I blew up at the kids and Shawn after several weeks of being a "good" mom and wife, I was so surprised! What happened? I thought I had gotten past this?! I was surprised by my sin. I have since realized that I though I thought I had become a better person, I had merely set up rules for myself that I eventually could not follow. God used this last week to give me the opportunity to peer into the deep, dark ugliness of my heart and sin. And I shuddered and wanted out. And I prayed, begged, and made all sorts of promises.
Then God reminded me of the prodigal son. When was his moment of repentance? When he ran into the Father's arms. When we stopped talking about what he had DONE and started seeing what he WAS. First - what he was without the father, and then what he was in him.
And I ran.
Hesitantly at first - after all, I was so unworthy. Would he really want me?
But the closer I got, the more I could hear his words and feel his amazing love. And then I sprinted and jumped.
I am beyond thankful for this class that is repeatedly stripping away things and making me become more aware of my ugliness and his intense love for me regardless. I am falling in love with him. I want to live my life as Augustine said, "Love God with all your heart and do as you please."
But I can't. So Holy Spirit, I am yours.