Oh how fickle we are…
For the longest time I didn’t think that I was fickle. I’m a pretty steady and consistent person, at least, until I’m not.
Isn’t it funny how your day can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in an instant? One incident, one phone call, one notification can make your day go from sunshine to storm clouds. Oh how fickle we are.
More than just affecting our disposition and countenance, these mood changes impact everything including the world around us. When something goes wrong we tend to revert back to our most basic nature. For me, that usually means I get quiet and curt. Rarely do I come at a problem yelling, but I get shockingly and uncharacteristically quiet as I process through the information. And it’s not a good quiet. My emotions turn off and every response is short and unfeeling. In my attempt to not have an emotional reaction I end up hurting people and, after I’ve processed, I have to go back and apologize. I have to ask for forgiveness for my rudeness and my less than Jesus-like response.
Today was one of those days. Something awesome happened, a prayer was answered and I felt like it was God. I was amazed at how things had worked out - it turned out so much better than I had been hoping for. I was elated, though I was stressed with some of the projects I was working on, I spent time celebrating what God had done. I was thanking him for his favor and his grace. I was so happy.
But then I got a phone call.
The great thing that I thought had been so great fell through. The agreement was voided. My perfect day now meant inconvenience and added expense on my part. I was upset. I immediately began running through all of the things that I had to do to fix all of this. I was scheduling and going through my mental rolodex (yes, I’m a millennial but the inside of my mind is old-school) of people I knew who would be able to help me out of this situation. I could have prayed, but I didn’t, my first instinct was to fix.
I made phone calls and arrangements to fix the thing and then I went back to work, the lows of the afternoon overshadowing the highs of the morning. My work was affected but I’m good at working, I’m in control when I’m working, and I thrive when I’m working, especially up against a deadline or in the midst of pressure.
In between tasks I began to pray about the situation, trusting that God would fix it all. He would turn this dark storm cloud of a situation into something for my benefit and his glory. I thought our solution earlier today had been that - I had been thanking and glorifying God for the good things, but how would I glorify God in the bad thing?
Then this verse came on repeat in my mind:
“If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” Romans 8:32 (MSG)
That verse changed my entire perspective.
God gave me Christ. Jesus willingly died on the cross so I could be restored to right relationship with God. He was not selfish and he didn’t withhold the best thing in the entire universe from me, the thing most precious to him: his son. And relationship with you and me and the whole of humanity was worth that sacrifice. Talk about an outpouring of immense love!
If God gave me Jesus, why wouldn’t I expect him to handle my situation that, in the grand scheme of things, is not that big of a deal?
Now, when I say “expect” I don’t mean that I demand it or stamp my little feet until God gives over the toy I want. But, because I know he’s a good, gracious, and loving Father, I know he has my best interests at heart. He wants better things for me than I want for myself. I expect good things from God because I know his character.
And then I remembered my character. I remembered how I reacted to that phone call. I remembered how I dealt with that person who God loves. I was upset and I didn’t leave things as I should have. I didn’t look like or speak like Christ - I spoke like Sarah.
This is the beautiful thing about God: we have the privilege to be transformed into his likeness. We can become more and more like God and less and less like who we used to be. This comes from a consistent pursuit of God through prayer, the reading of his word, and community with others. It comes from willingly opening yourself up to the Holy Spirit and letting him work in and through you, changing you from the inside out.
How do you deal with the highs and lows of life?
To learn more about the beautiful God who we serve, check out His Story.