09 March 2013

The Easy Button?

Do you remember the Staples commercial about the big red button with white writing that read
Society today tells us that things should be easy, because they are available and we deserve them.
The Bible tells us something else. God tells us that we should expect things to get rough and hard, but that those times teach us faith and to trust in Him; and through the hardships He will make us stronger.

Easy sounds good, doesn't it? Making decisions based on how we feel in that instant would make things so much easier, right? We just follow our heart. And that will make us happy, or will it not? It applies to so many things. When we eat that last piece of chocolate cake because it tastes so good. When we shout at our children because they did something wrong, it feels good to let that anger out. When we keep hurting the people around us because it's easier to act out of habit and the programming we've got. It is easier.

But that is not what God wants for us. He wants us to become that new person He promised us we would become when we became believers.

This week has been a hard week for me. I fell back to old habits, including following my feelings and fears, rather than the truth. That resulted in hopelessness and a feeling of wanting to give up, which further led me to beating myself up over it. All that was a nice set-up for a complete meltdown.....

I am so blessed that I have a best friend walking alongside me. She caught me that day! And probably literally saved me from falling into a deep depression. Beth was there to talk to me about my feelings, my fears, my despair, and my anger. She listened and she gave advise. And I listened as hard as it was, and I learned.

For once, it is healthy to acknowledge my feelings rather than stuffing them down which will only lead to further frustration and maybe an explosion-bound-to-happen, like a volcano. Acknowledging the feeling I have, not only takes the power out of the feeling, it also gives me time to think about how I want to react to that feeling. God wants us to follow Him by faith not by sight or feelings. And sometimes, it requires us to do the opposite of what we feel like doing.

Only following my feelings (rather than doing what is right) will also make me a very unreliable person. In the common language, it's called being moody. Nobody knows what to expect when dealing with me.
Making decisions in a more Christ-like way, doing what is right, would not only give me more stability, it will make my relationships more stable. I want my family and friends be able to trust me and be able to rely on me. I want them to be able to depend on me. I am done being controlled by my emotions just like I don't want anybody else be controlled by them.

I also learned that wanting to make a change is the start to a new beginning. There are so many people that walk on this earth thinking that there is nothing wrong with them. I was convinced that it is so much harder to know that there is something wrong and that it needs to change, but the path there is so hard......

God is funny in making His point convincing. Since that day, every day, He made me hear from different sources that giving up is NOT an option! He has started a great work in me but He is not finished. And giving up would be a slap into His face. So here I am, ready for the next wave of progress, expecting to stumble again, but hopefully not as badly as this week.

My last point is that making any progress is better than none. Going forward any bit is gaining knowledge that no-one can take away from me. Making one good choice and then two bad ones does not erase the one good choice I made. Hopefully in training myself to make better choices, it will become a habit, and with that, yes, it will become easier.

It feels like God the potter has taken the clay jar I was and smashed it to the ground, now I am broken and it hurts! Oh, how it does. But He is also taking all the pieces and makes me into a new person. The pounding hurts, too. I am already so blessed but I know and trust God that He will finish His piece of art (aka Me) and bless me through this suffering. It will never be easy but it will get easier than what it is now.


C. Beth said...

I'm so glad to see what God is doing in you. Thank you for letting me be part of it!