By Betsy Rowles
It was time to leave and my youngest was running around in his underwear (a common occurrence around here). When I told him to put his pants on, he sighed heavily and in resignation with jeans in hand he said, "I'm tired of putting my pants on."
My first thought was "oh boy, if you're tired already of putting your pants on at age 3, you've got a LONG life ahead of you."
My second thought was a verse from Colossians that popped into my head. (pesky verse). "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12).
"Oh", I sighed inwardly still overseeing the pants putting on process of my child, "I know how you feel after-all".
I was immediately convicted. How many times a day does God command me to pull on the clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and I simply avoid the command, thinking to myself instead "I'm simply too tired to do it." I ignore His call to clothe myself as His child and instead, in the nakedness of my own sinful nature, I lash out, give a grumpy retort, or dwell on the injustice done to me.
I can always seem to find a justification for discounting His command - especially in THAT situation (you know because you have "that situation" too, everyday): the one where someone is demanding my time or attention when I'm stressed, I'm hungry, things aren't going the way I planned, I have a lot going on, the request is unreasonable... you get the idea. Always something.
And yet, in the same way that I asked my child to get dressed to be ready for the outside world, so God has asked me to "clothe" myself with certain garments as His child. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
These garments reveal to those around me that I am His child. I want to be recognized as His child. I really do. Not only to the world around me, but to my husband and children at home as well.
This is where it gets really convicting for me... right here at home. I know I need work in this area. I'm sure that is why the Holy Spirit planted the verse in my mind right at that time.
And then wouldn't let it go.
Like my 3-year old grunting his way into his jeans in obedience to me, even if it is difficult I need obey God, make the choice to overcome my natural state and instead reveal those characteristics that He deems worthy of His children.
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Yes, even at home with my husband and children and yes, even in “that situation,” too!