Wednesday, March 30

Life's Classroom

Read I Peter 1:3-8

I feel I have failed the test I was given. For the past three/four months I lay in bed with sickness. I didn't soar through with grace or contentment. I fought it. I don't think I've ever told God "I can't do this!" so many times in such a short period.

This morning I've been tempted to feel shame and guilt over my lack of trust and love of God during my suffering. Why couldn't I have been more content? Why did the constant, intense physical stress break me? Wasn't I stronger? Have I only grown weaker the older I get, instead of more mature in Him?

I sit here and I wonder what it is that God wants to show me through all this. I know it's not shame and guilt. . . or self-pity.

I know I have a place of repentance with Him - and actually this is an exciting thing to me because it means that He is working in me and has revealed His holiness and my lack there of.

I think life is full of class rooms and truth is, I've never been an "A" student. But that doesn't mean that the class wasn't for my good or that I didn't learn anything. In fact, I get the feeling if I were an "A" student that might kind of be like the Pharisees in the Bible, always pulling off the good grades, but possibly never really learning anything.

This is life. This is His love. This is all a part of His refining that draws me upward to Him, and exposes what a burden and misery it is to love and live for self. . .

It reminds me of some conversations with Christian (9 years) this past week.

I realized lately that Christian had slacked off from being part of the team and was leaving his share of the chores to his brothers. I asked him to step back up to the plate and start swinging again with the rest of us. He didn't want to. It was evident.

Over the course of several days I watched him become more stubborn to my authority and instructions. He was discontent with what I was asking of him. He did it, but with sulking.

Yesterday it came to a head when I asked him to do a simple chore. He and I ended up sitting back behind the house against the fence, sun beating down on our faces, his head in his hands.

"Mom," he said, head hung down, knees pulled up, "Mom, I've been miserable for days now. I've been discouraged for four days in a row and it all started because I don't like to do things that I don't want to do."

I pushed his hair away from his face and watched the tears roll off his long black eye lashes.

I let my hand rest on his knee and stayed silent so he continued, "I don't want to be this way but I can't seem to change myself."

"It's hard isn't it?" I said quietly, "It's hard to carry that burden and emptiness of selfishness. I know because I've done it. It's miserable when we live life that way. . ."

We sat quietly for awhile, I tilted my face towards the hot sun and I could feel my own burden of selfishness.

"Christian," I continued, "We will always have to do things that feel too hard for us. That's life. That is this world down here. If you spend your life fighting that and think the pursuit of happiness is just doing what you want to do and what you like to do, you will be miserable. . ."

"Mom, that's how I feel right now. Miserable." Christian said between little sobs.

I said something like, "Christian, I know you need time alone. You're right, you can't change yourself but you are still responsible before God for your actions and attitudes. You need to cry out to God, and hear from Him not just me. You've spent several days carrying a heavy burden of self - give your load to Jesus. He's waiting for you. He loves you even more than I do and wants you to know freedom from your misery."

I prayed with him and I left my son there against the fence in God's care.

As I walked back inside, I looked back at him and saw myself. I saw myself. I saw my last three/four months of wrestling with God - "God I can't do this!" screaming from my mind and heart.

I had thought I was being honest with God, but really I wasn't. It wasn't that I couldn't do it because He was there all along to strengthen me. It was that I didn't WANT to.

Those are words I don't really like to hear. But oh, they are true and I find deliverance in them. God is good to refine and enroll us in the classes of life that we don't want to be in, or go through.

I don't think He's expecting or even looking for us to ace our life classes, I think His intention for them is for us to learn of Him, and ourselves. There is a difference in getting A's, and actually learning.

Written by Alysa at Resolved2Worship. Borrowed with permission. Jump over to her blog and enter her card giveaway this week!

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