I think it’s hilarious sometimes I’ve ended up in an office job. Down the street from my parents. In my hometown. I kid you not, those were the three things I swore I’d avoid upon graduation when I was in college. I was all, I don’t care what I do but I AIN’T GOIN’ BACK. Aaaaaaaand here I am. Poetic justice, maybe.
I have been learning though, that is has definitely forced me to reconsider where I place the value in my life. I really struggled when I first moved back because I felt like “I wasn’t doing anything,” meaning I wasn’t doing anything of value…even though I was in the family business and even though I had a steady job and even though it was really helping us pay off debt. Well, apparently those aren’t good enough. I would get so frustrated because I wanted to travel and I wanted to do missions and I wanted God to throw me a friggin’ party because I was so awesome. Well, since then He has taken great pleasure in swiftly kicking me and my derriere off my high horse.
And I think last week I finally got it.
I am working through this workbook study called “Living Beyond Yourself” because let’s face it, our ‘self’ is our biggest obstacle sometimes. So stubborn and rude. This study was having me write times when I felt really stressed and really frustrated and really not too happy about how life is going. It didn’t take me long to scribble “Um THIS IS ME NOW.” HA. But then it lead me through some Scripture where it showed how Jesus wasn’t particularly happy about being tortured and hanging on a cross to die (touche).
And instead of being all Oh He had it soooooo much worse than me and I am SUCH a brat for even complaining, I read it for the first time taking notice of how He dealt with it. Because He had to deal with it. It wasn’t just like a piece of sprinkled cake because He was God.
1). One way He dealt with it: He focused on the bigger picture. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross and scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2) He definitely had a bright future, but so do we, and it was never promised that it would happen in this life. While a lot of us have it pretty good in this life, the true blessings come later (so if you think you’re blessed now, can you just imagine?). So when things get hard, that needs to be the focus.
2). Jesus bore shame and disgrace alone…on the outside…when it seemed like He was the last one standing and nobody noticed what He was doing. He was outside His comfort zone, and even begged God to take the whole death-on-the-cross thing. But He prayed that God’s will be done anyways. “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” (Heb. 13:12) Basically, let’s not be afraid to get out of our comfort zone and see what God might have in store for it. It could be much bigger than our pea-brains can fathom. Try and put ourselves LAST for once instead of first for once.
And above all, soak up the love of God: