"Say you are trying to diet. You get up in the morning and you're determined that you are going to eat only what you should, go to the gym and work out, and take a two mile walk with your friend. This is not an impossible goal for you because you've done it many times before. But this particular day the kids are fighting, the dog has had a run-in with a skunk, the washing machine gets stuck on the fill cycle, and you didn't sleep well, plus the day is peppered with interruptions and myriads of little decisions you have to make.
But you know you can handle this. No problem. You are still able to move into your day and get things done. You eat a healthy breakfast, take a walk with your friend while the kids are doing their chores, call the washing machine repairman, quarantine the dog until your husband gets home, and get the kids sorted out and started on their school for the day. So far so good.
Then a neighbor brings over a plate of cupcakes and wants to talk about her latest drama. Mmmm. Carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Your favorite. But this neighbor always outstays her welcome and you find yourself forcing a smile as you greet her, knowing her visit is going to eat into a large part of your morning.
However, the cupcakes were a nice gesture, so you thank her profusely and try to cut the conversation as short as possible.Days like this remind of why Jesus said to his disciples, "I will go away but I am sending you a comforter." He knew we would have days that overwhelm us. In fact He often leads us into endeavors that are beyond us because He knows He is there in the yoke beside us taking the brunt of the load on His big shoulders. Incarnation, it is a brilliant plan! On days like this I know what went wrong, I have forgotten my comforter, my yoke mate. I have some where along the way left Him and begun to live life on my own. Before I was a believer, me was all I had. If I did not step in to solve my own character issues who could? But now I have Christ the risen king who lives in me. His strength, His wisdom, His love is now mine. He is my hope of glory in days like this.
She finally leaves and all day long those cupcakes sit on the kitchen counter. You pass them each time you come into the kitchen for something. The kids have most of them with lunch, but there is one left.
The day goes on and now it's 4 in the afternoon. You are tired. So far you've dealt with homeschooling three children, a washer that doesn't work, a dog that stinks, and multiple phone calls and interruptions. As you pass that last remaining cupcake for the 15th time, you decide to sample a little lick of the icing. Oh my gosh! That is the best cream cheese icing you've ever tasted!
You know what happens next. You decide to take a tiny bite. Then another bite. It's the Marshmallow Tests all over again. Then your rationalizing mind kicks in and tells you, "Just go ahead and eat the whole thing and the cupcakes will all be gone and you won't be tempted anymore."
You do. And then you are angry at yourself. A few minutes later your husband walks in the door and you snap at him. He asks, "What's wrong?" But you don't even know how to answer his question. You're mad at yourself, you're mad at the washing machine, you're mad at the kids, you're mad at the neighbor who dropped off the cupcakes, and now you're mad at him."
Instead of handling it on my own, I stop. I remind myself I am not alone. I hand over the troubles, the decisions and the work to my comforter and I rest. I listen for His instructions. It may be wisdom about how to structure the day or handle a conflict, or it may be remembering how much I am loved. It may be just my own frenzied self being set aside so others do not have to feel the repercussions of my unrest. But whatever the comforter brings it does replenish, it does give me rest. Mostly He brings life and life more abundant to me and my family.
We don’t have to live life on our own, and we don’t have to bear the weight of our own sinful self. When we believe in Christ’s blood which covers us from our sin we have a comforter. You will know Him by His fruit. He will bring into our lives the following: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control.
Christ IN me IS my HOPE and my GLORY!