So, about a month ago, my husband kind of unexpectedly got a new job. A great job. One that he will enjoy, with seemingly great co-workers and a great working environment. Then, less than two weeks ago, we went to look at a house to rent closer to his new job, and the next day the landlords called and said they really liked us and would be happy to rent to us. A great house. Great landlords (they have been very considerate, kind, and even offered to help me put in a vegetable garden in the back). But that left us two weeks to pack everything and move. Three days of which my husband would be out of town. So, here I am, with two online courses, two kiddos at my feet, and a ton of packing to do. We’re moving to a new city, not far from where we are now, but it’s still a big change.
But, you know what? I feel great. And I should. But it struck me recently that if this had been happening a year ago, the stress and craziness would have overwhelmed me and overshadowed all the blessings. That’s encouraging to me. I think my capacity to handle a busy, crazy, unexpected life has grown. I’ve grown. God has given me a greater capacity, an awesome community to talk with me, pray with me, and give me real, tangible help, and two beautiful kids to give a pretty regular comic relief.
I was talking with a friend about Galatians 5:16-24. It had been a rough day, and I was feeling down. I had not reacted well to my kids, my husband, or to the situations of the day. I wasn’t sure why. I could list off a million positive things going on right now, and only a handful of inconvenient or annoying or frustrating events of the day. And I realized through talking with my friend and reading the scripture verses beforehand, that I was living in the flesh, in the moment, focusing only on me and the smaller picture of that not so awesome day. I reacted with anger, a devisive and hardened heart, and frustration. That’s not what God wants for me; that’s not what I want for me. I want to react as Galatians 5 describes a person who is living “in the Spirit”: with love, gentleness, joy, patience, kindness, etc. I can’t live that way on my own, not when things aren’t going my way, not when my kids are screaming at me all day to get them this or that, not when Word 2013 shuts down and I loose an hours worth of work, not when I have homework piling up and a million things to pack.
But all those things are no big deal to God, right? Those things are small potatoes. When I strive to “live in the Spirit”, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in prayer, in reading Scripture and in seeking out advice from others doing the same, I can react well. I can see the big picture. I can see beyond myself into what God is doing around me. I can see that all of the blessings and positives really do outweigh my troubles. I can see how good God is.
Are you too focused on small potatoes? Not trusting in what God is doing? Ask yourself, what are the blessing in my life right now? Try to see the big picture and live in the Spirit. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some of that love, joy and patience.