I have these moments when I get very self centered. My mind circles around things I want and unrealistic expectations drain my joy. In these moments that I am prone to withdraw into myself wishing someone would reach out to offer comfort and sympathy. It’s far to easy to lose perspective and fail to take responsibility for my attitude. Recently, as I fell into this pit of selfishness, I found my heart aching in a new way. I didn’t seek relief or comfort, but rather questioned why my focus was so off-base. I wanted my heart to be focused on God’s Kingdom and His Will, while I felt my self drowning in self-pity. Everything in me said, “I don’t want to be feeling this; it’s not God’s will”. My emotions betrayed me, because I also really wanted to complain and mope. It took time sitting with this tension of before I could clearly see that my problem wasn’t that I was lacking anything but rather I didn’t trust that God cared for me. Over the next day, God’s Word filled my heart reminding me I need not look any farther than Christ to see I was cared for.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
God continued to speak to my heart and reveal that I was seen by Him. The good, the bad, and the ugly were all exposed for Him to see and know in great detail. Taking all that into account, He still chose to call me toward Himself and embrace me. It is an incomprehensible grace that reaches me in the times my focus becomes shallow and off center.
No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
God soothed my heart by showing me I was always seen, known, and completely cared for. While I am likely to need the reminders many times again, I am grateful for the uncomfortable feelings that arose and the tension I felt as God made my misplaced reliance known. It revealed the change the Holy Spirit has been cultivating in me and reaffirmed His love in my heart and mind. I was able to quickly run to Him rather than nursing a bad mood for an extended time.
Don’t be discouraged when you struggle with feelings and attitudes that are intrusive. They are opportunities to press further into God and discover new depths of His love. It’s during these times that we can begin to see the work that God’s Spirit has been doing in our hearts as our actions shift away from old patterns. The work is sometimes slow but take time to find unexpected gratitude in the change that is being made know.