Yesterday, I was having a pretty “blah” day when God intervened. I’ve been fighting off anxiety about going back to school next week and I was also complaining about the awful cold. I got out for a morning run in the freezing weather for a fun winter run that was definitely a highlight of my day. The roads were still really bad and I could hardly find anywhere that was plowed enough to keep a good pace.
Yet, it was so gorgeous and quiet that I couldn’t help but just breath in the frigid air and thank God that I am able to get out and do physical exercise in his nature. I seldom recognize the beauty of a snowflake or the fun of just running– and falling– in the snow with God.
After my run, I retreated back into the house for tea, blankets, slippers and more tea. In fact, I only emerged around 3 o’clock in order to go to a tea with my Sunday school group. I’ve never been to a tea before, but it was so fun and cute! If I haven’t said it before: I am a big fan–errr, addict– to tea. I’ll have to do some blog posts on that soon. Anyway, I was not happy when my dad called right after I finally made it home after the tea, to tell me his car wouldn’t start at work. I was the only one around to come and give him a jumpstart. It meant I would have to throw my coat back on and get back in the cold car instead of the warm shower.
God often shakes my day up like that. Thanks to his grace, I was able to calm myself down and confess that anger to him. I told him I was upset because using up gas and trying to warm up in the car was the last thing I wanted to be doing. That’s when I remembered how I keep asking him to give me a chance to shine his light. I’ve been struggling with post eating-disorder temptations lately and have been beating myself up like crazy. When my dad and I talked about it two days ago, God showed me that the way out is through freedom and grace. He also showed me that it significantly helps when I reach out and focus on others rather than myself. This car-jumping was my chance to do just that.
As I turned out of the neighborhood and turned on the radio,
I was instantly reminded of my blogging commitment this year. I flashed back to my run that morning; I had
been so filled with Christ’s tranquility and joy. That same joy was available
to me while driving to my dad’s office. It was my choice if I was going to
accept it or wallow in pity and begin another detrimental spiritual collection.
That was when I began to just revel in God’s grace. I allowed myself to be in his joy and truly use the experience to spend time with him. That’s not to say that I am “holier than thou.” Rather, the Spirit used that experience to jolt me out of the self-pity I often take on in those situations. I was overwhelmed by his presence as I considered the weather, the snow and my trip to jumpstart dad’s car.
God’s presence, as I’m finding, isn’t always a strike of lightning-like peace or joy. It’s rough, it’s raw and it’s slowly coming into clearer view in my life.
As I confessed in my intro post to A Presence Filled 2014, I’ve fallen out of practicing God’s presence on a regular basis lately. Hopefully, this post– and the like that will follow– will help me grow in my faith as I hold myself accountable to striving after him. Perhaps, I hope, it will also encourage you all wherever you are in your walk of faith.
So, the lesson is: before you start complaining about the weather or the moment that seems so “unplanned.” Humbly acknowledge that we, my friends, aren’t the “planners.” God uses every moment, and it’s most definitely in our best interest to seek his voice when those unexpected events- big and small- throw us off course.
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