You know that moment when you take a deep, easy breath because you can actually hear the television show you’re watching? Then you realize the reason you can hear it is because the kids have been quiet for way too long?
Or the moment you have to turn the volume down on whatever you’re listening to because the cats stopped meowing and the dogs stopped barking? Then you wonder why?
Or that moment when you are listening to a sermon topic that used to be convicting but this time when you hear the words you realize you’ve actually grown past that point and you feel a peace? But then you feel guilty because you think you shouldn’t feel that peace, you should still be stressing?
First, Cher had the right idea in Moonstruck…snap out of it!
Second, breathe and accept!
There will be moments, blessed, glorious moments when your kids will play together nicely and quietly.
There will be times when the animals get along, or just chill together in peaceful quietude and merely observe nature’s goings on. Or sleep. They like to sleep.
And there will be beautiful, surprising, uplifting moments when you have grown and you realize you’ve grown, when you feel that peace that you can’t explain.
Phil 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Why do we hope to reach some place, attain some goal, some level, and then when we get close to it or actually reach it, we either don’t believe we’re there or we don’t believe we deserve to be there?
We want “the truth” – God’s truth, His peace, His gift of whatever it is we’re searching for…peace, faith, strength, courage, trust…but oftentimes we don’t feel like we deserve to receive it. Guess what? We don’t! But it’s not up to us. It’s up to HIM. It’s not our job to earn it, it’s our job to receive it. It is a gift. From Him, to us. He gives it, we receive it. And He wants us to receive it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Think of it this way: It’s your best friend’s birthday. You shopped for months to get them the perfect gift because you looked everywhere for ideas and when you saw this, you thought immediately that it would be perfect, special, just for them.
You wrapped it with love and presented it at the party…and your friend said thank you but no. It’s very nice, but I can’t accept it. I don’t deserve it.
You’d probably think what the heck?!
Isn’t that what we do to God? He gives us these gifts, these growths, these developments and we don’t actively receive them.
It’s like Jack Nicholson yelling “You can’t handle the truth!” only it’s more appropriate to yell “You can’t handle the gift!” because that’s how we act.
Well stop it! Take a breath, be grateful – it was not an easy road to get to where you are, all that growth and what not, and you may still have a path to walk; most of us do – say thank you, and just…receive the gift.
Maybe, in this season of Lent, Catholic or not, we should work on giving up the idea that we don’t deserve the gifts God has already determined we do.
Can you think of a time when you’ve realized you have grown? Did you receive that gift of growth?