My oldest son returned from Washington D.C. this afternoon after taking second place with his electronics design team. They literally designed a device that helped a person with disabilities perform her job more efficiently. She is now able to make minimum wage and even took home a monetary award for being part of this design challenge. She told my son in an excited voice that she couldn’t wait to get back to Illinois and take her boyfriend on a date with her windfall. Tonight I looked at my son and said, “You didn’t just win a competition, you made someone’s life better!” And then we both cried. Ok, I cried, he just looked at me.
An hour later, he was losing his mind and stressing out because his phone was glitching.
Things change quickly.
I had an experience like this recently. Two nights ago, I was perusing facebook and I saw a post in one of my communication groups. An individual had asked a policy question about something regarding their church. 80 comments later, there were hurt feelings, angry words, blocked members, and lots of conflicting advice. I saw the divisiveness and it broke my heart. So I added a comment. I told the author of the post that I didn’t have advice, but I really wanted to just pray. Not one comment had offered anything close to presenting this struggle to God, so I essentially “Jesus juked” the entire thread. And I felt REALLY good about myself. I handled that well, I thought. I even went back two or fifty times to see if anyone had liked my comment or called me out for being a freaking awesome Christian. I got two likes, so that was disappointing. As you can see, my heart was completely in the right place here. Imagine the horror when twenty four hours later, something small set me off at work and I lost my crap. I was ready to strike the match and let it ALL burn down. Thankfully, God DID get ahold of my heart and I had more than one apology to make to my coworkers. Ugh, why is life so crazy hard? Why do the highs and lows have to follow each other so closely? Will I ever get it right? A verse went through my mind today. Matthew 15:18, “The things that come out of the mouth, come from the heart.” OUCH!
As I was driving home today, I passed by a spot where, years ago, my children sat on the large limb of an old tree for a picture. It made me sad to see that the limb was gone. I don’t know the story of its demise, but the tree had been pruned back to the trunk in several places. As I thought about how things change and how nothing stays the same, I was reminded that one thing remains unchanged. God does not change. His love for me is the same when I am adding prayer to a facebook post and when I am losing my mind at work. His grace is available every day whether I am caring for my children or grumbling about the towel convention in the bathroom. His sacrifice was not contingent upon my worthiness. I owe my life to that fact!
Tomorrow is a new day. His mercy will be new too. If you are HUMAN like me, you’ve had days/weeks/months/years like this too. We press on…eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.