Yesterday was one of those days. You know the ones.The days that start out with the car not starting and end up as you realize you’ve missed two meetings. The days where plans spiral out the window, alternate plans go haywire and efforts to save the day get sucked down the drain. The days where the kids clean up one mess by making another one and play together by jumping on top of each other and screaming. It was a day where every single person that talked to me was either tattling on someone for touching/looking at them wrong or accusing me of doing a poor job of whatever it was that I just so happened to be doing.
Yeah, one of those days.
At She Speaks, Lysa encouraged us to let “our reactions determine our reach.” She challenged us to react in truth not out of emotion. Yesterday I just gritted my teeth all day. I had me some emotion, ya’ll.
These were the first written words I saw this morning.
We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1:11-12 The Msg
Not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. That’s the kind of strength I want when I’m sticking it out. I stuck yesterday out. Today I’m asking God to transform my grit into a strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy.
As my mind entered into an emotional frenzy yesterday, I realized the Lord was being gracious enough to reveal some patterns in my life I had asking him to show me. I learned that my emotional, inward response to quarreling children and judgmental strangers was an angry seeking to fill emptiness. I stood in my pantry wanting to eat.
That, my friends, is what the experts call emotional eating. In that moment I realized I have a choice. I could stand in my pantry looking for something to smear organic peanut butter on or I could victoriously shut the door and remind myself of the truth.
Instead of beating myself up for getting caught in this cycle for so long, I stopped right there in my pantry and praised God for showing me I have power to change this bad habit. I can accept emotional turmoil as an invitation to pray. I can quit gritting my teeth and respond in thanksgiving that God allows me to see sin as sin. I can trust that my endurance will give way to joy that spills over into thanksgiving and victory over emotional frenzies.
And that’s how God works. He invades our grit with his strength producing joyful endurance, transforming self-destructive habits and ending vicious cycles.
It doesn’t mean I won’t grit my teeth today but it does mean I can look past the emotion of the moment and celebrate the victorious joy I know endurance will surely bring.
As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. . . God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. Colossians 1:10, 13-14 The Msg