We all have them. Off kilter days. Mine started yesterday when I fell in the toilet.
One of the man cubs I live with forgot to put the seat back down. They are usually so good with this it doesn’t occur to me to look before I sit.
That was a big mistake yesterday.
Right after that little incident, I went into the kitchen and discovered the child that had been assigned dishes and kitchen clean up duty the night before had, well, forgotten. I had made a double batch of a really yummy dinner so we could enjoy left overs today. But now all that food would need to be thrown out.
I also noticed that another thing I’d asked one of the kids to do had not been done.
I think this back to school thing is sucking all the brain cells from my family.
So, I asked the Lord to come to me quickly and interrupt my natural flesh response before I blew some sort of gasket. I don’t even know what a gasket is, but I’m fairly certain it ain’t pretty when one blows.
I choked out a very simple prayer, “Encourage me Lord, please.”
As I opened the Bible I turned to a few random pages before I finally landed on a treasure of a verse, Psalm 86:11-
“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
So, I continued my prayer.”Lord, thank you for this verse. Yes, I want an undivided heart. I love that part of this verse. My heart can get so divided and stretched and pulled in a million directions. So, thank you for this reminder. Also, could you send something else my way today that would just be a practical bit of encouragement? I could really use that as well.”
The minute I finished praying, my eyes fell on the first part of the verse. “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth.” I had been so excited about the undivided heart part of the verse that I’d brushed right past the first part.
Those words, “Teach me your way,” wouldn’t leave me.
Those 4 words just kept running through my mind. Kind of like when you get a song stuck in your head and like it or not, you know you’ll be singing it, humming it, and tapping your fingers to it all day long.
Eventually, I came to realize those words were the encouragement God was giving me in response to my request.
I wanted to be appreciative but to be honest, I’d had something else in mind. I don’t know, like maybe getting a call from a gal you might have heard of named Beth who teaches Bible Studies saying she’d like to go out for coffee. Or something else small like that.
Instead, I’d be sipping up my grande latte with 4 words, “Teach me your way.”
I pulled my Bible back out and re-read the verse in context just to see if I could at all understand what God was trying to teach me. Finally, I saw something besides just 4 words.
There are many ways I can choose to react when things happen each day. I can choose the way of “it’s my right to be frustrated.” I can choose the way of “does no one listen to me around here?” I can choose the way of “do you know how this makes me feel?”
Or, I can choose to let God teach me His way.
My way leads to all kinds of runaway feelings that lead me away from the truth and into a absolute pit of yuck.
His way leads to calmly finding a solution without all the anger and frustration. His way leads to me being able to extend grace- the same grace which I so desperately need myself. And His way leads me to the truth.
The truth is it’s a bummer when you fall into the toilet and it’s an even bigger bummer when food is wasted, the kitchen is left a mess, and people don’t do what they are supposed to do.
But why compound those bummers and make them even worse by adding run away emotions.
Even though yesterday was hard, I can honestly say, learning more about His way and walking in His truth despite my feelings was a great gift of encouragement. I couldn’t believe how calm I remained. And today I’m even more encouraged because I don’t have to deal with the yuck that comes after losing my cool. It is good.
Almost as good as having coffee with you know who. Almost.