Monday, March 3, 2014

Paul's Letter, Perspecitve, and Pity Parties

I want to be a grouch right now.
Yes, I realize that no one typically wants to be a grouch.
I do.  Right now.

I want to pout, to grump, to think of every little bad thing that could possible go wrong.  I want to throw a great big pity party, with only myself on the guest list - no one else is allowed.  I want to be a grouch all by myself.  This misery doesn't need company, I'm doing a fine job of grouching on my own.

I want to be a grouch.
But I can't.

Seriously.  I've been trying to sit here and put myself into a bad mood about all the things on my to do list, the things that have randomly popped into my mind today, the miscellaneous worries and "what if's".  But no matter how hard I try, God won't let me.

He challenges my "what-ifs" with "I've got this."
He rebuttals my "to-do's" with "but look at how I've blessed you and provided for you so far."
He squashes my "why not me yet?" with "My timing is perfect."

How can I possibly be grumpy and grouchy when my God is so powerful, so wonderful, so loving?  I can complain about the work that needs to be done to the Jeep or I can be thankful that He provided us with a 4-wheel drive vehicle right before moving to the North Country.  I can be bitter about all the pregnancy announcements on my newsfeed or I can be thankful that these amazing women are going to be even more amazing moms and know that I will get that chance in God's perfect timing.  I can stress about the growing to-do list on my fridge or I can be thankful that I have a house to take care of, a husband to cook dinner for, and that I don't have any physical problems keeping me from being able to take my puppy for a walk (and be thankful for God's promise of spring despite the bitter cold!)

It's all about perspective, something that I so quickly forget when I feel overwhelmed with life.  I can sit and complain about everything and throw myself a pity party, but really what does that get me?
A bad attitude.
A good radius away from everyone else in my life (because who wants to be around me like that?).
And the kind of perspective on life that takes for granted all the blessings that God has already given me and all that He's done to take care of me so far.  With a perspective and attitude like that, how in the world am I truly witnessing to others around me?  Am I representing Christ at that point, or am I just representing another person so wrapped up in themselves that there's no room for Christ's light to shine?

God's doing a lot lately to give me an attitude check and challenging me to look at my situation from a new perspective, with an attitude of gratitude through Christ-tinted glasses.  We've been studying Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus in PWOC (women's Bible study here on post), and the first chapter of Ephesians really hit me hard.  Paul spends the majority of the chapter reminding the Christians in Ephesus of all the blessings that God has already given them - they are children of God, adopted by Him into the kingdom of Heaven through the gifts of grace and mercy!  They have been redeemed by His blood, forgiven of their sins (no matter how bad), and chosen for the praise of His glory!  He has given them grace with wisdom and understanding of His Spirit!  God has blessed them with so much, and no matter what else happens, the Christians in Ephesus need to be reminded of that perspective to truly appreciate the plan that He has for their life.

Ya know what the best part about that is?

Wait for it.
It's gonna knock your socks off.

God gave us those exact same spiritual blessings!!

Okay, I know we aren't the church in Ephesus around 60 A.D., and Paul isn't writing to us from prison.  But these are the same blessings that God has given to all of His children, including you and me.  How awesome is that?!

And with all these spiritual blessings (not to mention all the non-spiritual blessings!), how in the world can I possibly look at a pile of laundry on the closet floor, a few dust bunnies under the coffee table, or the receipt for the car parts (which could have been A LOT more, thank you Jesus) and still feel like I need a pity party?

So instead, I'll put the party hats away for a birthday, suck my bottom lip in, and put a smile on my face.  Life could be a lot worse, but I don't have to focus on that - I can turn those sour moments into a chance to remember what God has already blessed me with.

It's all about perspective...

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