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Tiredness is No Excuse

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

When I was in the middle of my month long breast infection in the spring, our pastor preached a sermon about praying for God's will to be done. Too often, he said, we only ask for things that we want and then just accept whatever happens as God's will instead of actually asking for what He wants. Nearly every night, I pray for a good night's sleep, but after that sermon, I thought about the fact that maybe a good night's sleep isn't God's will for me every night. If it isn't, then He must have something better in mind because "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God." (Romans 8:28) Though what could be better than a good night's sleep I really don't know!

Thinking back on my months of morning sickness (mild though it was), weeks of breast infection, and then further back to Joshua's early days when a good night's sleep couldn't be counted on, I realize that I didn't have a very good attitude. None of those were my will, but God was teaching me things through them. Well, actually, He's teaching me now through them. I didn't really learn then. Most of the time, when I felt like being grumpy, I was. "I'm just tired," I thought, or "sick," or "hungry," or "fighting off bacteria." What I didn't think about is that none of those are an excuse to be mean to those around me. They make meanness easier, but that only means that I should fight harder (or maybe just repent harder after I realize my mistake).

God brings troubles and difficulties like queasiness, infections, and unhappy children for the greater good of strengthening our characters. If I always felt strong and well and never had to deal with grumpiness (mine or Joshua's), I wouldn't grow and mature. Whatever bits of gold there are in my character would remain surrounded by ugly dross if it weren't for God's refining fires.

I've been trying to think of each day as an opportunity for growth. "What is God teaching me through this?" I try to ask myself. Marriage and parenting are, after all, two of God's most efficient tools for sanctification and I'm in the middle of both. Rather than being frustrated with mundane things like taking care of my house and serving my husband, I'm trying to think of them as opportunities to respond better than last time. When Joshua has a discipline issue that I need to resolve, I try to look at it as a training time for me as well as him.

I'm also realizing that hindsight is always 20/20 and most of the time it just provides good opportunities for repentance. Thank God that His mercies endure forever!

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