I am going to be transparent with you all because I think that sharing my own life struggles and victories can help others.
Monday night, I confess that I was feeling very irritable. Really stressed with all the activities and expectations of the season; annoyed with immature, sinful childish behavior… just plain irritable.
My poor husband suffered the brunt of my nastiness.
We were trying to discuss the only healthcare options available for me at present. The combination of frustration over the ridiculous costs of healthcare and the pressing need to make a decision to replace my expiring existing policy were not a good combination with my already disgruntled state.
And I took it out on my husband.
It was when I saw the look on his face that I realized I had allowed my stubborn, selfish pride to hurt the one closest to me.
I couldn’t take back what had been expressed, and I felt the burden of guilt.
I was wrong.
A little later, the emotions subsided, and I was able to listen to the voice of conviction (God’s voice).
Apologies were made, but I couldn’t easily dismiss what I had done that had wounded my man.
The next morning, I still felt the weight. I knew the truth is that I am forgiven, but I was struggling with forgiving myself.
I have been shown so much love by God that I knew I had no reason to show anything less than love to those with whom I interact. My heart grieved that I had let God down, that I had strayed from the love He has showered upon me and so quickly.
Then God, in His mercy, reminded me of a truth He had given me to share with a son a few months ago.
This son had allowed his anger to control him, and he had hurt others in the process. Later, he was convicted but still feeling badly about what he had done. The Lord prompted me to tell him, “Son, you won the battle. When you are convicted of your sin and repent, you win.”
In the past, I required perfection of myself and of course could never live up to it so I was forever carrying guilt and frustration. I believed that if I sinned I was a failure. Therefore, I didn’t want to admit sin, especially the “subtle” sins of the heart: pride, selfishness, anger…
God reminded me that life is like a race. Until we finish the race, it’s not over. Even when we fall, so long as we get back up again, we can still finish the race.
Eric Liddell is a favorite historical character in our family. During one of the famous races he won, he fell. Falling didn’t just cost him precious seconds but costly ?minutes in an already tight race. Spectators were positive Eric Liddell had lost the race, but then he got back up and began to run again. In fact, he ran with such determination that he didn’t just complete the race, but he actually took first place!
Life is full of many “falls” — some worse than others. After the fall, we can be left feeling so bruised and disheartened that it appears to all watching that it’s “over” for us.
The truth is with God, there is no such thing as defeat.
When sin is revealed in my life, I can either cave to sin’s defeat, or I can be convicted and repent, turning towards the victory I have in Christ.
Pride will take a necessary beating when we are convicted of sin, but the beauty of this is that it brings us back into sweet humble surrender to the Lord, recognizing that the ability to overcome has never been in ourselves in the first place.
So often when we have been living victoriously for awhile, it’s easy to begin to subtly take credit for it ourselves, thinking the power is in us. In reality, we have power, but the power is in Christ. Our position and power is in Him.
You were created, saved, and are being sanctified to win. It’s not over ’til it’s over.
And the Lord led me to this song this morning. It brought tears to my eyes to be reminded of how much He loves me — enough to remind me of this truth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKyY8zfjBMQ — Jason Gray’s song, Remind Me Who I Am.