BY DONNA CHURCHILL
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.”
(Psalm 32: 8, 9)
I have walked with the Lord for many years and I am still amazed and appreciative at how He gives us just the right rebuke or counsel from His Word when we need it.
About 2 weeks ago, I experienced a pretty bad day. Not bad in the sense that things were going badly, but bad in the sense that I did not respond to the Lord in the way I should have; in the way that would have marked me as His.
It was a day when I was experiencing a great deal of pain in my body, but I had errands to do and needed to push through the pain to get them done. I was at the grocery store and to make a long story short, I was quite snappy with the cashier. Right away, the Holy Spirit convicted me, but my stubborn flesh decided it was more satisfying to hang on to my anger than release it, as if I had a right to it. As a result, I walked out of the store angry, stubborn and fighting with the Holy Spirit.
Thankfully, that was my last stop of the day. As I drove home, I wrestled in my spirit all the way. There was a scowl on my face and I knew it. I was making excuse after excuse to the Holy Spirit, none of which could hold water. I was in pain; the cashier was no help; Lord, if you would just heal me, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah! I do not confess any of this proudly, but truthfully, to show how faithfully, lovingly and mercifully God dealt with me through this.
I had left my house that morning for an early appointment and errands and had not had my quiet time with the Lord. Maybe if I had, I would have acted differently? Anyway, I arrived home, put away my groceries and knew I had to face my Father for my very ungodly actions. As I sat before the Lord, I started sharing my anger and frustration at the pain I was dealing with. I was prompted to go to my daily devotional book and here is some of what I read,
Then through the devotional, I was led to Psalm 32. In His love and mercy, God directed me to the very thing I needed: confession and forgiveness.
“I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Vs 5
I was also faced with the fact that I acted like a mule before the Lord! I didn’t act out of pain. I was being ruled by my pain because I had broken fellowship with the Lord. When I decided to give in to the sinful desires of my flesh, I left Him behind.
I was amazed and thankful in that moment, as I always am, with how long-suffering and merciful God was with me as I experienced my very childish temper tantrum; how, with grace He spoke just the most perfect and timely word to me; how He loves me and reigns me in to teach me the hardships of going my own way; how He continues to lovingly and graciously deal with the things He knows will lead me away from Him; how much He is involved and invested in all the little and big details of my life and behavior.
I was also thankful for His forgiveness as I had to admit that I so desperately needed it.
The final quote from my devotional –
“When you seek forgiveness, you are confessing that you still forget why you were put on earth and granted the amazing gift of God’s grace. You are admitting that you forget that every gift you have been given is to be invested in his kingdom.”