I don’t know why and I hope you don’t take this as being casual about the Holy Spirit, but I feel like God “speaks” to me often when I’m in the shower. Perhaps it is the solitude and lack of distractions, I don’t know. I just know that my thoughts often shift to the One who cleanses my soul and renews my mind. Today it began with one word- embrace.
I was thinking about our current situation with our eldest son, his wife and their four kids (ages 3 years- 14 years) living with us for the past four months. We have a 4 bedroom 2 bath 1970’s era house (no walk in closets) that has approximately 2200 square feet of living area. I know in other economic settings and cultures eight people sharing that space is not considered unusual or sacrificial, but to my middle class American heart, it is both! My daughter-in-law backs me up on this 100%, she is loving it sacrificing!
As a Christian I believe God is sovereign and He has purpose in orchestrating the need for my son and his family to live with us. His purpose goes beyond my son’s need for housing, or even my need to grow in exhibiting gentleness, patience and love. Ultimately only God knows all He is at work accomplishing in the midst of His grand purpose of being glorified.
The question that I sense He was posing to me in the shower with that one word “embrace” was, “Will you merely tolerate the means that I use in your life to train, teach and refine you into someone who will point others to Me? Or will you embrace it knowing it is from My good and gracious hand and I AM worthy of whatever discomfort, inconvenience, hardship or difficulty I assign to you?”
I’m using the word embrace in the sense of Webster dictionary third definition-
a : to take up especially readily or gladly
b : to avail oneself of : welcome
I have to confess I don’t want to readily or gladly sacrifice my privacy, peace or order. I don’t want to “welcome” dirt, excessive noise, or pencil doodling on every surface in my house. I love clean and quiet. I will endure it, bear up under it, suffer through it…but embrace it?
Truly, Jesus is asking so little from me. I am more than slightly ashamed to confess my struggle. After all, these are my kids and grandkids. Each one of them precious, valuable and delightful – one on one. (Wink-wink)
But He reminds me. The joy is in the embracing.
Psalm 119:1 (NIV) Joyful are people of integrity,who follow the instructions of the Lord.
James 1:2-(NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Please, Holy Spirit, transform me into Christlikeness. (2 Corinthians 3:18) I am Your workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) Forgive me when I fail to embrace Your will. (1 John 1:9)