I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.- John 16:33
Can I just say something here for a moment?
Life is hard.
This is not me having a stinkin’ thinkin’ moment. I understand the power behind transforming our minds and derailing negativity. Boy, do I ever.
But here’s the thing: the older I get (and for heaven’s sakes, people. I only have six weeks left of my thirties), the more I recognize the truth.
Life isn’t always a walk in the park.
On the other hand, it’s astoundingly beautiful at times, too.
The problem occurs when I expect life to NOT be hard. When I expect everything to go along just swimmingly and, for crying out loud, just the way I want it to, thankyouverymuch.
Recently, I’ve noticed a pattern: when I expect things to go along my way and it’s just not fast enough or good enough or whatever enough, it’s because I’ve forgotten the fabulous part of why we’re here: to minister and encourage other people.
And when I get this twisted, I get short. Impatient. I hold an “it’s-all-about-me” mentality in my mind that grasps tight and causes me to have amnesia of God’s word.
Last week, the crew and I went into our local Payless supermarket to pick up a few items. Emphasis on the word few because I do not ever, ever take all three children to the store for what I call the “mac daddy” trip.
Lines were long so we decided to utilize the self-check-out lane.
For whatever it’s worth, I think self-check-out’s are from the devil.
Scan codes malfunction. The little red light that scans the scan codes malfunction. If something isn’t heavy enough (greeting cards!), it will make you feel like a first-rate criminal because you didn’t bag your item (even though you did.)
Worst of all, my children don’t understand the concept of the bagging area sensors.
We remove items from the bags and then!
We can’t continue checking out because I’m being accused of being a criminal again.
And if you do this too many times, the computer shuts down and a manager has to help you, which can never be right away because he’s helping other people who are having the same issues as you.
While we were waiting for said manager, I lost complete control of all three of my children–not that I ever really had it, but it was suddenly exceptionally weak.
Samuel was yelling across the store wondering if he could do the claw and try to win a minion. Sarah was asking how long this was all going to take. Spencer wanted Skittles, by golly.
The longer I waited, the more my pot boiled.
Until I boiled over and picked all of my stuff up, canceled the transaction, and went to a line with a real-live person as the cashier.
In a huff, I told the man who was suddenly by my side, “This is just not working out for us, today.”
I knew I wasn’t representing very well.
Worse, I was wearing my “Love All” bracelet and a bracelet with a cross in full-view.
I got it twisted, sister.
For a brief moment, I forgot the world wasn’t all about me and it isn’t supposed to be easy.
The above verse from John 16 is a pretty solid promise. There isn’t a maybe here. It’s a guarantee. You WILL have trouble. It WILL not be easy.
But the hope falls in the last sentence: “I have overcome the world.”
Because when we think about how the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, His words remind me that He is stronger and sin is broken.
Even when I get it twisted. And even when you get it twisted.
So, yes . . . life is indeed hard at times. There are days I just want to give the kids a box of Fruit Loops and read my book in bed (which would feel like a vacation to us all.)
There are days my flesh takes over and I get it twisted. I forget it’s not all about me.
And there are moments so unbelievably wonderful that I’m reminded of His words:
He has overcome. He makes all things new. In the end, He’s more powerful.
Which offers hope when life feels just plain hard.