Shows don’t always bring out the best in me.
It’s tech week, wherein the end result is kind of an “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME” thing, but right now everything is just crazy and not awesome quite yet. I can really feel my fruits of the spirit withering and dying every time a child runs by me/touches my big Mrs. Potts hoop skirt/says something annoying. By the end of yesterday’s rehearsal, I was about ready to cry, strangle someone, or swear off ever having children.
Sometimes, during stressful periods where I feel like all I do is fail, I worry about my own walk with God. If Christians are supposed to be bearing fruits, then why is my fuse so shortened by an excess of annoying little people? I can be a good Christian until I have a headache and a babysitting job in the same time and place, and then all my fruits go flying out the window. Does that make me less of a Christian? Am I not a Christian at all, because my patience and gentleness wear away when tested?
But I have to keep bringing myself back to the truth that being a Christian doesn’t mean I am automatically perfect. Just because I proclaim Jesus as my savior and defender doesn’t mean that I am instantly the Proverbs 31 woman, who gets up at o’dark-thirty and works all day with a tireless smile. I’m far from that.
No, no. Being a Christian means that Jesus took every impatient mood, every stress-induced insult, every act of road rage and every other sin we’ve committed, and offered himself up to God so that God could satisfy His wrath and once for all pay off the debt of every last one. Even if you go on sinning after becoming a Christian (spoiler alert: you will), you’ve been covered with a cloak of righteousness. God now sees us as whole again, because he paid off all our ugly, guilty stains of anger and malice and political correctness. He sees our hearts – and if our hearts are pointed towards living for Christ’s name, we need not worry about our stressed-out days ruining our salvation. That’s just not how it works.
The fruits are a result of us following Christ and working on being more like him. God does the work in our hearts – not us. Our job is to believe and to seek, always seek, especially in the mundane and the obnoxious and the frenetic moments.
God is the leader, and I am the follower. And I’m okay with that, with submitting to God and seeking him. Because it’s in these stressful and horrible moments where I turn into a monster that I realize that — drumroll, please — I need leadership. We all do. Independence sounds nice, but when it comes down to it, we’re all pretty rotten. We need not just a Savior, but someone we can follow. Jesus provides. Jesus saves.
I have asked one thing of the Lord;
it is what I desire:
to dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
gazing on the beauty of the Lord
and seeking Him in His temple.