Anybody else not particularly like the person you are in quarantine?
Over the past three months I’ve found myself more irritable, anxious, depressed, and self-focused than normal. And I don’t like it. I’ve had to say, “I’m sorry,’ a lot when I’ve spoken out of any of those things instead of out of love and kindness. It makes sense, though right? When we are put under pressure, when we are afraid, our sin nature tends to find a way to surface.
Our worries and fears bubbling up under the surface can often cause us to be short tempered, self-protective, and selfish. However, James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” What’s the difference? How do we get perseverance instead of resentment, annoyance, etc?
And no, my entire three months haven’t been spent that way. But I’ve found myself by now enough times having spoken out of frustration or choosing what I want instead of serving others that it made me sit down and think about it.
These reflections came mostly from a song I love by Hillsong called; “New Wine.”
“In the crushing, in the pressing, You are making new wine. In the soil I now surrender, You are breaking new ground….Make me Your vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be. I came here with nothing but all You have given me. Jesus bring new wine out of me.”
These lyrics remind me of this glorious hope; that what we have always been does not need to be what we always are. Jesus is the only one with the power to take us and bring different responses from our same circumstances.
Our fear, worry, sadness can well up and say to us, ‘nothing will change,’ ‘God doesn’t care,’ and cause our actions to be, self-centered, impatient, thoughtless. But what if we met those fears and heavy emotions instead with Jesus by our side? What if in these moments we cried out to God and asked Him to take control of our hearts, minds, and actions? What people of grace, kindness, patience, selflessness, we would more often be.
On my own with my own efforts I can’t bring anything new, good, beautiful from my heart.
I don’t want that old person; I don’t want those old responses anymore.
Friends, lets today fully choose even if we don’t feel it to believe that God can and is delighted to bring something beautiful from us. He can, He wants to, let’s be willing.