Most people who know me – even well – are surprised to find out that I have a heart problem. Pulmonary stenosis is one of the ways that God decided to make me unique when He “knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 139:13)
After I was born, I discovered that I had ANOTHER congenital heart problem. And then I learned that this other heart problem is very common. In fact, David in the Bible wrote about this heart problem that even he had. “I was brought forth in iniquity…Create in me a clean heart.” (Ps. 51:5, 10)
So, I was born with two heart problems – one physical and one spiritual. And the one that gives me the most problems is my spiritual condition.
The other day, I woke up and was a grump. There was no particular reason…I mean, there were plenty of contributing factors. Our house-helper didn’t show up and was unreachable by phone after I had emphasized how much I needed her help on that particular day. Not a big deal…except that I had planned to spend the whole day cooking and baking in preparation for a guest arriving from the States and staying with us. Again, not a big deal…except that our house-helper was also gone the previous week, so our house had gotten to be quite a disaster zone. Again, not a big deal, right?
Well, I’ll spare you the boring details and will suffice it to say that there was a major domino effect going on, and my grumpiness continued. And most people who know me – even well – may [or may not] be surprised to find out that it was well into the EVENING before I decided to face the facts and acknowledge that no matter what had happened throughout the course of the day, I had a heart problem.
Those pesky troubles were not making me a grump. Those pesky troubles were simply revealing the grumpiness already living in my heart. And God loves me so much that He is helping me to see my sin, so that I can see my second-ly need for a Savior, so that I can be more and more conformed into the likeness of Him.
AND, He has provided written reminders in 2 books I’ve been reading lately – yet another kind mercy to this grumpy girl.
“[Frustrating circumstances] merely provide an opportunity for the flesh to assert itself. The actual cause of our impatience lies within our own hearts, in our own attitude of insisting that others around us conform to our expectations.” (Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins)
“Our actions are a manifestation of our moral condition.” (Scott Hafemann, quoted by Sam Storms, a Sincere and Pure Devotion to Christ: 100 Daily Meditations on 2 Corinthians)
Ouch! Those kinds of comments hurt! They mean that I can’t be a victim to my circumstances. They mean that my attitude and actions have a direct correlation to my soul. They mean to tell me that I never outgrow my need for Jesus.
I don’t know what kind of physical problems you may have, but I know that you have the same spiritual heart problem I do. Praise God that the treatment is always the same! And what incredible, merciful treatment it is – throwing ourselves at the foot of the cross – at the throne of mercy – every day “to find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)
See that smiling face? (And cute haircut?!?) 🙂 (AND spiritual t-shirt?!?) Don’t let any of it fool you. Behind the polished, healthy exterior is a sick, needy interior. But I’ve got a Savior, who is daily rescuing me from myself…so, I DO have something to smile about! Pray that our joy in God would manifest itself in our actions as we minister in Zambia.