and then there are days when i get caught up in the pretty pictures on pinterest or on blogs. i take my eyes off of my Savior and then i start to pick apart my home. i get sad about the things that i don't have or aren't very pretty. and some days, i get frustrated.
last week, i had one of those days. and God promptly reminded me that my attitude was off. but just because i know something, doesn't mean that i'm always willing to stop having my little pity party and whip up some sunshine and roses. my emotions were running away with me and it was driving me to tears over silly little things.
stop. stop and consider...
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
i read recently in the book the Fruitful Wife that rejoicing is different than joy. Joy is internal. rejoicing is something you DO! it is not necessarily tied to the emotions, but something that you determine to act out. and in that book, she tells a story of Corrie ten Boom and her sister in the Nazi concentration camp, Ravensbruck. they read these verses from 1 Thessalonians and rejoiced and thanked God for everything. even for the fleas.
my struggle is so pitiful and small compared to what God took them through. yet, i know that God can use the little things in our everyday life to grow us just as effectively as the big life altering trials, if we are only willing.
and so, in the middle of my kitchen, i fell on my knees with angry tears in my eyes and determined to thank God for my "fleas". i thanked God for carpet in my kitchen that's impossible to keep clean, for small windows that let very little sunshine into my house, for the funky boy smell in the bedrooms that i can't seem to get rid of, for no door connecting the garage to the inside of the house, and on i went. and after a whole 30 seconds, i had run out of things.
and i laughed. how silly of me to be in a tizzy over what i felt was a long list of horrid things about my home, when that list could be said out loud in less than half a minute.
it was a simple lesson for me. yes, to be content and pleased with what God has given me. but more than that, the lesson that what we DO needs to influence our emotions. not the other way around! i should not let the way i feel about something dictate the way i act. instead, i need to do what i know is right and that will change the way i feel about it.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments..."
when i do what i know is right, the things that He's commanded in His word, then it will shape me and give me the proper perspective. when i choose to rejoice and give thanks, then my heart is calmed and i can see clearly how blessed i really am.
how often the world will try and play off of our emotions. it tells you to follow your heart, even though God says that the heart is desperately wicked. and i can see for myself that their way of doing it really not working out too well for them.
oh, the joy and peace that comes when we do things God's way!