"My daily behavior is my attempt to get what is important to me in various
situations and relationships. My choices and actions always reveal
the desires that rule my heart."
Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands
It had been the most difficult week I could remember in quite a while. Unexpected bills, a heat-pump on its last legs in the most brutal stretch of winter so far, two days of jury duty an hour away, and disappointing news. They had all converged in five tortuous days. I was at my breaking point when I opened the book for a much-needed reprieve. Yet the words were like a bucket of ice water thrown in my face.
I thought back to my behavior of the past week. I'd been upset, and I let everyone who came within a 10-mile radius know it. As each new disappointment came, I looked for someone to blame - my husband, our insurance company, the electric company, the legal system, and, finally, God. How could he let these things happen? Didn't he know how tight things are right now? How much we'd hoped for a different outcome in a particular circumstance? How much all of this hurt?
I continued grousing as I read. I wasn't convinced that my complaining was the problem. After all, my tears and bad mood were completely justified. Weren't they?
"The deepest issues of the human struggle are not issues of pain and suffering, but the issue of worship, because what rules our hearts will control the way we respond to both
suffering and blessing."
Oh. With a heart sufficiently pricked, I once more thought over the previous week. This time seeing my sin as God may have seen it. Ashamed, I realized that Tripp is right. My troubles weren't the problem; my misplaced worship was. Instead of giving God the honor and glory due Him, I had worshiped my comfort, my expectations, my convenience. These things were far more important to me than anything else at the present. They were my idols.
I wish I could report that at that moment, I fell to my knees and thanked God for every trial of the past week. I didn't. But I did ask for His forgiveness. I did pray for His guidance. I did beg Him for patience.
Tough lessons, but good ones. Praise God for His inexhaustible grace!