Getting Testy

For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

I really hate snakes.  They are slimy, disgusting creatures and I can hardly bare to see an image of one without my skin crawling. We have no problem turning and running from anything that freaks us out or is disgusting. What id someone was such a good liar, however, that our place of rescue began to look like the den of snakes, and the snake was twisted to look like salvation?  That is a dangerous situation.

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It’s a dangerous situation, and it’s very real. That first section of Matthew 4 is serious business. God came to Earth in human form to understand us, to relate to us, and to truly know us. I know I like to picture the cute cherub baby Jesus and the smiling ‘let the children come to me’ Jesus (you know, like in Ricky Bobby).

Jesus had been fasting for 40 days.  He was starving and worn for all the right reasons, but the Devil saw an opportunity to seize. He does the same things to us.  When we feel broken or tired and God is taking us to that place to teach us and to grow us, instead of us learning, our instinct is to find a way out.

Have you ever been in a terrible situation and though ‘I could just quit’ or ‘I could just move away’? The flight instinct is strong when our backs are against the wall and the problem is too big for us.

Satan knows it, and he uses it.  In Matthew 4, he takes Jesus to every temptation affecting Jesus.  ‘Prove you are God.  Prove you can do anything.  Relieve your plight.Return to your rightful seat on your throne.’ He does the same to us. ‘Walk away from your husband. Get another credit card.  Drink until the pain is dulled.’ and in my case, ‘GET THE CHEESEBURGER!’  These battles are real and more than we can bare alone.

We know God walks through temptation with us empathetically, and with the truest form of faith, we can give the situation to Him and trust that things are hard because He is teaching us. Choose today to give it to God.  Allow Him to bear your pain, and save yourself the struggle of doing it alone.

 

Messes are Hot (so I like to think)

Phillipians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Who the Heck are the Hisses?! I sat at the kitchen island, pen in hand, ready to knock out some FANTASTIC Christmas cards.  Yes, they may have been a midnight rush order via some online greeting card site with a skip-the-proof-just-get-those-blasted-pieces-of-paper-here option, but it was way better than my etiquette fail of the prior year- sending out nothing.

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I had stamps and a mailing list, so when that box arrived, I was ready to look as perfect southern mama as ever with multiple photos on the postcard and smiling babies to boot. As I opened the box, I was pleased that the pic on the front looked not crazy blurry from the online impulse buy, but my smugness faded as I noticed a nice little blemish by way of OUR LAST FREAKING NAME being wrong on the back (with a blurry photo)! I mean, people do dumb stuff, but it takes a new level of special to misspell your own name.

In that moment, I could choose to be angry or rebuy for a million more dollars or freak out, but here’s the truth: deep down, I knew everything about this made this the most accurate card anyone would receive.  We are a beautiful, ridiculous mess. Where in the world would we be without some beautiful messes, after all?

While I wanted the world to see one thing, God knew everyone needed us for who He made us to be- crazy and funny and real.

Phillipians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

I spent a crap ton (technical term) of time in my life trying to seem perfect.  OCD cleaning, blowing UP some credit cards on looking the best and having the best; it all got me nowhere. The truth is, though, there is such beauty in the mess.

In Phillipians, He makes it so clear!  Why do we feel today that we have to walk around being something we’re not, pretending to agree with things we don’t?!  Not only, are we stressing ourselves out, but God made us to be these beautiful messes with the choice to make mistakes, because He wants us to choose to love Him back, and if we all make mistakes, then we are that much more capable of being approachable to each other. We are also, through the knowledge of our shared faults, able to challenge each other to be better out of Love.

All I’m saying is that Christmas card taught me a lot.  To lighten up, laugh and let me freak flag fly.  Y’all pray for me, because I’m a hot mess, and it’s okay for you to be one, too!

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