March 11, 2013
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)
I thrashed the covers in the small bed, punching my pillow, trying to ignore the green numbers on the clock that flashed 2:00 a.m.
Recovering from a recent illness, I was exhausted. My laptop was evidently just as sick as I was, for when I booted it up, numbers and scrolling messages exploded on the screen.
This normally happy girl was grouchy ... overly sensitive ... emotional.
Earlier that evening I had been quiet. if I opened my mouth, I wouldn't be happy with what came out. The last thing I wanted on this ministry trip was to be the girl with her cranky pants on. Yet here I was wearing them with a capital "C."
As the numbers flashed to 2:30 and then to 3:00, I wrestled with God.
Lord, what is wrong with me?
Father, how can you use a girl who's wearing such a giant set of cranky pants?
That's when the scripture came to mind. Soft. Gentle. Like a whisper it played through my thoughts, filtering down to my heart:
"The LORD your God is in your midst..." (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
Right then. Right there. He was with me.
"He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by His love." (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
My spiraling feelings. My fatigued brain and body. He saw them all, and yet His gladness poured over me. He would quiet my whirling thoughts with His love.
"He will exult over you with loud singing." (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
That's when the tears came, because right there, even in my cranky pants, God saw me and was singing a majestic lullaby over His daughter.
I curled up in the blanket, closed my eyes, and sleep finally came.
Maybe today you're wearing your cranky pants with a capital "C." You're out of sorts. You're biting your tongue to keep harsh words away from those you love. You're tired spiritually or emotionally, or maybe it's been a long time since you've rested physically.
He sees you. He sees all of you. Not just the cranky pants, but your heart, and that you want nothing more than to be yourself again.
My prayer is that you hear that lullaby gently playing. That you sense Him drawing you close. I pray that you'll remember that we all have those days when we are out of sorts, or when everything seems to be going wrong. But most of all, I pray that you remember that our Heavenly Father doesn't turn away from us in those moments, but brings peace to our troubled thoughts when we hold up them up with absolute honesty.
That next day I woke up tired physically, but rested on the inside, and my cranky pants were nowhere in sight.
I know they'll pop up again. Life does that sometimes. But when it does, rather than hide from God, I'm going to run to Him instead ... cranky pants, and all.
Dear Father, some days I stay away from You because I am ashamed of my feelings. Thank You that I can rest in Your grace as You pour out peace and quiet my thoughts with Your peace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Visit Suzie Eller's blog to join in the study of The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness. Suzie's giving away one copy of her new book today.
The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller
Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst
Reflect and Respond:
God's grace is needed on good and bad days, but it's often sought only on those days when you feel worthy and approved. But whose approval are you looking for? Yours, or the One who knows you best?
When you have your next cranky pants day, ask this question: Will I live today ACCUSED or will I be RESCUED by my Heavenly Father who promises to quiet me with His love?
Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." (ESV)
Philippians 4:6-7, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (NLT)
© 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.