I had failed again. I was frustrated, exhausted and not very patient with the children at all, and if I am honest, there may have even been some raised voices. Dinner was late, I was annoyed, and our home was not very peaceful that night.
That very morning, I had prayed for peace. I had sought the Lord for His strength and for my words to be full of grace and truth. I wanted to walk through the day with Him close by. I had office work to do, housework to do, children to care for and dinner to cook, I knew I need His strength for the day. So why did my day end without peace and completely devoid of strength and grace?
I heard Him whisper, the words echoed through my soul “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
I needed to stop, I needed to be still and what better place than outside in the crisp cool air of early morning, hanging out the washing. No one would disturb me there!
The sun was glistening on the grass, heavy laden with droplets of dew and my heart was heavy too. As I stood there in the quiet, in front of the washing line, I turned my heart to God. Where did I go wrong? Why didn’t I have the peace I craved and the strength I needed? Lord how did I mess up yesterday?
Do you ever ask those questions too? Do you ever have that sinking feeling of failure, especially after you specifically prayed for the opposite? I felt like I didn’t measure up to my own expectations or desires. Do you know that feeling? Well, I needed to know where I went wrong. Why, after asking for the Lord to grant me peace yesterday, why was I so quick to let frustration take over instead?
So, I waited on Him – and I do that often, because I know, that is the place of renewed strength, and with four children, renewed strength is one of my daily needs. Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “Those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength” and as I lifted each piece of clothing to the line, I lifted my eyes to Him, and it hit me. Yesterday I had taken my eyes off Jesus. I was so frustrated by the office work not being completed. I had worked on a problem all day and still no solution. My eyes and my mind went from Jesus and His peace and strength and grace, to my own lack thereof. I began looking at all that I lacked. I was focusing on what I hadn’t done and all that I hadn’t achieved and that was the exact moment that I lost my peace. I then took that lack of peace into the evening and the family felt the expression of my frustration.
When I took my eyes off Jesus, I took my eyes off what He could do through me and for me. He can keep me in perfect peace when my mind is fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV). So, when all I was focused on was my failure and frustration, I completely missed His grace and strength. I missed His arms, so willing to hold me up and His love so freely given to my weary soul. I missed His tenderness to cover my failure and His voice to heal my hurt. I didn’t want that to be my story again today.
Tears trickled down my face and yet I felt His warm embrace. I wondered if my cheeks were glistening like the grass. The basket is almost empty, the day is almost beginning, and His words bring so much freedom. Yesterday I lost sight of Jesus, today I will focus on His truth. Yesterday I failed, but I am not a failure. I am His beloved and He will strengthen me.
Perhaps you’ve been there too, shedding quiet tears as the day ends or a new one begins. The weight of frustrations or unmet expectations knocking at the door of your heart, scampering to take hold of your mind. For today, I am going to set my mind on Him. For today, I will lift my eyes to the Lord. I will change my focus from my failings, and frustrations, to His grace, His goodness, His faithfulness, and His peace. I am so glad that today is a new day, filled with His new mercies.
Perhaps you can join with me in praying “I focus my mind on You Jesus, I wait on You to renew my strength. Lord let your peace and grace and love flow through me today as I do all that you have called me to do.” Amen.