Sunday, June 10, 2012

When You Feel Like You're Spinning Your Wheels

It's one of those evenings when I take stock of life and envision my feet stuck fast in rubber cement. Dust bunnies outnumber humans inside our home.  Husband's magnificent pipe-laying project takes my beginning-to-look-nice-yard back to square one again, only this time, it looks like an overzealous, mean-spirited gopher took the concept of revenge to a whole new level.

Then there are the children.  My oldest still can't stop talking back even after we've focused on this issue for two solid weeks.  My youngest is starting week four of throwing half hour screaming tantrums when he gets sent to the naughty bench.  And all three have suddenly forgotten how to pick up their toys, put shoes in their cubbies, and stack up books on the shelves when they're finished.

Add to that a month where I have spent more time laboring for the kingdom in the back of the church with preschoolers who may or may not remember my name than I have spent at the feet of my pastor or lifting my voice in praise with other Christians in a corporate worship service...

 The result is a feeling that I've just been spinning my wheels without moving forward an inch--both in my personal and spiritual life.

In the midst of my pity party, I open my Bible study, just flipping through pages I've already studied, and lo and behold, God directs me to a Scripture that makes me slack jawed.

 The second time Moses climbed down from a forty-day stay on Mount Sinai, the Israelites weren't dancing around a calf.  This time, they were waiting: "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.  When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him" (Ex. 34:29-30).

Moses had spent forty days in God's presence, and he was physically changed by it.  His face glowed with the reflected glory of God the Father.  But he didn't know it!

Not until the Israelites kept their distance from him out of fear, not until someone (Aaron, maybe?) had the courage to stop the whispers and speak up about his holy glow did Moses realize the impact being in God's presence had on his physical body. Had Moses known the magnitude of the change that had been wrought on him, he could have become prideful.  Yet, his ignorance was God's way of protecting him against being prideful in his new-found closeness with God.

Consider how this may apply to us Christians today.  As we continue to study God's Word, let it take root in our hearts, apply His Word to our lives, actively serve him (yes, even if it's in a nearly invisible role like teaching preschoolers a Bible verse)--I believe our faces become radiant just as Moses' did.    

Yet, God may not show us the full extent of our progress.  Indeed, He may intentionally hide our progress from us, keep us in ignorance so we will not become prideful in our relationship with Him, in our becoming more like Christ.

Paul said, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14).

May we repeat Paul's words and say, yes, Father.  May the same be said of us.  Even if it means difficult days when we can't see how far we have come and how far we have to go--keep us humble so we may never boast in ourselves and our progress in being sanctified in the righteousness of Christ.

May we boast alone in Christ Jesus and in Him crucified.  

'Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,

     but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,'
declares the Lord" (Jer. 9:23-24).

Image: Optical Illusion--"Spinning Wheels" from CultivatorX on Flickr.


  1. I love how God comes to us right where we are, pity party (I too have been having one lately), and speaks! He is "the Lord who exercising kindness." Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh yes, so thankful for a kind God.