Life is full of them.
A phone call. A letter in the mail. A conversation that caught you off guard. The actions of a loved one. A social media post directed at you. Something you never expected to find in your home/computer/email/cellphone/etc.
Up until that moment, you were just cruising along. Minding your own business, and… bam. You got the wind knocked out of you. There are words flying through your mind that you cannot/should not say. Your stomach drops. Your hands shake. Now what?
Take a deep breath. While the gut punch was out of your control, what happens next is absolutely within your control. No excuses. No one makes us react. No one makes us feel. No one makes us do… anything. These are the moments that define us.
Paul tells us at the end of Luke 6:45 (NLT), What you say flows from what is in your heart.
But right before that, in the beginning of the verse, the part many people don’t quote, the author explains why:
‘A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.’ Luke 6:45 (NLT)
Ouch. I don’t know about you, but not such good stuff has flowed out of my mouth… more than once. And not even in a gut punch moment, but in an ordinary, everyday frustrating moment.
I am not evil. But I am human.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about a vision God gave him but didn’t want to boast about it to draw attention to himself, so he explains how to keep him from being prideful, he received a thorn in his side. A messenger from Satan. Three times he asked God to remove it (v 7-8), In verse 9 God answered: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
And Paul continues, explaining: So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. ‘ 2 Corinthians 12:9
I don’t know about you, but I am weak. I can definitely boast about that. I am so very weak.
But I also have peace. Why? Because… God.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.Romans 5:1-6 (NLT)