Last week was crazy. My husband had his hip replaced, we had three days of school cancelled because it was freezing cold (-75 cold), and I was PMSing like a fire breathing dragon.
I was stressed out. I was not pleasant to be around. I was on the edge of crying most of the week.
I couldn’t figure out why I was to this point. I attributed it to all of my circumstances. It is January and I have cabin fever. I was PMSing like a fire breathing dragon. My husband just had surgery but it wasn’t some life threatening issue. It was a scheduled hip replacement that is going to drastically improve his quality of life. It was a hip replacement not some sort of vital organ transplant.
But it was more than all of those things. The stress and I think I can call it anxiety came from more than my circumstances.
The circumstances just revealed a problem from within me. I place my hope, my trust, and my certainty about the future in things other than Jesus.
One of my greatest gifts is where I misplace a huge amount of my home, trust, and my certainty about the future. My husband is that gift. And last week I watched him wheeled up in a hospital bed. I had to figure a few things out on my own. I watched my strong and independent and I believe he can fix anything husband not able to walk without the assistance of a walker.
I didn’t realize it right away. I realized it while talking to a friend.
My husband is one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given to me.
But my husband isn’t Jesus. My husband isn’t God.
It was a wake up call once again that my trust and hope needs to be placed in Jesus.
This may sound dramatic but I can see it is so many other places of life too. I can see it each time I face dissapointment in the good gifts God has given me.
- My kids,
- my home,
- my family,
- my community,
- my husband,
- my church.
Everyone of these things in that list are awesome gifts. But, just like my husband they are not Jesus. When I look to these things for my trust and my hope it creates some serious stress, anxiety, and fire breathing dragon behavior. I make my life harder than it needs to be when I put all of these things ahead of Jesus.
I make life harder than it needs to be when I break the first commandment. “You shall have no other God’s before me”
It was a hard week for me and I made it an even more difficult week for my hubby because I was a fire breathing bag of tears. It was a hard week not because he had surgery or because I was PMSing or because of all the snow days (those things just helped reveal something).
It was a hard week because I was breaking the first commandment at every turn. I was breaking the first commandment and placing my hope, trust, and comfort for the future in these tiny things instead of Jesus.
I would like to say it won’t happen again. I would like to say that I have learned my lesson and I will never break the first commandment again. I will always put Jesus first. But instead of lying through my teeth and breaking another commandment I will skip that right to the good stuff.
Jesus. God knew we would never be able to keep him first (among a list of other things). If you think you and I are the only ones who struggle with this just keep reading in Exodus.
I will misplace my trust, hope, and comfort for what is to come in the future in things much sillier and smaller than even my husband.
I may misplace my hope, trust, and assurance for the future over and over again BUT
My hope, trust, and assurance for the future are secure.
They are secure because Jesus fulfilled the first commandment for me.
Even when we don’t call him our God he calls us his.
God’s people the Israelite’s were living as slaves. He assured them he was their God and . They would no longer be slaves in Pharaoh’s land. God’s people would be free.
“I am the Lord
I will free you from your oppression and rescue you from your slavery in Egypt
I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment
I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that
I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt.
I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
I will give it to you as your very own possession.
I am the Lord.”Exodus 6:6-8
And the crazy beautiful thing is he has done the same for us. He has set us free from the slavery of our sin. We are no longer slaves but FREE in Christ.
Galatians tells us
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”Galations 5:1
We have this freedom because Jesus kept the first commandment for us. Just as God made himself God over the Israelite people he makes himself our God too.
I am going to misplace my hope, trust, and peace over and over again. I can know that God will always be my God because he has put himself there.
Just because I misplace my trust and hope in other things does not mean that God is no longer my God. He placed himself as the God of the Israelite’s when he saved them from physical slavery. He placed himself as our God when he gave up his life on the cross and released us from the slavery of sin.
I can look back on that fire breathing week and know that I am forgiven for that week and I will be forgiven for this week too. I can live in that freedom. That is beautiful. Messy. But beautiful.