Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Failures and Perspective

Last week was a gift. Spring break - all my babies were home with me. I had weaned off Zofran, and was feeling wonderful! I couldn't even believe how amazing it felt just to have the energy to be out of bed all day and be able to fully participate in life. It's been a long three months. :)

We had company several times during the week, and hosted a baby shower one night. I shot hoops with my boys for hours. Friends stopped by, stayed awhile. I was managing dinner instead of sending Dave for take-out. :) Every bit of my house was clean. I was actually keeping up with things around here. It was magical!

Really, it was just normal stuff {the kind of ordinary days I had pre-pregnancy}, but I couldn't stop reveling in the beauty of the life the Lord has blessed me with. It was like I was seeing things through new eyes....maybe I was.

When Saturday brought nausea again, I was determined to press forward anyway with plans for a girls night out with some of my dear friends. Dave convinced me take a Zofran, despite how much I wanted to be off those wretched things. I managed to make it through the night, and had such a good time...pedicures at a salon, antique shopping and dinner at Teller's. But I probably wasn't the best of company, since I couldn't eat {and made frequent trips to the bathroom...ugh!}...by the end of the night, I knew it was getting bad and I needed to go back on my meds.

Sunday was more of the same.

I pulled myself out of bed anyway, downed some more meds, and made it to church. Dave suggested I stay home, but I was just longing for encouragement. Needing to hear from God. Feeling nauseous and puking again was disappointing - one week and I had completely changed my expectations for how my days would go. I should know by now not to form expectations about anything while pregnant. :P

We were late, but we hurried in and I just collapsed on the second row...hardly any seats left when you show up late! Dave headed straight for the front since he was leading adult Sunday School. We're going through the book of Matthew right now, and this week he was going to finally finish chapter 17.

During his message, he shared a simple thought about the Lord Jesus that really struck me. At the end of the chapter, Peter is asked if His Master should pay the temple tax, and Jesus questions his answer to the tax collectors. He had just shown Himself in His glory to him and James and John on the mount of transfiguration. When they came back down, immediately Jesus was faced with the failures and frustrations of His disciples. They couldn't heal the boy with the demon, and He explained how the Lord's work requires intimacy with the Father and self-denial ... and then pointed them to what they should really focus on,

22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

In the midst of their discouragement and failure, He wanted them to take joy in His perspective.

Instead, all they saw was a reason to sorrow. {The disciples were apparently people like me...ha! A tad short sighted and easily pessimistic...}

Right after that is the portion where the tax collectors approach Peter and ask him if Jesus paid the temple tax. Being the Son of God, He shouldn't have needed to pay the tax - and Jesus gently rebukes Peter for his lack of defense for Him. But I love what He says next -

27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Dave brought out the point that statistically the odds were beyond impossible of Peter finding that one fish that had the coin in its mouth. Why didn't Jesus just hand Peter a coin to pay the tax? Why send him on a seemingly crazy task?

It seems very precious to me that the Lord Jesus showed Himself to Peter in this way. Despite the bigger picture and His plan of salvation that included His death, the Lord cared about the everyday things in Peter's life too. And He showed Himself able to do the improbable...with just His spoken word.

I sat there on the second row, and felt the same encouragement that Peter must have felt all those years ago when he pulled his line in and checked the mouth of that fish. My God is a God of the impossible! And He cares...even about my earthly troubles.

Yes, He has a bigger plan, and yes, He wants me to grasp it. But He also wants to meet my needs in ways that blow me away. To show Himself faithful in my every day life.

To get me through these impossible days. When I am throwing up and spent, and pink eye rages through the family, and then some new virus strikes. When my human tendency is to sorrow and say, "I can't do this!" and lift my eyes from my apparent failure and show me instead His greater perspective.


Caleb and Anna said...

Thanks for sharing! It is wonderful to see the Lord use our trials to open our eyes to His work around us!

bandanachick said...

Love you sweet sister. So thankful you came on Saturday, despite being sick. I always walk away feeling refreshed after talking and spending time with you.
SO sorry you are sick again this week, and your kiddos are sick too. Praying you all get better and STAY better soon!
We miss you and our kids miss your kids too...Chloe has been walking around lately talking about Simon. :)

Lynn said...

You looked today like you are feeling much better again - I hope that is the case!