I've shared before that I'm not much of a morning person. I'm not truly awake for a couple of hours after I get up, thought I'm not usually grumpy or irritable. I realized today that there is one exception to that rule.
If, in the course of those two hours of 'waking up' time, someone or something really gets under my skin, I find that I struggle for a long time (read: hours) to get myself back on even keel. The ability to brush things off or forgive or just to let the negative feelings leave seems to simply disappear, and my heart apparently becomes fertile ground for sin and struggle.
I had a morning like that today. Someone got irritated with something I had done; not something wrong, just something different from what they would have done. I don't think they were even angry, but I got irritated that they were irritated with me over something so unimportant. I felt they didn't have the right to be frustrated.
UGH! And two hours later, I found myself still struggling. I found myself telling the Lord how much I was looking forward to eternity, when I would be freed from this body and the fights that can go on within my spirit. And then, a whispered thought entered my brain:
So what if that person was irritated over nothing; you don't have right to be irritated over anything.
All the Scripture I had been trying to apply and the prayers I had been whispering came into sharp focus, as I realized that I did not have the right to be irritated, even if this other person had done something wrong. I had been nursing an attitude of justified indignation, but it was a false sense of justification.
Somewhere back on that cross, my claim to rights was crucified when Jesus--the only one with any true rights to claim--gave up His right to be honored and glorified, his right not to die a criminal's death. And when I was joined with Him, I agreed to give up my rights too. So even when I am unfairly accused--in the littlest of things (as in my case) or in the greatest of things--I do not have a right to be mad. Jesus, my perfect example, demonstrated this for me.
My feelings of frustration have dissipated now. I now understand this this truth in ways I didn't before this morning. But what I don't know is if I have really 'gotten it.' Has this passed into the fiber of my heart? I guess the only way I'll know is if I get to try out this new muscle in a similar situation, and I must admit that this thought does not thrill my soul. But knowing that God is working to make me a perfect reflection of His Son does thrill my soul. So I guess I'm willing to have morning interruptions...but maybe I could have some coffee before we do this again.
Clearly still in development,
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. --Psalm 130:3-4