Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crabby or Holy?

We landed in Barbados yesterday afternoon, picked up our rental car and drove to a well-worn but clean resort that my hubby had purchased for a generous discount in a silent auction. After unpacking, we found a restaurant then came back to our room prepared for some decent sleep. We’d flown all night and were exhausted. 

My hubby jumped in the shower and realized he was not alone. Up on the shower wall was a cockroach almost as large as a mouse. Neither one of us panic over bugs, but we wanted this one dead and gone. The roach had other ideas. He took a leap and scrambled under the bed. At that, we decided we didn’t want even the threat of it crawling around while we were asleep. The management came with spray and no guarantees, and a key to another room. They suggested we at least sleep in that new room, which we did, then moved our belongings here this morning. 

How can faith be practical in a situation like this? Today’s devotional verses say this…
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13–16)
Being sober-minded yet prepared for action does not happen as easily when I miss a night of sleep. This is why “grace” is included in these verses. Only the grace of God can keep anyone thinking soberly during the unexpected events of life, even little things like bugs and total exhaustion. 

Yet these verses talk also of a future grace, that grace that will be mine when I see Jesus. Sitting here in a smaller room than the one with the bug, and not as nice as the one with the bug, just the thought of seeing Jesus lifts my spirits. Instead of grumbling and annoyance at the events of the past twelve hours, which are “passions of my former ignorance” I am starting to feel that joy that only the Holy Spirit can give.

These verses also say to be holy in all my conduct. That word means pure and blameless, but it also means “other than” as it describes God who is far beyond what we are. He is so pure and blameless that we can scarcely imagine His holiness. For me, that means that when irritations happen, I’m not to react to them as I would have before God changed my life. Instead, I’m to be like God, who I cannot imagine getting in a flap over either a big bug or having to move down the hall so He could sleep without the presence of a big bug.

Faith is practical. Instead of feeling out of joint over this little bump in our vacation, the grace of God is giving me a different attitude. We are where He wants us. The day will be brighter because He is our God and we are under His care. 

Bugs or no bugs, holiness is about what goes on in my heart. Because Jesus lives there, I am lifted above my former passions and self-centered attitudes. Holiness is not only my calling, but entirely possible because of the grace of God.

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