Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Gap

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you how God had been revealing Himself to me—in everything from lost earrings to scheduling conflicts. I was thankful. I still am.

But…

Why is there always a but?

But what happens when everything goes wrong?

We don’t like to talk about that part. Because it isn’t pretty.

Just a few days after that post, our upstairs air conditioning system failed. I started out OK, thankful it had held on through the summer and that our house hadn’t burned to the ground (which, disturbingly, is not hyperbole on my part).

But when it came time to pay the bill…

Well, this is the not-so-pretty part.

Paying that bill put me in a foul mood (”foul” might be an understatement). Never mind that I can see how God held off this expense until we were out from under a double mortgage, or how God kept the sparks in the fuse box and later in the A/C unit from causing a fire, or that the repair guys were able to come fix it the next day.

I had plans for that money. And those plans did not include replacing the upstairs air conditioner.

In my mind, that money was labeled “fence for the backyard” and “new furniture” and “pedicure”… well, you get the idea.

I tried to shake off the gloom and my mood had improved until I got in my van on the following Saturday afternoon and—I promise I’m not making this up—the A/C went out.

Seriously?

I felt sick to my stomach. And more than a little put out. (Again, “put out” might be an understatement).

When I got to church on Sunday morning I was reminded that we often have a gap—apparently in my case a huge gap—between our confessional beliefs (what we say we believe) and our functional beliefs (beliefs that guide our perception of events and influence our behavior).

I believe God is in control and that the money is His to do with as He sees fit. But that deep down belief that says that the money is mine reared its ugly head, accompanied by the notion that God should make my life easier since I’m trying to live for Him.

It’s been a sobering lesson. I’ve started noticing the gap—the disconnect between what my head knows and the way my heart responds. And when I find myself standing in that gap, I’m asking God to show me the sin—the deeper sin.

Like I said, it isn’t pretty.

My short temper with the kids shows the gap between my head knowledge that children are a gift from the Lord and my heart belief that these tiny tyrants are going to be the death of me because they are keeping me from doing what I WANT TO DO (write, read, sleep, etc).

My perfectionism reveals the gap between my belief that I have worth because of who I am in Christ and my lifestyle which indicates that I only believe I have worth if I never mess up.

The list goes on.

But God…

Oh, I’m so glad there’s always a but!

God doesn’t show me the gap and leave me defeated by the length and depth of the chasm. Instead, He points me to the Gospel. To the truth that my sin is great, but His grace is greater.

The Gospel changes everything.

Especially me.

And I am so thankful.
 
Ephesians 2:4-9 ~ But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)



Reactions:

7 comments:

Sandra said...

He's still workin' on me, too!!!

Vonda Skelton said...

Yep. Right there with you...in the gap...

Debra Koontz Traverso said...

Lynn, you've always been a good writer, but I am really enjoying watching you grow into a REALLY good writer. Love your plays on words in this piece. Keep it coming, ma' dear!

Alycia Morales said...

Wow, Lynn! I'm so right there with you. God's been dealing with my gaps, too. They've become quite noticeable in the past month or two as I've taken on homeschooling two of the four kids, tried to keep up with my editing schedule (the money maker), and tried to find time to write. Not to mention cooking and cleaning the sandbox we live in. It's been so crazy and all of my gaps are showing. BUT GOD. Amen. Thanks for this timely and on point post.
Alycia

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Sandra & Vonda - Thanks!
Deb - Love you!
Alycia - Praying for you - don't know how you juggle it all.

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful that there is a ' but God' for those times when I show my ' butt'. I just read that some organization is trying to outlaw spanking. Though I might wish God would forgo some of my tips to the woodshed, I'm thankful in the end (pardon the pun) that he who loves me most and best is faithful to discipline me, even when it feels like a swift kick our sound swat. Thanks for helping me remember that today. Tina Hunt

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Hi Tina - He does love us best!! Thanks for stopping by!