Friday, August 26, 2011

Saving the Best for Last

The past couple weeks have been a bit rough for me us. I hadn't been feeling well until this week. Katherine was sick the first week that I wasn't feeling well. During that time, I noticed that I had become quite the irritable parent when Katherine was not obeying or listening. Instead of my usual verbal warning, time-out, and spanking sequence. It seemed that there were little or no verbal warnings, time-outs seemed to be a lot more frequent, and a couple of times it seemed that spanking went first. Raising my voice at her was also in the repetoire. Bath time seemed to be the most frustrating due to the nature of it being right before bedtime and of course, "No!(as she throws something out of frustration)...and my tummy hurts...I'm thirsty...and I'm not tired (as her eyes are drooping, and she is whining and crying about seemingly pretty much everything)...or we're going to go to bed later" interrupted the flow of the evening and made my stress levels even higher because I was exhausted, tired, and wanted to go to bed.

Instead of asking God for guidance on how to deal with the situations at the moment, I went straight to my own ways by raising my voice (which only seemed to make things worse), being demanding with her (which didn't make things any easier), and getting angrier by the second. By choosing my own ways at first, many of the encounters with Katherine felt like I was struggling more (e.g. the more I raised my voice, the more obstinate she became). At one point, I finally asked myself and God, "What do I do, how do I handle this?" and God said, "How would Aaron handle this situation?" I thought for a few moments and then trusted in the example that Aaron had previously illustrated. I began to tone down my voice to a loving one, relax, be more patient, more kind, and even made games out of some of the tense moments. After asking God for guidance, He showed me His ways. In Isaiah it says, "For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (55:9)"

Mary, Jesus' mother, was a guest at a wedding celebration and during the festivities of the wedding the wine supply ran out. Mary spoke with Jesus about the problem. He turned six stone water pots (back in those days the pots were used for ceremonial washing and held between 20 to 30 gallons) into wine and when the master of ceremonies tasted it he said, “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

Just as Mary turned to Jesus first about her problem, so must we. For if we "save the best for last" many times we end up more frustrated, angry, left in bad situations, we become bitter, hurt, depressed, and upset. However, when we allow Him to work in our situations, He will give us His grace and mercy.

We thank you Father God for your mercy and grace; forgive us when we don't come to you first. Give us the wisdom and understanding to do your will in our lives. We love you! Share this message with others, encourage them to trust in the Lord. Let them know when they put Him first, He will honor and guide their requests.

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