This past month has been laughably, a disaster. So many things not going the way they should. So many set-backs and time-stealers. Like the night the heater went out. Just as I was sitting down to work. We brainstormed, my husband went into action, I got back to work. Then my daughter started throwing up. Everywhere. On her bed. On me. On the floor. In the bathtub.
But what do you do? Lots of laundry, my friend, that’s what. Then we cranked the space heaters, and bundled up for some good ‘ol Colorado winter camping.
Then there was the day the snow shovel broke cleaning up the first, pretty darn good, snowfall of the year. Not a big deal, right? Except when a new shovel isn’t in the budget this month.
There were other things, but the point is that with all of the time-stealers, necessary distractions, and frustrations, I have not had a meltdown. There have been times in life when lesser problems would have been a much bigger deal for me. This isn’t an instant transformation. It has been a process.
The only thing I can attribute this transformation to is God’s grace. Grace is God’s power to live life as He intended. He does not intend for us to have meltdowns, or revert to chocolate-eating-hysterics when unfortunate circumstances show up.
I recently read these verses in Exodus:
 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.  “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become much too numerous for us.  Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”  So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor…  But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites… Exodus 1:8-12
The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied. Isn’t that incredible!? The more our enemy tries to sit on us, squish us, and make us break – the more blessing, joy and peace comes oozing out of us. What was meant to crush and destroy us, actually causes us to multiply as more life flows out of us.
What is inside of you will come out of you when the pressure is on. This is why spending time with God, and connecting to a local church is so important! It keeps you full, whole, and healthy on the inside. Then whatever circumstances, pressures, or bad news presses on you from the outside – you are not crushed. Not only are you not crushed, the tighter you are sqeezed, the more your life multiplies!
You don’t have to react out of fear.
You don’t have to live controlled by anger.
You don’t have to be crushed under hopelessness.
The fruit that the Spirit brings to your life is more than nice thoughts about how we should act and treat others. These are the things that the Spirit will birth in and through you as you yield to, and become intimate with Him. The purpose is not to live ‘nice,’ or ‘happy’ Christian lives. The purpose is to live free, powerful lives. Free from fear, anger and hopelessness. Powerful to walk in joy, love, and peace in any circumstance. It’s an inside job. It will change what comes out of you when life comes at you full force. You will find yourself loving the unloveable, and being gentle with those that are harsh.
 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:6-9
This power, this grace, comes form walking with God day after day, year after year. Power comes from choosing to believe his Word above bad news. Strength comes from choosing his peace over my emotions. Pay attention to how you react when life gets tough. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in those areas that aren’t what they need to be. He’s your personal coach, and mentor!
At the end of the day, I pray you can laugh when bad things happen – trusting God to make something great out of it all!