The three of us sat silently at the lunch table waiting to pray to give thanks for our food, all the while our hearts are full of begrudging thoughts (yes, imagine the ugly contradicting scene!). This is not what I want my home to be like. This is not what I want the atmosphere to be when this house has worshipers of the Living God residing in it. When the more glorious truth is that the Living God Himself resides within those worshipers!
My heart broke and was softened by the Spirit as I looked into the hurting eyes of my oldest daughter - she didn't want our home to be marked with impatience, divisiveness, and selfishness either. Something had to change. Our hearts had to change. My heart, as their mom, had to be the first to change.
By God's grace, I (with a gentle tone this time) confessed that I had been impatient and selfish with them, and asked if I could pray with them to seek God's and their forgiveness. So, together at the table we prayed. My daughter joined in and freely confessed her sins from that morning and we both asked God for the strength, obedience, and joy to start afresh for the next half of our day. Afterwards, something marvelous happened...the weight of sin and the crushing feeling of guilt and anger and selfishness had lifted. We talked, laughed, and ate with joy and peace. It wasn't manufactured. It was not our "best effort" to do better. It was Christ fulfilling His promise to "forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) when we confess our sins to Him.
The afternoon continued as normal, there were disagreements among the girls and there were opportunities for Mommy to become impatient. But instead of leaping to anger and irritability, we all chose grace and love. One great example from the afternoon, was while the girls were playing with the laundry basket, Ella accidently hit Catelyn in the head with it. Typically that would begin World War III, but instead, to my delight (and certainly the Lord's) Ella immediately and repeatedly apologized, then she placed her hand on the owie and prayed for God to heal the pain. This was the first time she had ever done this herself (she has seen us do it for her many times).
Both Catelyn and I were so moved and impacted by this act of grace. We thanked God for amazing us for all the grace He had been lavishing upon our mundane day. Who are we? We are just a normal family, dealing with normal issues, on a normal Monday, on a normal week. But God in His abundant grace chose to meet us in our normal house, on this normal day to do an abnormal work in our heart and home...because He loves us.
"...repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19
I love that our situation didn't have to be something huge and spectacular for God to intervene and interact with us, but that it was in the mundane, normal day that we got to see and experience the Presence of the Lord and felt His refreshing Spirit fill our hearts once again. Thank you, Lord.
How about you? Are you having a rough day - one that needs refreshing from the Lord?