“Mom! Dad’s being impatient with me again!”
“Honey, why don’t you be nice to me?”
“Dad, be gentle with me!”
The familiar cries of my family, all documenting my crude and impulsive behaviors. I fail so often, sometimes I wonder if I am really saved? How could Jesus Christ be working in my life when I exhibit such pettiness, even toward my own family?
The prophet Jonah had to be swallowed by a great fish, spending 3 days in its belly, before he finally repented of his pride and arrogance and sought God’s forgiveness and obeyed His commands. I would have thought that after such a horrific experience, Jonah would never again let those selfish thoughts enter his mind. Yet just a short time later, Jonah is bitter that God showed mercy upon the thousands of people in Nineveh and spared the city.
Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.
And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Jonah 4:3-4 (ESV)
It is easy for me to shake a finger at Jonah and question why he would be so petty. But I need to look in the mirror. God has showered me with His mercy, countless times. After each time, the “glow” of His love remains with me for a few days, and then, I lapse into my usual selfish and prideful behavior. I am impatient with my family, inconsiderate of other’s needs, and looking to satisfy my desires first.
I am saved by grace through the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The sanctification, the setting aside of my life for God’s purposes, began the moment I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and will continue until I am in His presence in Heaven. I lament that the process is not complete or progressing at a quicker pace. But I am, once again, exhibiting my selfish desires to act like God and take matters into my own hands. I want to be completely sanctified, now, but it is my sinful nature that keeps putting up roadblocks.
It takes time.
God continues to work in my life demonstrating to myself and others, that sanctification is a lifelong process. Sometimes the transformations are dramatic but most of the time, the Holy Spirit is working within me, slowly and inexorably transforming me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. I fail, many times, and disappoint and exasperate my family. But I pray that God will also grant to my family and other believers who interact with me, the same grace that He extends to me.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.