9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
Grace all the way
Wed May 15, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
Divine Interruptions at Bedtime
Impatience Is Not a “Lesser” Sin
I’m often astonished by my lack of patience. I’m also convicted by it, as Paul establishes patience as a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22).
By implication, my lack of patience is a work of the flesh that often manifests in “enmity, strife . . . fits of anger . . . dissensions, divisions . . . and things like these” (Galatians 5:19–21)—i.e. things that often get lost as I focus on the “bigger” sins Paul mentions. You know, orgies and stuff.
Rather than leave me wallowing in my impatience and anxiety, Jesus instead lovingly and actively works in my life.
The eternal consequences of my lack of patience, and the “works of the flesh” to which it gives birth, are not minor. As Paul sternly reminds us, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).
I don’t know about you, but these types of verses sure make me anxious (which is another sin and another story).
This is why I’m thankful that Jesus loves me so much that, rather than leave me wallowing in my impatience and anxiety, he instead lovingly and actively works in my life to sanctify me and make me more like him.
The Two-Year-Old Was Winning the Battle of Wills
Most recently, he’s been doing so through divine interruptions in the form of my younger son, Dylan, not taking to bedtime so well.
For over a month, my two-year-old has been bucking. We’ve had some epic battles in trying to get him to stay in bed and go to sleep. At their best, these battles last a half hour. At their worst, they last upwards of two hours. I’d like to think this is not good for an impatient man . . . but it is.
My initial strategy was battle of the wills: mine against Dylan’s. Unfortunately, he was winning. Tiring of the continual interruptions and having to get up time and time again to place him back in bed (he was interrupting my Facebook and Twitter time!), I eventually resorted to camping on his floor with my iPhone till he would fall asleep, continually saying, “Close your eyes,” in what I assumed was a calm, controlled voice.
When that failed, I finally resorted to lying with him on his bed, saying the same close-your-eyes mantra over and over. No luck.
My patience continued to grow thin.
The Gift of a Divine Interruption
Then God quietly revealed to me one night why all this was happening. He was growing me to be patient and to rely on him. I was strongly convicted that the entire bedtime battle had been one of my self-will rather than one of quiet, patient reliance on Jesus in prayer.
In my head came this thought, “Not once have you prayed to ask for my help in this. It’s time to start praying.”
Slowly, and thankfully, God has been using Dylan’s interruptions and defiance to turn my heart towards Jesus—and ultimately toward Dylan.
These moments are precious, and I no longer wish to squander them.
The day will come when Dylan will go to sleep on his own, and I will lose these precious periods of simply needing to be with him and by him as he fights sleep. Sadly, I’ve wasted countless hours battling against him rather than being with him, praying for him, and battling for him.
God used Dylan to provide for me a divine interruption that turned my focus from the present and my desires to praying for my son as I wait for him to sleep. I pray that he’ll sleep, but I also pray that he will grow in Christ to become a mighty man of God. I pray for his future wife. I pray that I’ll be a better dad. I sit quietly and enjoy simply staring at this great gift God has given me.
These are moments when the present touches eternity. They are precious, and I no longer wish to squander them.
In all our lives, God presents us with such divine interruptions. They are beautiful gifts of a divine and loving God. My prayer for you is that you too will not squander them but accept them and revere them. Just as they are for me, they are making you more like Jesus.