Agreeing with Love: Frustration
What if every moment of irritation (or frustration) is an invitation to agree with Love?
A few days ago I called a local store to find out the price of an item. I wanted to know if it was worth making the drive, or if ordering it online would be less expensive. The sales person that picked up the phone responded in an irritated tone and told me they couldn't disclose that kind of information.
"Okay...?" I said. "Well, uuhhh that's great. Thanks I guess." And then I hung up the phone. I could feel my chest getting hot. I was really frustrated and began allowing my emotion of frustration to lead me.
I imagined showing up at the store and getting in that sales persons face saying, "What's your problem!?"
And then, as I was sitting there, only a few seconds after hanging up the phone, I heard God's tender invitation…
"Nathaniel, will you allow this moment to stop My Flow in you?"
Or in other words, "Here you are. In a moment where My Way, or the rejection of My Way, is your choice. It’s up to you. This is the very moment where all your words and teachings about Me either get tossed aside or they become part of you. Will you agree with Me in this moment to release your frustration and bless this person I love?"
I had a decision to make.
Jesus will always lead us to bless those who irritate us. This is His Way. This is the Way of Love.
And so, it's in our moments of frustration that we have the most real choice to agree or disagree with Love. Will we embrace the Way of Jesus and allow it to be our response, or will it be demoted as secondary to our emotion? Will we allow the anger to rule us? If so, we should recognize that we're willingly giving ourselves to another master. A master other than the LORD. There are no neutral moments, every moment matters. Every moment is one of opportunity.
1 Corinthians 3v16 (NASB) says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
And while there's a ton of context to this statement, I want us to make a simple observation from the phrase, "dwells in you." Like a cup full of water, God fills us. God flows in and through us, and us in God.
And so agreeing with this Flow, or following the Way of Jesus, is the very essence of our life as Jesus people… it’s our ongoing response towards God.
His question to us is always the same:
“Will you agree with Me in this moment?”
“Will you allow My Flow in and through you?”
“Will you trust that My Way is best?”
“Will you reject My Way?”
“Will you choose what you think is best?”
And this, no matter the specific (frustration, anger, lust, greed, pride, etc.) is the ongoing work (or our participation) in following Jesus.
So today, may we learn to hear, the always here, Holy Spirit of God's voice in the moments where we're tempted to step off the path of Love and onto the cliff of slavery to ourselves and to the one who seeks for us to be ruined. Neutral moments do not exist. Because you matter, your moments matter.
Rhythm of Practicing Peace
Picture yourself as a child walking through a store while Daddy God loving walks you through the aisles, tenderly holding your hand.
Something on one of the shelves catches your eyes as you stop and begin to desire it. Daddy God, still softly holding your hand, kneels down and says to you, "Beloved, I know that thing looks good to you, but I want to show you something better in the next aisle. I have a surprise waiting for you."
Your eyes move from the thing on the shelf to Him, looking Daddy God in the eyes. You want what He says to be true, but because you can't see what He's talking about, it means you'd have to trust Him. You'd have to let go of how you feel in this moment and give your attention and action to His promise of something better.
So will you let go of what you want in this moment and let Him take you to the next aisle? Will you trust His Way really is better?
Prayer: God, you are good. You’re always good. And in my moments of frustration, I want to learn to agree with You. I want to learn to trust that Your Way is better than mine. Thank you for being with me. For always being with me. Thank you for telling me the best way even when I don't see it yet. Here’s my pride… I want to trade it for trust. I want to believe You. I lay down my right to push against you with my opinions and reach for Your hand again God. I’m ready to be Your beloved again.
Action: The next time you find yourself getting frustrated, remember it's a beautiful moment where you can choose to agree with Love. See it as a gift. Fix your eyes on Jesus and trust His Way is better. Ask Him what it looks like to remain (believe, hope, agree with) in Him in that moment.
Practice: Listen to this song and allow yourself to be loved.