Sunday morning felt magical. Half a foot of snow had fallen overnight, making the morning fresh and bright. The spring birds were singing despite all the snow. It was quiet. Calm. So beautiful.
My heart was full of praise to my Creator. I breathed in the air, came inside and felt more praises spring up in my heart. The house was still quiet. I enjoyed some tea and worship music. What a wonderful beginning to my day!
Fast forward two hours.
We were late for church. This was owing to several factors.
1. We have a little guy who seems to live in his own time zone. This is often a challenge, but doubly so when we are in a rush and needing him to get dressed.
2. Huge snowfall. Lots of shoveling and snow clearing required before we can perform the car jockeying necessary to get our van onto the street.
3. A mouse. Dawson was picking up our “calendrier” from the floor and discovered a little injured mouse hiding underneath it. This caused quite a stir as we dealt with that situation.
4. My hubby was on communion duty this morning and needed to be there early. I was singing so I needed to be there early. Half an hour makes a big difference on a Sunday morning with the snow, the unforeseen mouse situation, and the children.
All of these factors added up to big stress. And some big anger in the driveway as my husband and I worked to get the snow cleared, the kids buckled in the van and cars moved onto the street. There was a shovel thrown. Someone hit. Tears. Quick apologies.
James 1:19-20 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
We finally set off. But anger takes a while to dissipate. Yes, I simmered and stewed on the inside on the way to God’s house. My lips were quick with harsh words. My heart felt hard; hardened with stress, with anger, and with the frustration of the morning.
Gal.5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Where was my fruit?? M.I.A. Missing. In. Action.
At church my husband went to set up communion as he was late. I was left supervising the children as they (slowly) got out of their snow clothes and needed help getting into their shoes. I was feeling very frazzled because I needed to be in the sanctuary practising. Like, 15 minutes before.
How was this frazzled, frustrated, angry heart to lead God’s people in song on a Sunday morning?
Someone took my children to their Sunday school rooms for me. The pastor prayed peace over us as worship leaders in a moment before the service. And this is where the miracle began.
As I began to sing, joy exploded in my heart.
How could God bless me with a sense of His presence and joy when half an hour before I had been so angry at my husband? Why would God give me that gift of joy when I had been disobedient to His word and had likely sinned either in thought, or in attitude, in my angry state?
And yet the worship poured out from my heart and flooded my spirit.
What grace is this? That God would gift me with joy even as my heart was not yet right?
That is my only explanation. The gift of grace. We don’t deserve the gifts that God bestows upon us. But he still blesses us with gifts.
Over the next 40 days we will remember the biggest gift of grace ever given:
Jesus… who gave his very life for us.