How Jesus, James and a Bath Shifted My Thinking
Near-boiling. That’s how I like my coffee and my baths. The hotter the better, please. Baths are a new thing for me. I don’t know if it means I’m getting old or finally enjoying washing myself more than once a week or that I just love the 20 minutes of silence. Maybe all of the above. Nonetheless, an evening bath has sorta become a ritual for me around here. Feels like a little daily gift.
Last night, I climbed into that needs-to-be-cleaned tub in a sad state. The temporary bliss from my recent Smoked Butterscotch Latte completely worn off. The resurfacing pain of not being chosen right there at the edge of my heart. Recently, I wasn’t picked. I wasn’t the first to be elected to serve in a position that I really felt qualified, and honestly, the best for. Not chosen. Second best. Just stopped being asked. Ouch.
So there I was in my few quiet moments alone. Sulking. Just Jesus and me. Well, and James. Yes, right there in that hot bath, James and the Giant Peach decided to make an entrance. I love how the Holy Spirit works. In that movie, you hear the spirited little boy say several times that his parents, who were sadly eaten by a giant rhinoceros at the beginning of the film, always told him to “look at it another way.” Smart people. Sounds like kingdom-thinking to me. So there I was, almost not ready to move on from my I-deserve-to-feel-this-way attitude, contemplating how I could look at this situation of being rejected in a different light.
In my current state, I was filled with thoughts like, “I’m obviously the most qualified and gifted for that position, this doesn’t make sense,” and “they sure are missing out,” and “this isn’t going to work as great without me.” What a selfish, prideful, worldly mindset. Wow.
"After moments of soaking in the water and soaking in His grace, I began to think thoughts like..."
After moments of soaking in the water and soaking in His grace, I began to think thoughts like, “don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought,” and “may those who were picked be blessed and find life serving there,” and “I’m not the solution to every problem and the fix for every issue,” and “consider others better than yourself.”
There really is another way to look at it. And it actually doesn’t even matter if those first sets of thoughts are correct. If you’re the best person for the job or not. There is an opposite spirit to be walked in. A kingdom mindset. A way of thinking that’s not of this world. If we want to grow in intimacy with Jesus and truly represent Him and His love well, then we don’t have a choice which set of thoughts we’re going to dwell on and operate in.
Tension means something is happening. In our struggle, there is always an upgrade.
One of my favorites, Graham Cooke, says that tension means something is happening. Moving. It means we’re close to something in the very purpose of God. And that in our struggle, there is always an upgrade available and waiting. Wow! That sure changes how I look at my discouraging and potentially damaging situations. The questions I need to ask every single time are: Who does God want to be for me in this? What does He want to show me? What’s He revealing about me that I didn’t even know was there? Did I ask for greater intimacy, to go deeper and lower still, and He’s delivering through this very situation? Glory to glory, sisters.
So, what began as woe-is-me, they-suck ends in show-me-more-of-who-I-really-am, Jesus! Don’t leave me alone, Jesus! Keep revealing and breaking through this heart of stone so I can know you more, Jesus!
Are you in the middle of a situation that needs to be looked at in another way? That needs some kingdom perspective? Maybe it’s a grouchy spouse, a difficult coworker, a job you can’t stand, a child you can’t seem to get through to, an answer that won’t seem to come or a situation that you really wish would have just turned out differently. Whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.