We all have certain things that are our “check engine lights”. You know, the things that say… something is just not right with me right now.
This morning, for me, it was throwing my burnt toast. I’ve been sick for two days, and haven’t really eaten anything, so this morning I was really looking forward to eating a piece of buttered toast. I know, exciting, right?!! I popped a piece of bread in the toaster. My seven-year-old came to me saying that he had no shoes to wear to school, because they were both covered in dirt. So, I grabbed a pair of shoes and went out on the deck to knock off the dirt. By the time I came back to my piece of toast, it was burnt. Fortunately, there was one more piece of bread left (besides the heels). I popped the last piece of bread in the toaster and walked away for just a minute to do something while the bread toasted. I came back, and of course the toast was burnt. I yanked it out of the toaster and chunked it into the sink with some dramatic grunts and maybe saying something like “stupid toast”. My husband and almost-14-year-old looked at me like “mmm hmmm, here she goes”.(Or at least, that’s what they were saying about me in my perfectly sane mind.) My husband suggested that I just go ahead and make another piece of toast, but all that was left were the heels. I didn’t want a heel. I examined the piece of toast in the sink…(and examined the sink, which happened to be clean and dry this morning). The toast was really only burnt on the top, so I went ahead and buttered it and took one bite. Yummm. My one-year-old daughter, who happened to be sitting on my hip, grabbed the delicious half-burnt toast out of my hand and proceeded to finish it for me. There went my much awaited breakfast. More grunts.
As I sat down at the table with my breakfast of coffee and no-toast, I started to think. I didn’t want to be having a meltdown at 7:something am over a piece of burnt toast. Why did I react by throwing it like a 2 year old having a temper tantrum?? I knew the answer…I hadn’t had my “quiet time”, i.e., time alone with Jesus. Ideally, I like to get up REALLY early and have a solid hour (at least) with just me and Jesus, before the chaos of the day begins. And a lot of times, if I don’t get my “ideal” quiet time, I end up going on with my day, thinking that anything less than an hour just won’t be enough. This morning, though, I went and got my Bible, came back to the table, and read a whopping 11 verses. The funny thing is, God knows when we have mornings when we sleep through our quiet time, etc. Psalm 139:2 says “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.” This is the same God who made 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish feed 5,000 men (not including the women and children present)!! (That story is found in Matthew 14:13-21). On mornings like this, God can take my measly 2 minutes and 11 verses and show up in my morning and turn it around! He did this morning, and He’s done it before!! All we have to do is give Him the opportunity! It’s the act of throwing our hands up and saying…LORD, I CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU!! John 15:5 says “”I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” It’s truth…apart from Him we can do nothing!!
When I start acting crazy like that, I am reminded that “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). A lot of the time, CRAZY is my indicator light. But not always. Sometimes it comes in the form of panic, anxiety, insecurity, irrationality. Again I have to reflect on 2 Timothy 1:7. A lot of this comes from believing the lies of the enemy, which manifests itself in any of the above behaviors, (and many more that aren’t listed)! Most of the time the enemy’s lies seep in when I haven’t started my day off in God’s Word.
We have to be aware of our “check engine lights”!! Do we know what they are?? We know when we’re hungry, so we eat. We know when we’re thirsty, so we drink. We know when we need gas in our car, or an oil change, and hopefully we get the gas before we break down or the oil change before we damage our engine!! The same is true for our spiritual “check engine lights”. We can’t ignore them!!! God’s Word is too vital to our survival!! We will “break down” or start to cause damage to ourselves and others if we don’t fill up on the Living Water (John 4:10), the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48).
Don’t be discouraged when you “throw your burnt toast”!! Remember Psalm 3:3…“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” He lifts our head!! Those days when we act crazy and feel like we can’t even look at Him, He lifts our head. Psalm 3:5 says “the LORD sustains me”.
Thank You, Father, for loving me even when I sleep through my quiet time with You and act crazy. Thank You for forgiving me for not reflecting Your glory when I act like a selfish child. Thank You for lifting my head and giving me a sound mind! Thank You for Your Word that sustains me. Apart from You I can do nothing!!