Not my finest moment. That would accurately define the kind of week that I have had. Have you ever had a fit of road rage only to realize a second later that that person knows you? Maybe you’ve went through a difficult season in your life that did not bring out the best in you. Remember a time when you felt that your friends and family didn’t get you? Have you ever done something that you wish you and everyone else could just forget? What about the time you dared to try a new fashion or hairstyle that no one else would embrace? Like the time I decided to cut myself some “whispy” bangs in the 8th grade (cringe).
Clearly, my “whispy” bangs did not turn out like I had hoped. I wish I could just forget about them, but they are forever cemented in this family photo. Oh, if only I could have a do-over (and a make-over, please!)
Then there are those times we don’t look so good because of someone else, like how my mother fixed my hair for picture day when I was in the 2nd grade! I mean, come on, mama! I was already missing my two front teeth!!! I am sure she thought I looked adorable when I left the house that morning, but my ponytails just didn’t hold up very well.
Well, we can all take comfort in the fact that these kind of things happen to everyone. Looking back it seems as if my life has been laced together by a lot of my less than finer moments. Apparently though, I am in good company. Just look at these guys:
1) Moses. He so wanted to help the Hebrew slaves that he murdered an Egyptian slave-overseer. To make matters worse, the Hebrew slaves didn’t even appreciate his extreme gesture.
2) David. Here was a man who was destined to be king of Israel that at no fault of his own was chased out of town to hide in caves from the current reigning King Saul. I’ve always wondered how he thought he could recover from what some may have been considered cowardice. If I had been David, I would have thought, “Lord, how can I ever have respect as the king of Israel when all of Israel knows I am out here hiding from this lunatic?”
3) Paul. The Apostle was well known for his reputation of persecuting Christians, including Stephen, one of most well-respected men of the church. It is amazing how greatly God used such a man despite his attack on Christians
4) Peter. Paul publicly rebuked Peter for snubbing the Gentile Christians, not to mention, Peter was the one whom also denied Christ – 3 times!
When I consider the possible heaviness of these men’s hearts as they may have looked back at their predicaments, I believe God gave each one of them peace. As my heart was heavy this week, and I spent additional time in prayer, God did something for me that He has done in previous stressful moments of my life; he deposited supernatural peace into my spirit. I hope you have experienced this before. There you are, in the middle of a storm and all of a sudden, it is as if your inner person is lifted up and reassured. I think this is how a little fretting baby must feel when her mother picks her up and consoles her.
The kind of supernatural peace that passes all understanding that is mentioned in Phil 4:7 is more than just a feeling of peacefulness; it is an overwhelming, undeserved, sweet, hopeful and joyful peace. At 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday, this kind of peace hit my soul and I knew that everything was going to be alright even though I did not know how things would work out in the end.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
God can take you with your less-than-finer-moments and use you despite them. Don’t get stuck on one, two or even ten of your less-than-finer-moments and let Satan (your real opposer) beat you down. If you are committed to Jesus and firm in your faith, you can embrace the fact that those moments are not the end-all, be-all of who you are! Be a good steward of the difficult times. As Christians we often think of stewardship only when blessings are flowing in, but we should equally manage the negative situations in our lives as well.
So, whether you have been right or wrong, led or misled, understood or misunderstood, take that opportunity to teach a lesson. Teach on the lesson of responding (not reacting) to others in love, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph 5:21); and in employing humility. I know that I am nothing more than a wretch saved by grace. If you can handle these moments with grace you will see that in God’s economy, His redeeming love takes those not-so-fine moments and uses them for His glory!
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Gina Duke is the author of “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press). She would love to have you subscribe to her blog at GinaDuke.com. Look for her on Pinterest – Gina Duke / Churchtown Ministries. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheGinaDuke