Car Rides with God (part 2)

In part 1, I explained that God's power evident to me on Saturday was, on one hand, gentle. On the other hand, God's power was humbling as well.

I read manuscripts all the time at my job about people sensing God's presence. To be honest, I've heard it so much, that stories similar to what I'm sharing have sometimes lost their full meaning to me. I think I've become somewhat desensitized to the powerful way God can make Himself known in people's lives. So as I was sensing God's presence, I was so grateful and at the same time so apologetic, feeling undeserving to be near Him.

This portion of my ride with God was confession. I was reminded by His Holy Spirit that I am quick to think of God as an easy-to-hang-out-with deity. And He is. Yet the key word is deity. No matter how casually I approach Him most of the time, He is almighty, all-powerful GOD! I need to be humbled before Him and recognize who He is -- all that I can comprehend about Him and all the mystery that I cannot comprehend. I need to approach Him with reverence and awe.

Tears came as I allowed myself to fully feel the weight of my sin. One of my biggest stumbling block is the way that I feel so self-righteous at times, thinking that my sins aren't as "bad" as others and not really needing "that much" of God's grace. What a ridiculous thought pattern! "Not that much" of God's grace? As if there are levels of His suffering -- that He somehow only took perhaps one nail for me and the rest of the pain was reserved for "worse sinners"?

No, I was reminded in full force that I need every drop of blood that was shed. Sin of any and all kind separates me from a relationship with God. When I seek His forgiveness, I need to stop and remember what my "please forgive me" request really cost. What is easy for me to say was not easy for Jesus.

I was also humbled by my selfishness. Before Kaelyn was born, I prayed that her birth would force me, as a mom, to think beyond my own wants and desires. And that does happen at times. But I still slip into old patterns of self-centeredness. I do this especially with Steve. He may see my best, but he also sees my worst. Such is marriage! So God and I had a long talk about selfishness and the many places it's at the root of my problems.

All in all, I felt my burdens lifted that night. It felt good. And it made me realize how important it is for me to be that honest, that bare, before God. I need to do so more often.

Now if I was a good storyteller, I'd end there, with a "happily ever after" type feeling. But then I would not be an honest person. I must tell you that as great as Saturday night was, Sunday evening was the pits. I had a cranky baby on my hands, and the afternoon had put me in a foul mood. No excuse, I know! But I allowed my crankiness to enter into my being, and I said and did some really selfish things that evening, aimed in Steve's general direction.

I was so angry with myself afterward! How could I not even go 24 hours after confessing my selfishness to God before I was knee deep in it again? My perfectionist side thought I'd at least "conquer" such sin for a day!

Such a reminder that God's grace is always necessary, and I will always be a sinner. I may grow and strive, but I'll never be able to let my guard down. And I'll never be able to do it on my own. Good thing His compassionate mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-26).