Friday, July 19, 2013

Better Than A Million Quiet Times

Oftentimes when I think about my sanctification I have a cookie-cutter view of how God should conform me to Jesus' image. I think that godliness is akin to having hour-long devotionals and solid daily prayer time. However, God is challenging my thinking in significant ways by doing some serious heart work on me in this season of life. 

I love routine. I thrive on consistency, scheduling, and to-do list accomplishments. But recently I think I have come to love my schedule a bit too much. Since having Hudson almost six months ago, my daily plans have been consistently foiled. As I have mentioned before, Hudson is not a good sleeper. It has taken me a while to embrace that fact (and it is still a hard pill to swallow). He just does not sleep well, plain and simple. He has flucuated in his sleep difficulties from no naps, to multiple night-wakings, to breaking free of his swaddle, to rebelling against napping. All of this has been a serious source of frustration for me. Just this morning, after about a week of inconsistency and new changes to his sleep "style," I thought that I had had at least some success in his morning nap. I was proud of my seeming "success." As a result, I felt encouraged and joyful. But when he woke up after just 5 minutes of sleep, all those feelings went right down the drain. Why was I so frustrated all of a sudden? Why was I so surprised that he was awake? Why was I suddenly grumpy, irritable, and upset? I know why; the problem is my sin! 

Recently, I listened to a sermon by Tullian Tchividjian about his book "Glorious Ruin" that discusses the gospel in terms on the suffering that we all experience in this life. He talked about how unmet expectations are a very real part of daily suffering. I think that this pointedly describes one root cause of my frustration with Hudson's sleeping--my desire to control my circumstances. Since I function so well when I have consistency in my daily life (which is NOT bad!), I can become dependent upon my expectation that things will go "my way," and base whether or not I have a good day in accordance with how my expectations pan out. God has shown me, through my son, that God is the only one who is sovereign and in complete control. When I attempt to force control on my circumstances and become upset when my control is thwarted, I am in effect trying to be God. God is not pleased when I do this, because He alone is omnipotent and I am not.

Moreover, I have an idol of my schedule, and God is revealing that to me by forcing his hand of providence to intervene with my set plans. When what I did not expect to happen (e.g. Hudson waking up from his nap) happens, I end up getting frustrated with Hudson; I am really bowing down to my schedule/routine and making what I want to happen in my day the ultimate factor of a "good" day or "bad" day. This is idolatry for two reasons: 1) I am worshipping what is not God, and 2) I am basing my joy on what is not God. 

Thankfully, I have a good, sovereign, and gracious God who will not allow me to stay in this state of sin. Though I am discouraged when I see my sin so richly on display in my anger and frustration, He graciously reminds me that He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. God is so kind to not let me worship my schedule, my circumstances, or myself. He is too good and knows exactly what I need. For me, in this season of life, God is choosing to conform me to the image of Jesus by not giving me what I want (my perfect schedule!). He does this for my good and for His glory. I love him for his faithfulness and am thankful that He is so patient with me. 

I know that I recently written A LOT about this subject, but such is my life right now. I am learning the way in which God is choosing to sanctify me doesn't have to be through those lengthy Bible reading sessions or uninterrupted times of prayer. But since God is infinitely wiser than I am, I trust that this way of sanctifying me is better than a million quiet times. 


  1. I struggle with this constantly and I tell people I feel like I am running in a hamster wheel and I definitely relate to the little guy! For example I was studying most of the day (I call myself a non-traditional student) and was very happy to stay awake the entire period.

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