The end of the year. I am tired of school (I am tired from school), I am tired of the people I see every single day (and yet I miss them desperately when I am away from them), and my brain is actually just a pool of liquid and I don’t know which way is left and which way is right. I’m so done and tired and excited for the summer. But, my wits are frayed beyond comprehension. I have bitterness growing in the depths of my heart and it is growing out from there, reaching into my brain, my bones, my blood. I’m boiling with anger at every little thing.
And then tonight as I am procrastinating from a very big assignment that is a very big deal, I decided to read 1 John 3. And then God called. me. out. Verses nine and ten literally say, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
What am I doing? Why am I so angry? What about my workload and end of the semester stress sets me above you by any means?
The answer to those are simple: I am letting the devil in because I am tired and my guard is weak and he’s bringing it down. I am letting him control my thoughts because being mean is so much easier when I’m tired.
I keep reading 11-15, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
The hate inside me is killing people, it’s condemning people who don’t know the Gospel to Hell because I can’t show them kindness or love or the Gospel. At this point in the reading, I’m pretty bummed out because dang son, I am a murderer! But I keep on reading.
19-24, “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”
I bolded 21 and 22 because that is our hope. God knows everything! He knows that we are being attacked and beaten down and dragged through the mud. And when, like it says in verse 22, we have confidence before God, we please him and we get what we ask for.
What, then, does it cost to choose love in the next seven days of our life, the last seven days of the year? NOTHING because we are receiving favor from God. And that honestly sounds better to me than getting a good grade on an exam (and yet we should do everything with excellence because that’s what God says so I guess I’ll try).
Thank you Jesus that finals week is only a week. Thank you for giving me reasons to be joyful and to release the anger and hurt and pain inside of me. And also thank you for getting me tickets to see the Red Sox. I’m not in a valley, I love Jesus more and more everyday that I get reminded of his love, sacrifice, and power over the grave. I’m just in a rough patch, a rough week where making time for prayer and reading my Bible is hard to come by. But friends, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and his name is Jesus (also, summer vacation).