This morning I was grumpy.
Just a little.
It does happen sometimes ;-).
Fortunately for the wider global population, I was all-alone in a hire car, driving-with-no-stops to Perth for meetings, and no one else really got to experience my bad mood, furrowed brow or large headache.
So you’ll have to take my word for it.
I was grumpy!
Even more fortunately, my Little-Miss-Grumpy-impersonation had lifted by the time the 2 1/2 hour drive had reached it’s conclusion.
My colleagues should have been thankful.
Praise God for great worship and stunning scenery!
Now, nothing in particular had happened to cause my bad mood.
I was a bit tired.
I had a bit of a headache.
I had to get up at 4am because of the central-belt-location of my meeting.
I had a distracted mind because we were going to be discussing some big-organisational-changes at said meeting and-I-knew-it-would-take-some-talking-through.
The morning was glorious sunshine, but being so short meant the sun shone directly into my eyes and I couldn’t see a great deal.
Did I say I had a bit of a headache?
And I was left feeling grumpy.
So as I drove down the A9, worship music blaring, praying earnestly that God would change my grumpy heart into a joyful one, and give me a better attitude and perspective, I began to think about how these human moods that we can so easily justify as just being normal, can really rob us of having a thankful heart.
They can rob us of living in the reality of the riches of God’s grace.
Of knowing we are the apple of His eye.
They will happen, but we need to remember the greater reality.
And press into a place of greater perspective.
My best friend is living abroad just now, and they are in a situation that I just know has the makings of a wonderful sermon illustration.
So let’s try it out for size…
They have a British bank card, that was meant to work abroad.
Everyone said it would work abroad.
But it won’t.
So they have all this money in a bank account, ready to be used and spent and withdrawn.
But no way of getting it.
Because the bank card just reads ‘error’ when they put it into an ATM.
They are equipped with all the financial resources they could really need, but there is a practical disconnect when it comes to putting these resources into action.
Now, that is an error.
But so often we can live like that as Christians.
We have all of the wealth of the riches of the wonder and glory and grace of Almighty God sitting in the metaphorical heavenly bank, but we’re living like spiritual paupers because our heart attitude reads ‘error’ when we approach our circumstances.
Mine could have read ‘grumpy error’ today.
Because God has done everything to be close to us.
But we can keep Him at arms length because of our attitude or our sin or our unwillingness to spend time with Him.
And if there is distance between us, then it’s coming from me, because He has removed every barrier to be with…. me.
God has done everything to be close to me.
And just like my friend is having to be solution minded and flexible and creative in order to access-the-inaccessible-money they need to live, sometimes we have to think about putting time and effort into getting our hearts right with God.
And just like my friend skyped me yesterday to get emergency-assistance in contacting banks, and making plans, and finding solutions, sometimes we just need to run to God in our grumpiness or our negative attitude and go, ‘Papa, I can’t do this without You. I need Holy Spirit to sort out my heart and help me love You rightly. I need a thankful heart rooted in the riches of Your grace.’
Because He takes us from the ashes and seats us with princes.
He really does.
It’s what He loves to do.
And even on grumpy days, the sun still shines.
And for your amusement… Here is a photo of me looking particularly grumpy…
There’s a reason it shouldn’t happen often!!
Or should I say…