So, Paul Tripp has this example from "How People Change" where he is illustrating that what is in our hearts comes out. (Side note, he is going to be speaking at a conference at The Village this weekend if you're in the DFW area). Tripp tells of an afternoon where he drives home from work, content to be spending a nice quiet evening with his family; he even stops by the grocery store to make one of his favorite meals. He gets home and has to run in 18 different directions--taking one kid here, finishing a project with another, having his wife have to go somewhere else. He, like many dads before him, reacts in frustration... lashing out at his wife and kids. Familiar story, but the big question is, why? Why did he lash out? He states, because someone infringed upon his comfort. The lashing out was what was already on the inside of his heart; something threatened the god of his heart.
I thought about this example all day today. I even posted a tweet about it this morning. Here is a snapshot of our day:
- Car was dropped off at the shop last night after having one of my community group leaders jump it off; one hour later, I receive a call from my wife that my three year old has a urinary tract infection. We have one car for the next day. This is going to be brilliant.
- Daughter screams throughout the night. I'm not talking a little whimper, but a fully on banshee wail every time that she has to use the restroom. Seeing your children go through that kind of pain... wrecks a man's heart. Having that shrill scream... wreck's a man's sleep.
- Remember, one car. Daughter has to go to pediatrician. I have a full day of meetings. One car. We get her to go to the restroom in a cup, so that she won't have to have a catheter at the doctor's office. I drop wife and kiddo off at the pediatrician. A family friend is graciously on standby.
- Mechanic calls while in route to Doc's office, it's going to be $1,400 to fix my car. It's a 2002 Jetta with tons of miles on it. Worth it?
- Meanwhile, at the Doc's office - Urine sample didn't work. They have to coerce her to pee in a cup again. More wailing. Wife is at the Dr's office for 4.5 hours. I'm in meetings.
- Day of meetings; several beat your head against the wall situations
- Car still not done at end of the day.
- More wailing when I call my wife on the phone. I at least had a workout reprieve to blow off some steam on the way home (thanks Andy). She was with Bella all day long. OH, the wife is full term with our second child. She could go into hard labor at any moment. Yeah, one car.
- Drive to pharmacy to pick up prescription. Wait. Wait. Wait in line for a long time. Get to head of line, then the computer freezes up. Wait. Wait. Wait for a long time. Clerk comes back to tell me that it will cost $100 for a five day perscription. I ask her to call the Dr. and see if there is generic or cheaper version (thank God for the free samples). Verdict still out on this one.
- Drive home, after picking up some popsicles for my sick little one. More wailing. Heart broken all over again.
You see, what was in my heart came out today through all of these different situations. It wasn't that the situation caused me to be immature. It wasn't my Italian temper. It wasn't an inferiority complex because I am short. The heat or adversity allowed by the Lord brought out what was already within my heart. Today, I had a good, long look at the interworkings of my heart. I saw the man in the mirror and it had some major idolatry for which to repent. I saw anger, questioning the plan and will of God, questioning God's provision, questioning God's call and vocational placement, reacting in frustration toward my wife, and even some "What would happen if I jumped across this table and pulled one of El Guapo's signature Liver Shots!"
What is the heat in your life revealing about your heart?
Are you in community to have brothers and sisters to help you respond through a Gospel-identity?