I just love this time of year. Trees budding, flowers blooming, grass growing, and abundant wildlife… The Kansas weather has fluctuated between beautiful spring weather and cold, almost-winter temperatures. The warm days are a taste of what is to come, but they have been too few and far between. The cold keeps returning, and I long for the time when each and every day will feel like spring (or summer, most likely, as Kansas is known for “skipping” some seasons all together!). Despite the cooler weather, I’ve still been able to see the evidence of spring.
As I considered this blog post, the title came to me first as a way of describing my current spiritual growth. It wasn’t until I actually started typing about the plants, trees, and flowers growing that I realized there might be a visual lesson here (if you’ve read There’s a Fly in my Tea, you know I love those).
You see, I am experiencing some spiritual growing pains. The Lord is relentlessly working on me in one area of my life right now. I have His perfect timing to thank for that—as my Bible reading has landed me right in the middle of Proverbs! A book filled with plenty of wisdom and instruction for exactly what I am currently struggling with…my tongue.
My speech, my words, my tongue, my lips, my BIG mouth.
I hate to admit that I haven’t yet overcome what James calls “…a fire, a world of iniquity…” (James 3:6) and “…an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (3:8)
But it’s true.
This school year has been particularly difficult for me. I can’t really explain it. I can tell you that it has nothing to do with my kiddos. It has everything to do with the other “stuff” that comes with teaching. There were many changes this year…with the calendar, schedule, conferences, technology support, etc. Not all of these changes have gone smoothly (that may be an understatement), nor were some of these changes what I wanted.
These things (and a few others that I don’t wish to share) have caused me to have a negative attitude and critical spirit, and we all know that it doesn’t take long for those things to start spilling out our mouths. In many ways, I found myself becoming that “Negative Nellie” teacher that I never wanted to be.
I’m so thankful the Lord revealed this to me and gave me the opportunity to get it right before Him. I’ve determined to change my attitude, to be more careful with my words, and to try harder to change the course of conversations that are leading toward a negative spirit.
Are you wondering about the changing seasons I mentioned earlier?
Well, I’ve been disappointed in myself, discouraged that the Lord once again had to teach me in an area that I thought I had dealt with long ago. The changing season, the warm weather disrupted by cold days, reminded me that our spiritual life is like that.
We will grow. We will take steps forward.
However, just as those cold days have disrupted the coming of spring (sorry to those of you who like cold days—they are evil in this illustration J), we will continue to have battles with sin in our growing process.
Lord, come quickly!
Until then, I’m thankful we can surrender those battles to the Lord and seek His forgiveness.
Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.