I was frustrated and about to boil over. The person on the other line wasn’t responding how I wanted. I had envisioned the conversation going differently. I was supposed to be happy and excited, but now I found myself anxious and irritated. Because of one person. And there you are not acting like I wish you would.
My heart began to find the reasons I should discount them. The irritation flared and my mind suddenly raced to every possible negative. Blurry eyed and itching for a fight, my heart beat fast. And even though the reaction was unlike me, it was so like me. Human. Flesh. Tangible breath and a bundle of sin. I was reacting just as the enemy had planned.
And I was acting outside of my identity.
A few minutes later and my phone switched off, I calmed my heart as best I could. I’m going to pray about this. Thoughts of negativity raced one after another until again I was as worked up as before. Why do I do this? And then I was frustrated at myself, worn by my own inadequacy to handle a simple irritation. Children of God should act differently, but I was regressing to my flesh.
Eyes shut tightly, hands clenched in prayer, I was determined to react opposite my feelings. Because I felt frustrated and impatient. I felt unseen and unsought. I felt secondary. But I knew differently. Jesus told me so. I’m teaching them, too, His voice whispered.
I’m teaching them, too.
My mind shifted at the revelation. I hadn’t thought of that. Selfishly, I’ve always thought I was the only one He was working on. I forget He has other kids He is directing; other children that need His guidance. When I’m ready, soul reasons, they’ll be ready too. Arguments will turn positive when I’m ready. Relationships will work when I’m ready. Jobs will open up when I’m ready.
And when the priority of my readiness supersedes the priority of God’s readiness, things tend to go wrong. That’s when I react outside of my identity.
Flesh had won this time. . . for but a minute. Heaven was about to war again and this daughter finally had a grip. Humbled to my knees, I regretted the selfish desires I once held so dear. My, what a moment of stillness before our Father can do for a saint. Because saints aren’t saints due to human readiness; saints are saints due to Heaven’s readiness.
It’s always about Heaven.
How often I forget such life giving truths. How foolish of me to overlook Jesus.
“Live in such a way that all will know you have been with Jesus.” -Charles Spurgeon
Heart calm and eyes opened, I reached for my phone without flesh murmuring world words. I reached with peace and grace, knowing words would be given me as I typed. Sure enough, Holy Spirit reminded with tenderness that all people are just kids of the King and we’re still just a learning bunch. Always students and ever seeking, we’re His first; and He will say when we’re ready.
He will also say when they’re ready.
So when your person responds outside of your mindset, remember they aren’t yours to manipulate or control. Harsh? Kind of. Truth? You bet. I’ve manipulated far too many in my mind to respond how I wanted and when I wanted, and I’ve been the one hurt in the end. My feelings have been hurt because someone responded and acted outside of my expectation for them. My heart was broken because another human misstepped and failed my high demands.
I operated outside of my identity and thus allowed another to operate outside of theirs. Children of God, friends of Jesus, do not manipulate situations or the responses of those around us. Children of God and friends of Jesus hold everyone around us to the standard of Heaven, the expectation of grace.
And this time, this blessed time, Jesus caught my attention before I manipulated the situation in my mind to meet my desires. Just a stumble, not a fall.
How often He must whisper that over my life. Just a stumble, not a fall, dear one. My heart even calms at the thought of such grace.
So I now remember that I’m a kid of Heaven and you’re a kid of Heaven and so I need to treat you as such. My lips speak words differently in that mindset. My fingers type differently in that mindset. My heart beats differently when Jesus is my focus and you’re under His arm and I’m talking to Him, not you. You are a vessel of Heaven and I should treat you as such.
I should treat everyone as an heir of the Heavenlies and when I do, my reactions will change. Not to be a door mat, but a door holder to the throne room of love, my identity is now restored. And as my identity is restored, so is yours. So is the person’s on the other side of the phone. Restored is the identity of the man who teaches my class or the identity of the friend who did me wrong. All identities are restored when we check our hearts with the heartbeat of Jesus and react as children of God.
Reactions that originate in Heaven, peacefully placed inside of our hearts, are always the best reactions anyway. And an identity given by Jesus? An identity restored by Jesus? It just has purpose and potential we can’t quite pass up.
It’s Him and us learning the beautiful waltz of Love; an unbelievable and graceful collision of childhood mess and Fathered perfection, twirling round until every identity we encounter is purposefully restored.