The Marshmallow Test

This week I have been rather disgusting; a truly ugly version of myself.  I have snarled, complained, felt sorry for myself, and have been downright despicable.  My kids have all been sick with some crazy virus that has made them have crazy amounts of diarrhea, we are all sleep-deprived because of said virus, I’ve bleached my house until my hands feel like they could crack open, my precious husband is working and won’t be home for Christmas, the dog is missing and I’m worried about him and now I’m getting a cold.  So basically, its just another day at the office but this time, for some reason, it’s hitting me hard.  If we are being totally honest, I’ve known how ugly I’ve been but haven’t particularly had the desire to change it.  How awful is that?    I’m usually a just-keep-swimming kind of girl but with all the horrifying news that has come pouring in faster than I can process it coupled with aforementioned issues at my house, I have managed to get myself all out of sorts.  And just so we are perfectly clear, I’m as self-reflective and analytical as they come.  With each huff and puff that I exhale I am analyzing.  I give myself pep talks, I tell myself to pray, I tell myself to fast through the problem.  I know what to do but sometimes I just can’t.  Or don’t.  I’m not sure which one it is really.  I chastise myself and get angry because I feel like a first-world brat.  I sit in my nice, big house, with my healthy kids and great husband who has graciously allowed me some time off from work and yet I still get the occasional bout of sadness.  To make matters worse, I begin to criticize myself for being so unthankful. I get furiously mad at myself and initiate my self-destructive habits.  I push people away, I lose my temper when I shouldn’t and it’s just gross.  This is why I NEED Jesus.  I don’t just use him on Sunday mornings or for general conversation to make myself look like I have a perfectly adorned halo.  I need him to rescue me from myself.  I need him to pull me up and remind me that I am a child of God.  It’s always amazing to me to see the vicious cycle that I keep finding myself in.  It’s never Jesus who walks away from me. I always, albeit inadvertently, open the door to let the spirit of sadness in.  Maybe I don’t pray when I hear God gently nudging my spirit, I’ve been known to put off reading my bible just to get a little extra sleep and sometimes I get so overwhelmed with my life that I flat out forget to pray to the only one who can make even the most violent storm be still.  Other times I just get stubborn and don’t ask for help, even from God.  I am a sinner and imperfectly human.  Maybe you can relate to what I am talking about.

I could lie to you and tell you that everyday of my life I am joyful and over the moon happy but who would I be kidding?  Life is sometimes just not that way, even when we know it should be.  Emotions are weird, man.  The one thing I have learned during my journey with Christ is that no matter how i may feel at the time, I never let go of Jesus.  I press in.  Sometimes I have to pray that he will help me have the desire to pray and sometimes I just pray for him to give me faith and meet me where my faith ends.  I know that while emotions are fleeting, Jesus never fails me.  This morning I was thinking about what a total jerk I have been lately and I heard something on K-Love that spoke right to my heart.  The man was talking about kids who were given a “marshmallow test”.  The people conducting the experiment offered one marshmallow  to each child for immediate consumption or, if they waited 20 minutes, they promised them they could have two.  The experimenters followed the kids as they grew and found that the children who chose to wait for the two marshmallows trusted adults and had faith that they would do what they said they would do.  The kids who took the immediate marshmallow were not as trusting of adults.  The man then asked if we were trusting in God to do what he said he would?  Boom.  God cracked my hard shell and drew me right back in.  Just like he ALWAYS does, he rescued me.  Again.  Like seriously, for the millionth time.  I was quickly reminded of all the times God has done just what his word promises he will.  His love never, ever fails.  I may fail him, over and over again, but he is the one constant in my life that I can count on.  He is my savior and I am so in love with him.  I’m so glad he saw fit to die on that old rugged cross for my sins, and yours, because God knew I’d surely need saving.  He loves us.  He really, really does.  Even when I’m a horrible wife, even when I’m just an okay mom, and even when I am an ungrateful girl who turns away from him, he loves me.  I’m waiting on my proverbial marshmallows because no matter what may happen from day to day, I trust God to do just what he says he will do.  I hope that if you are like me and need rescued from yourself, that you will trust Jesus, too.  If he promises you marshmallows, you are going to have the best marshmallows ever.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.  Proverbs 3: 5-6

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