I was standing with my arms folded, not feeling very connected to the worship that was going on around me. Although I had had a good week and even a good and full weekend, I was feeling bitter. You see, it was a preaching week for my pastor husband.
Preaching weeks are always tough for me. Brad is the spiritual formation pastor at our church, which means he has a nice, full schedule most weeks. When he is on the schedule to preach, none of his other duties or responsibilities go away. Plus, he takes preaching God’s word with a very real dose of the sacredness of his calling. He wants to spend the right amount of time letting the Word affect him and making sure he’s not communicating anything that isn’t truth.
He gets up early and also spends extracurricular time working on his sermon. He also tries to do his usual thing with us – spending time hanging out on his half day and Saturday, helping with the evening routines, etc. And he makes it all happen, but mentally, he’s in that place. It’s a place that says:
- this is a huge responsibility
- people’s thinking about God is at stake
- you are not good enough to communicate this
That last one is a lie, and he knows it. He knows that the Holy Spirit will do His work. But he struggles with letting this weigh him down mentally. And when I can tell he’s not connected with us in mind, I get even more selfish than usual and start to pout. Because he isn’t paying attention to us like I want him to.
So there I was, pouting during worship, and I sang the words, “Everyone was made for You [Jesus]”.
And it hit me. My identity is not in my husband. It is in Jesus. And what that means is that my need for attention should be a need for attention from the Father – which equates to time with Him. How much time have I spent with Him lately? Not enough.
And then later, Brad (who by the way, is an excellent preacher), preached on this very idea – that our identity is in Christ:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7, NIV, emphasis mine)
for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16, NETBible, emphasis mine)
See how we are identified with Christ’s burial and resurrection? That’s where my WHO-I-AM comes from. Not Brad. And as much as I love him, I’m glad for this truth.
What can be better than having the God to whom I was an “object of wrath” choose to beckon me to Himself so that my sin can be crucified with Christ, and my life can be a resurrected picture of his grace?