For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” ~Romans 8:15
I have had a week like no other – the kind of week that you wished never happened. The kind of week where everything seems to be going wrong, and it is all tied to you. No, it hasn’t been full of devastating news or horrific circumstances. Just enough hardship in circumstances to become discouraging and overwhelming. Most of the issues have centered around glass and more specifically, it breaking. The first thing I broke was my entire back glass in my vehicle backing into my own garage door. Yeah, that was a good move. On my way to Bible study with my precious littles in the back seat, I just backed right into the bottom panel of the garage door, shattering the entire back glass, messing up the top portion of my car, and for good measure denting my garage door. God has a way of getting my attention! I then experienced the frustration of having a package inexplicably lost on its way to Texas for my son’s birthday. The shipping company had no idea where the package was and could not even trace it as they had made some error in their initial intake of it. They were very sorry but not very helpful. Plus according to them, I had also not insured the package to its value, so replacement wasn’t really an option either. I cried. I quietly cried in that package store. Not really because the package was lost, but because I knew the cost of my day, and I had caused most of it.
My week went on – I got estimates (they were huge!) on replacing car and window parts, the package finally showed up in another state and was rerouted. And I stabilized for a moment. But then over the weekend I asked Troy to take down a light fixture for me so that I could clean it. And I shattered it. It slipped out of my hands into the sink and shattered into countless pieces. And again I was faced with my actions costing greatly and once again having to confess failure. The next morning as I washed the morning dishes, (you’ve probably guessed by now) 2 different glasses drop into the sink and shatter. Now I’m not sure I have ever shattered one glass in my sink before but certainly not two back to back. By this point I just mutely shook my head and began my glass cleanup routine.
As I cleaned, the Lord and I had a great conversation. It began with me whining, but as it should, it ended with truth and beauty. I’m not interested in your glass, Bethany, not in your care of things or driving ability, I am solely interested in you. And I want you to see in the destruction and subsequent confessions and replacements the picture of my grace. I want you to have such security as my daughter that all your failures are simply places where my strength and my provision and my glory can shine. These are all earthly things, but when their destruction defines you, paints stories in your mind of your worthlessness, discourages you in other parts of life then they highlight the value you place on your abilities and actions.
My identity is not defined by my actions. Not by my successes nor by my failures. It is not shaped by my hands at all. God and God alone shapes my identity as his daughter, wholly and dearly loved, one precious in His sight, fully accepted because of Jesus Christ’s work on my behalf. And God works on this area with me over and over again. Because like a dog returns to his vomit, I will return to this death sourced idea that somehow I shape my identity in God’s sight. That my actions and reactions are part of the equation for His pleasure in me. That the way I successfully navigate this life can somehow help Him in the work He has, and therefore my missteps can also mess His plan.
When in reality, the more I recognize my desperate need for His help every day, in planning and executing the mundane things in life as well as the exciting, when I am surrendered to His Spirit, the easier it is to walk through these difficult moments. Because my eyes aren’t on me. They are on Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of my faith.(Heb. 12:2) And He uses these glass shattering weeks to highlight my ever increasing need for Him.