An excerpt from Paul David Tripp’s “New Morning Mercies”:
Today you will celebrate that grace has made you part of God’s great plan or mourn the places where you aren’t getting your own way.
He may have been the hardest person I ever counseled. He was self-assured and controlling. He argued for the rightfulness of everything he had ever done. He acted like the victim when in fact he was the victimizer. He had crushed his marriage and alienated his children. he loved himself and had a wonderful plan for his life. It was his will in his way at his time. He made everyone a slave to his plan or he drove them out of his life. He made incredible sacrifices to get what he wanted but chafed against the sacrifices God called him to make. But in a moment of grace I will never forget, he quit fighting, controlling, and defending. He asked me to stop talking and said: “Paul, I get it. I have been so busy being God that I have had little time or interest in serving God.” It was one of the most accurate moments of self-diagnosis I had ever experienced. He was right. No sooner had the words come out of his mouth than he began to weep like I had never seen a man weep. His body shook with grief as grace began its work of freeing him from his bondage to himself.
But my friend was not unique. If you’re a parent, you know that your children are collections of self-sovereignty. All a child really wants is his own way. He doesn’t want to be told what to eat, what to wear, when to go to bed, how to steward his possessions, or how to treat others. He wants to be in the center of his own little world and to write his own set of rules. And he is surprised that you have the audacity to tell him what to do. But it isn’t just children. Sin causes this self-sovereignty to live in all of us. We tend to want more control than we are wise enough or strong enough to handle. We want people to follow our way and stay out of our way. But when we wish for these things, we are forgetting who we are, who God is, and what grace has blessed us with. We are always either mourning the fact that we aren’t getting our way or celebrating that grace welcomes us to a new and better way. We are either frustrated that we lack control or resting in the One who is “head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22). I think there is probably a mix of mourning and celebration in all of us.
What will it be for you today? Will you give way to the frustration that you are not getting your way or celebrate the grace that has included you in the most wonderful plan that was ever conceived?