Chastised. Watchful.

The most wise, righteous, and gracious God does oftentimes leave, for a season, His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.

Focused on keeping the cars churning through the drive-thru at Starbucks, I was completely broadsided when the LORD, once again, allowed me to glimpse the depths of wickedness and self-love in my own heart.

I was frazzled, we were having issues (multiple) that made our usually hectic pace even more stressful. An older couple pulled up to the drive-thru window. I started to hand them the next drink in my queue but the man stopped me. “We didn’t order. We missed the place where you order.” Impatience and irritation rose up within me and, I am certain, flooded across my face. The man’s hand shook slightly as he gestured, “I’m sorry.” I looked at the couple and saw them as I should have seen them before…an elderly man and woman (my husband and myself not too many years hence, if the LORD allows), both bearing the image of God and worthy of my respect. I had dishonored them in my impatience and, in doing so, dishonored my God. My heart broke in shame and unspoken repentance. Even though my irritation lasted but a second or two, and my “Just say ‘YES'” attitude returned in a flash (I filled their order quickly, smiling, and gave them one of their cups of coffee “on the house”), I should have said the words. “I’m sorry. I was rude. Please, forgive me.”

And so, I am thankful. Thankful that I am loved by the most wise, righteous, and gracious God. Thankful that He has given me a glimpse of the hidden strength of corruption of my heart, that I might be humbled. Humbled, yes. And driven, yet again, to the cross of Christ. For apart from my Savior, there is no hope for a sinner such as I. Apart from His Spirit, this lesson will be lost.

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