Who do you think you are?
I am a dork. My husband and I started watching "The Office" in 2010 and have watched it over and over again for 10 years. It plays almost each day, back to back episodes, until we come to the end of every season. Then Netflix lets us play it again. We have favorite parts and we are still such dorks that some scenes still make us laugh. (If you don't appreciate the humor in The Office, it's okay. I'm a dork. You probably aren't.)
One of my favorite scenes is when the pain-in-the-neck human resources person is finally leaving. It is Toby's last day and the boss, Michael, is very happy. He's planned a huge day to celebrate that Toby is leaving because he hates him. Michael has prepared a list of questions he wants to ask Toby just to humiliate him during the last meeting. Just as he is ready to barrage Toby, Michael's new heart throb enters and he is trying to be professional but also enjoy the tormenting he has prepared. He can't use the appropriate tone of irritation because his new girl would not be impressed. So using the most ridiculous, friendly tone he has, he asks, "Who do you think you are?"
Being the normal idiot, Toby replies, "I'm Toby."
Who do I think I am?
Evidently, I thought I was God.
A gourmet chef who has been trained for many years in the fine and delicate art of cooking, who can prepare a 7 course meal with impeccable timing and control, does not need to be taught how to wash the green beans.
The God who created the universe, the one that is too expansive that we still don't know if it ever ends even though we can see billions of light years away (I'm not going to explain a light-year), does not need Shelly to help Him deal with other people's sin.
God needs Shelly to acknowledge her own inability to deal with her own sin. Then He will deal with it for her. I had done that. I still needed Him to deal with other people's sin-consequences onto me.
The God who created the universe knows exactly what we can handle. Don't ever believe that old adage. He most definitely lets us have about 1 tablespoon more than we can handle. He isn't trying to push us over the edge. He's trying to weight us down so we must drop to our knees. He is waiting to remove the burden, all of it, once we drop. The problem is, some of us can hold a whole lot of crap.
Shelly got so accustomed to the crap she was given that she upgraded to a larger trash bin instead of taking a chance of dropping anything. She was pretty focused for 30 years of her life in a balancing act. If she will do more good than bad, the scales will tip the correct way. She will be loved and she will do great things...and then she can sing with Julie Andrews "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music" and a hospital will be named after her.
You can't sing with Julie Andrews in a make-believe movie. Hospitals are not named after school teachers.
I was so proud. I wanted so badly to not be defective that I tried to do everything on my own. I even decided to hold a grudge with so much intense hatred that I believed it would actually do something.
Who do you think you are?
Really...I must have thought I was God. I have no powers. I have no magical ability to fly. I barely possess the ability to stand on a stool without falling. But I believed that I could hold 30 years of abuse on my own and not really deal with it. I believed that I could hate enough to send daggers of correction into the life of my sister. I thought that drinking poison was going to kill someone else. I thought I was showing the God who imagined the green bean how to actually wash one.
I had been standing on the Jesus-Stairs for many years now. Realizing I wasn't actually God or even helping Him at all let me take my next step upward. It came with the help of Jeremy Camp.
Jeremy Camp is a Christian songwriter and artist. If you don't know his story, there is now a movie and he talks about his story most every time he speaks. It is remarkable. But it is not mine to tell.
I sat in the audience of a Christian women's conference and Jeremy was the featured singer for the night. He talked about how Jesus had been there even when Jeremy didn't know it. He wrote the song, "I Still Believe." I was only there because someone thought it would make me feel better. I rolled my eyes and went just to prove them wrong.
"Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart.
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start.
But it's now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip, washing away my pain.
I still believe, in your faithfulness.
I still believe, in your truth.
I still believe in your Holy Word.
Even when I don't see, I still believe."
I read the words. I mouthed them. I sang a half-hearted attempt at a tune. And suddenly, as grace fell like rain, He washed away my pain. I cried. I raised my hands to the heavens for probably one of the very first times I did that with no shame or worry of what anyone else thought. I wanted to jump and lay down, I wanted to hug myself and extend my arms wider than my joints would let me.
And I stood in that concert and did that for the rest of his concert. I am thankful the fire alarms didn't sound and no one came to mug us because I didn't hear a thing. I stood in the glory and grace and mercy of my Lord and Savior as He emptied, for the first time in my life, the entire load of garbage that was in my can. He even told me He would take the can. Such service!
And I took one more Jesus-Step.