Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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We need to get rid of that “joy thief.”

Posted by janeteckles on October 15, 2011

By: Janet Perez Eckles

You did a great job,” my dear friend said after a talk I gave this past Saturday.

Usually I feel so very pleased with the opportunity to deliver a message. But not this time. I felt I let the group down because I had given less-than-clear instructions to the tech in the sound booth. And the clip I showed as part of the presentation went longer than planned.

That glitch caused me to fluster a bit and consequently, this adversely affected the conclusion to my message I delivered to those 500 loving and gracious ladies.

So I got home and the “joy thief” was waiting for me. I had a little session of emotional flogging. The reason? I wanted to be perfect, flawless, hugely impacting, and deeply insightful so they would go home with a message that would resonate in their hearts. 

Then, in the middle of my sorry flogging fiesta, the Lord tapped my shoulder. “Get a life chica’,” He seemed to say. “Since when are the results up to you?”

I swallowed hard. He was right. What a fool I was. In a moment of unbridled pride, I thought that the results depended on me. I foolishly carried the notion that I would plant the seed, water the message with my insights. And, taking one step back, I’d gaze at the results.

Incorrecto. I had nothing to do with the results. That’s God’s department. So my joy appeared again and I decided to sit at my keyboard and dish out what my heart had been cooking for the last 72 hours. And friends…it feels pretty good to let you all know.

I wonder if Paul felt a sense of relief too when he told the Corinthians pretty much the same thing: “The Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:5-6).

Father, how often I have taken on a task and believed I was in control. I confess that I work hard to expect results of my own effort. Show me Lord, that all I need is to be obedient to your call to serve you. Teach me to put my pride aside. And with trust in you, I can put the results in your hands.   Amen.

    • What project are you working on that requires you to give it your all?
    • What brings joy to any task you attempt?
    • What do you need to do to trust in God’s provision to bring about the results He desires?
    • How do you react when the outcome is not what you expected?

    Janet Perez Eckles

2 Responses to “We need to get rid of that “joy thief.””

  1. Karen Nolan Bell said

    Thanks. I needed this today. I’ve been struggling with giving up control this week. I need to remember I must give God every word I write and let Him pick the ones that are truly needed to get His message across to my (strike that) OUR audience.

  2. Terry said

    Great post..and one many of us need to hear. Thanks for sharing your Lord’s tapping, he just used it to tap me!

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