14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
When I read this, I immediately think of being a wife, mother, and homemaker. How easy is it to start grumbling when we get stuck in the rut of wrangling the toddlers, cleaning the litter box, scrubbing the toilet, hearing “NO!!!” from little mouths all day, figuring out what to make for dinner, stepping on the cat thinking she is a Pillow Pet (not that I did it), not being able to pee in peace…
When I reread this, I immediately think of Jesus, and how he suffered beyond comprehension to save me. How he never grumbled or argued. I think of the phrase “hold firmly to the word of life” and what that means to me. I think of my sweet children who are figuring out this crazy world, just like I still am. I think of how fortunate I am to have a toilet to scrub and I’m not homeless, going to the bathroom in an alley. I think about how blessed we are to have enough food to eat and clean water. I change my vision of this rut: what a beautiful rut to be in!
Without the Word of Life, without God, without Christ, without the Holy Spirit, I have no vision. I don’t even remember how to see without Him.
When I see the phrase “warped and crooked generation,” I think of how every generation probably thinks theirs is worse than the last, as far as morality and crime and drugs and the like are concerned. I know my mom thought the world would end in the 60’s because everything was just so crazy. “Blameless and pure” is tough to imagine. Christ was blameless and pure. And we are made new through Him. It’s still so hard to let those whispers from the enemy just float away while I remember that truth. That enemy is a crafty one, I tell ya. Just when you think you are really with it, really in tune with God (which you are), he comes along and throws a wrench into things. At least for me. It’s a constant battle to keep my vision in focus, keep my palms up, stick with it. And it will be a constant battle until I go home.
When I see the phrase “you will shine among them like stars,” that creates such a beautiful image for me. And it also means it’s a lot to live up to. I often stress about being a good witness because I am so open with my faith. Some people are just waiting for you to mess up so they can call you a hypocrite. Which, let’s face it, sometimes we ALL ARE HYPOCRITICAL.
When I read this all again, now that I’ve thought it through, I get a glimpse of God, and His righteousness, and His mercy, and His goodness, and His gifts, and His perfect timing, and His blessings on my life. They are PLENTIFUL these days, they really are. I have never felt so loved, so perfectly loved. I want to remember this feeling of perfect love the next time I actually get to sit down and paint my nails and one of the kids has a poopy diaper 5 seconds later. Or when I finally get around to making the bed and the kids rip it apart immediately. Or when I get so frustrated at my daughter not letting me brush her hair that I throw it across the room in frustration, and it breaks and she cries. Not that I did it.