Have you ever thrown yourself a pity party?
I was curious to see if there was an actual definition for “pity party” and, of course, there is. Dictionary.com says it’s “an instance of feeling self-indulgently sorry for yourself.” In the story that I’m sharing below, I’d say that sounds about right.
A few weekends ago, I was struggling. I was emotional and discouraged and questioning God about some things. We can call it a full-blown pity party and the sad thing was, I just wanted to stay at the party.
As I look back on it now, I can recognize who my guests were at the party.
Instead of counting my blessings, as the hymn says, I was observing things I didn’t have that I wanted. That mindset will never get us anywhere good.
As is often the case for me, pride was at the root of my struggle. I wanted what I wanted…but that wasn’t necessarily what God wanted for me.
I chose to ignore truth and listen to the lies of Satan.
I knew that the thoughts running through my head were not based on Scripture. Rather I was allowing my emotions to dominate my thinking.
This particular pity party lasted much longer than it should have. I was comfortable with those guests and they were having a good time.
Then slowly but surely, truth slipped in. As I allowed what I knew about God through His Word to seep into my mind, the lies and the pride and the ingratitude had to find a new place to hang out.
So what truths made the difference?
God loves me.
In fact that Sunday morning our Pastor preached a sermon from Psalm 139. And do you know what verse jumped off the page at me?
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! [Verse 17]
When I wanted to think that God didn’t love me or had forgotten about me, here came those words. In the midst of my doubts, He sent reassurance from His Word.
God forgives me.
When I think back to how stubborn I was being, I’m ashamed. But thank God for His forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~1 John 1:9
God is faithful to forgive our sins. That means He’ll do it every time when we confess them.
As undeserving as I am, God continues to bless me.
God’s mercy and grace are unexplainable. If my child had reacted to me the way that I did to God in this circumstance, I might want to make them earn their way back into my favor.
But throughout the following week, I knew God was blessing me in different ways. I’m unworthy, but He continues to demonstrate His grace.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. ~James 1:17
Was that the last pity party I’ll host? Probably not. But I hope the next one’s much shorter. I hope I’ll recognize it for what it is and kick those guests to the curb before they have time to get comfortable.