Every morning I drive my sons Dylan and Robbie to high school at the same time on the same roads. For over two years, we've seen a young man walking on one stretch of that same trail. He's tall and thin, with long straight hair.
Two years ago, I noticed he tilted his head to the left as he walked, so that his long bangs would fall out of his face. Every day I grinned and often said to my boys, "One day his head is going to be permanently tilted to the left because of that habit!"
Kind of like when my mom would tell me I better change my sassy face before a cold freeze came through and it was permanently frozen in whatever pouting or disagreeable position it was in. Since I grew up in Phoenix, even as a child I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen.
My mom also had another saying, "It won't be noticed on a galloping horse!" Never missing a beat, I would declare: "But I won't be on a galloping horse!" My poor mom. She was a saint.
This morning, driving my sons to school, I saw that same young man. It had been a few months since we'd seen him. Maybe as a junior, he's driving. Interestingly, he doesn't have bangs any more. And yet ...
His head is still tilted to the left!
I nearly shouted at poor Robbie sitting next to me when I saw it!
Of course there was the motherly satisfaction of being right (unless that poor boy has a neck condition, and if so, I'll feel horrible), but God also showed me a spiritual lesson. Sometimes, even when we've received healing for past emotional wounds and even when we know the truth - about ourselves and God - old habits still hang on.
Do you ever get frustrated with yourself? I do. Old patterns of thought or behavior still pop up in many of us like ...
... they must be rejecting me if they disagree ...
... I won't be considered for the position, so why even apply ...
... they don't really want me to come, they're lying ...
... I'll never be a good enough __________ (fill in the blank ... mine would be writer, singer, exerciser)
... I'll never lose this weight, so I'll just eat that brownie ...
Some of these patterns are just habits. They aren't a sign of spiritual weakness, or God's inability to heal. They are just bad habits. It would be nice if we could just immediately jump to a lovely, wise thought instead of a negative one, but changing a bad habit takes two steps: stopping the bad, then starting the good.
Years ago I had a planter's wart on the bottom of my foot. Based on its location, it couldn't be surgically removed because the healing and resulting scar would be just as problematic. So the doctor treated it slowly. For months I limped. Finally, after multiple doctor's appointments over the course of about four months, it went away. Do you know that I still limped?
I would catch myself limping, and make myself stop. Then I had to intentionally step fully on my foot. It took another few months to walk normally, even though the pain was gone.
Bad habits are hard to break. I know. This morning I'm reminded that God has healed me from many things, and I need to intentionally walk with confidence, not fear that it's going to hurt.
My question this morning is, does your head still tilt to the left? Has Jesus healed you but there is still a bad habit keeping you from walking in confidence?
I'd like to pray for you today.
In His Love,