Grumpy is still grumpy

This is a true story. A woman had Snow White and the Seven dwarfs in her yard as lawn ornaments. One morning she found that Grumpy was missing. The thorough search of the neighborhood and many inquiries were fruitless. Grumpy had vanished.

Weeks later he suddenly appeared again in his usual spot, the same grump's expression on his painted-plaster face. But attached to him with duct tape was a photo album. One picture showed Grumpy in front of London's Big Ben. Another showed him grumping in front of the Eiffel Tower. Picture after picture documented his trek around the world. Perhaps the pranksters hoped a free world tour would cheer up the little fellow. But it did no good whatsoever. He returned as sour as when he left.

Isn't it amazing that God is so patient with us? He invests a great deal in us, shows us His wonders, educates us in His ways. Through all of this do we remain unchanged, unaffected, untouched? What does it mean to walk by the Spirit and to be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16,18)? Doesn't it mean a submission to what God wants to do with us and in us? Doesn't it involve at least a willingness on our part to do what we can to cooperate?

I'm not talking about subjective "leading" which is hardly more than blindly stumbling after impulses and impressions. I mean the BIG stuff: developing spiritual discernment between right and wrong and spiritual muscle to be like Jesus even in a hostile environment. The Spirit's purpose is to conform us to the character and the life-style of Jesus Christ.

As we continue on God's world-tour of life, let's soften up and de-grumpify. God wants us to make it to the end, not just unbroken, but transformed by the journey.

—Steve Singleton