Posted tagged ‘redemption’

Garbage

May 13, 2010

One of my weaknesses was getting the better of me and I was embarrassed as I talked with God about it. I could feel the usual downward spiral starting to turn: weakness>feeling bad about being weak>feeling bad about feeling bad..and down we go. I brought myself up short. Not going there this time!

Just then a little memory came to mind. Whenever we visit my husband’s parents (on their farm), I beg for their garbage. I want ashes from their woodstove and manure from the barn to fertilize my garden. I pick edible weeds from their yard (my husband’s allergic to most salad greens, but he can have the weeds!). I pick stinging nettle (natural antihistamine–it loses its sting when you cook it or put it through the blender). I ask for old soda bottle to make watering reservoirs in the garden (etc.). They laugh at me (good-naturedly, of course! :). But these things are all useful to me…and not to them. It’s a win-win situation.

Then I heard the still small Voice: “I want your garbage.
I can use it. You can’t. Give it to Me.”…and I laughed at Him!

Then I wept…because He is SO GOOD!…so sweet to turn my fears, my disgrace, my mourning, my failure…into laughter! (I was reminded that the name “Isaac” means laughter–the son of the promise, but also a son born out of repeated failures). He doesn’t just want tidy packages, either. Just as I go out shoveling manure & picking weeds, He wants to get right down in the yucky stuff with me to shovel the manure of my soul and and pick and uproot the nettles for fertilizer and medicine.

“You have a use for everything, don’t You, Lord”

“Of course I do”

“For You love all things that are
and loathe nothing that You have made;
for what You hated, You would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless You willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by You?
But You spare all things, because they are Yours,
O Lord and lover of souls,
for Your imperishable spirit is in all things!” -Wisdom 11:24-12:1

Our job is not so much getting rid of things or destroying them as releasing them so You can order them to the best good. All is gift…and You only give good gifts (James 1:17). The darkness cannot overcome (John 1:5).

“Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life”
(Psalm 23:6)…no matter how awful things seem to me…(Romans 8:28)

“I Can Handle You”

April 30, 2010

I have a strong personality. Although there are times when that’s a blessing, sometimes I’m afraid of my own strength, afraid of what might happen if this much energy and force goes wrong (I know what happens when it’s brought up short–ow!), afraid to risk it…

Rich Mullins’ song came to mind:
“We are Not as Strong as We Think We Are.”
It was as if God was saying, “Nothing you do is irreparable.
Nothing you do is irredeemable. You killed Me, hanging Me on a Cross. God raised Me up (Acts 13:26-33–today’s first reading).
Will He not then turn every other act of yours to good,
especially when you’re trying to please Me?
Don’t be so afraid of your strength.
You are not as strong as you think you are…
I can handle you!” (He’s been saying that a lot lately…)

It reminded me of what my husband said years ago of his experience of learning martial arts. He was afraid of his own strength, afraid he could seriously hurt or kill someone. It was a revelation to experience how limited his strength really was.

I am not God. That’s a good thing! I’m not in charge of protecting Him from myself. He’s got that (and me, and everything else) all under control. I don’t have to worry about it. My job is to keep my eyes on Him and on His omnipotence, to put my strength at His disposal…to keep things in perspective. As Rich Mullins puts it:
“Our God is an Awesome God!”

He can handle me–all of me. *whew*


%d bloggers like this: