... of countless ways in which
Our Creator constantly romances us.
Ha! So the “praise report” of yesterday was met with a fresh bout of teasing followed by crabbiness when I didn’t submit to it. It’s basically like my report automatically triggered a test to find out if the report were true, or if the change in my husband was going to be met by an equal change in me. I think it’s safe to say I failed the test. I fell into the trap same as the old me. And then his commitment to being impeccable with his speech was out the window too. We spent the rest of the day like little kids, either bickering or just bristling. This is my opportunity to rededicate MY side of the equation, which is of course all I can ever change.
You are the great I AM. Nothing changes You. You depend on no one else’s compliance or cooperation in order for You to be pure grace and love. You cause the sun to shine on the good little obedient ones and the belligerent naughty ones, because YOU ARE sunshine. You are perfect and holy and always gentle and loving. Your heart is infinitely good and wise.
I confess that my heart is still full of darkness and malice, and that’s what spills out if I’m bumped the wrong way. I cause my sun to shine only on those who meet my conditions. I love the lovable and hate the hateful. I am double-minded and unstable. I don’t depend on You for Your strength and love, but try to do it on my own, and fail miserably. I need You desperately.
Thank You for Who You are, and for offering to be my strength. Thank You for taking my heart of stone and melting it. Thank You for my husband and my beautiful children. Thank You that You can and will make me worthy of my calling. Thank You that You can change me and make me the wife and mother that will help them flourish and live lives of extraordinary worship, service, and love.
Please teach me unconditionality. Please surround me with examples of women who lead with grace, love, compassion, wisdom and gentleness that will show me the way, mentors I can model in that department. Please help me to not get distracted by unessential things, but to give my husband and children the attention and the prayer they need. Help me to become a true prayer warrior, and to serve you faithfully and tirelessly, and to love prayer more than profitable or “creative” work. I want to want You above all.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of its water and was only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.
Most Perfect Abba, Who lets absolutely nothing go to waste and never makes a mistake, please open our eyes today to see the flowers You’ve watered through our brokenness. Even if we can not see the flowers, we trust You, we release our self-judgment to You, and we surrender ourselves to Your service just as we are right now, with all our flaws. Thank You for Your perfection. Thank You that You are pleased with us just as we are, and that in our weakness we find Your strength. Thank You for the power of story. Thank You for You.
In Jesus’ healing name we pray, amen.