trying to tie it together...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

monday was one of those days.  a day that i had high hopes for but when i finally crawled into bed that evening i felt the heavy weight of all my failures.

especially as a mama.

i was broken hearted over the words spoken that i couldn't take back,  over the annoyance i made so very, very plain.

it was almost more than i could carry.

i don't remember why i turned to the passage i did, but He does and that night the well known verses i read found their way into the broken places and made themselves comfy.

~but we have this treasure in jars of clay...
can i stop here just a moment?  i know, because of the study notes in my bible, that paul is talking about the treasure that is the Good News of the Gospel, but monday night, i was reminded of the treasure that is in each of my children, the capacity they have to embrace Salvation, but they too are little jars of clay.  easily broken.  easily shattered...just like me... show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair...
as my strong-willed child, olivia leaves me in a state of confusion every single day.  what worked yesterday no longer works today and i often find myself in tears because i don't know what else to do.  despair, if i let it, could easily define most of my days...

...persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  2 Corinthians 4:7-10
each of these verses gave me pause.  i fell asleep, pleading for the truth of them to be impressed upon my spirit, because even in my weariness i could feel the abundance of hope that was being offered, but in my weakness, i didn't have the strength to wring it all out.

the truths are coming to me slowly.  my heart is being bathed in the promises that He is offering.  just like each of my little ones, i am a jar of clay.  one that will easily shatter when i place myself on the unstable surface of life, which is why, i think, that paul reminds his readers that the only way to remain intact is to be filled with God's all-surpassing power.

i also realized that it's okay to be perplexed, to be hard-pressed, persecuted, struck down.  and trust me, it's not like i'm sitting here hoping that all of these things will come knocking at my clay-self.

it's okay because when i am so filled with His power, His strength, His wisdom, i can be pushed to the point of shattering, but it's not going to happen.  i can be so confused that my head feels like it's going to implode, but it's not going to happen.  i can be hurt to the point of hardly being able to breathe, but i will be able to take the next breath.  why?  because even if the ones i need and love most abandon me, He won't.

my frail clay-self is made stronger because of Who i am stuffed full of.

so, how do i get to the point of being filled with Him?

and this is where i try and tie it all together, so please, bear with me...


i'll be honest, part of me wishes it was any other word but that one.

but, it's not.

remember how, just before the beginning of this present year, I felt as though God was asking me to allow Him to place a passage in my life as a theme for this year?  He did, and the one He chose for me were the verses in john 15 re: the Vine and the branches.

in my quiet time this afternoon, after another long walk home consisting of watching one of my dearest friends in the whole world caught in a wrestling match of wills with olivia while my own arms were full of elias, my diaper bag and a pan of rice krispie squares, i sat myself down in a corner feeling defeated and weary. and this is what i read:

~obedience to God often entails not going our own way, not doing as we please, and not even speaking as we please. but if peace is the fruit of righteousness (isa. 32:17), then joy is the wine from the fruit! joy ultimately flows from obedience, and few things display God's splendor more appealingly than joy! think i'm stretching the analogy a bit? check out John 15.  "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener...if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit...this is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit...if you obey my commands, you will remain in My love...I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (john 15:1,5,8,10-11).  
slap Isaiah 32:17 next to john 15 and here's what you get; peace is the fruit of righteousness that, in essence, is obedience to God's commands -  the product of abiding in the vine. the wine that flows from the ripened fruit is joy!
...the wine of joy will eventually flow from the fruit of peace produced by righteousness...God will look on you in the full harvest of your obedience and perhaps He'll say something like..."woman, you sure are a display of My splendor". ~beth moore "breaking free" page 233

so, i choose to be obedient.  as hard as it is.  as easy as it would be to become defeated and say it's hopeless.  i choose to do the hardest thing in the midst of emotional chaos and turn to Him in my moments of confusion, of abandonment, when i fell that i'm being pressed in on every side and all i want to do is scream that it's too much; and asked to be filled. 

and, hopefully, in the cracks that will inevitably happen in something when it is filled to the point of bursting, it will be His strength that you see shining through...