Friday, October 23, 2015

Life is not Bulletproof

About 10 days ago, I took a pretty hard fall. I’ll spare you the details, but a hip issue that had almost resolved itself was aggravated and my right knee, which took the brunt of the fall, has been swollen and tender since then.  Last night, I made my way to my favorite corner of my couch to finish up Jeremiah 16-20 and not fully thinking, I leaned into my right knee to make my way to the chosen spot. The pain that shot through my knee brought me closer to tears than the original fall.

Upon waking this morning, the returned pain in my knee reminded me of my miscalculation last night. I quickly showered, dressed, gathered a load of laundry and set the day in motion. A brief text spoke the intent of the day … a few things to accomplish … and off I went, determined to check things off my list today.

Trying to be efficient, on my way past the fridge, I grabbed a bagel … coffee was cold from when Randy left earlier in the day … ok,  let's try the bulletproof coffee "pumpkin pie latte style" … bc I had developed the recipe yesterday, all the ingredients were at the ready except the bullet part and that was easily accessed as well.  Into the microwave went the coconut creamer, the pumpkin, the pumpkin pie spices, the maple syrup … next goes the coffee  … both into my ninja blender … lid in place … with intent,  I grab the handle of the blender, headed toward my moment in the porch swing. But as I turn my attention toward the base of the blender, a pumpkin/maple/dry spice/ coconut milk /coffee BULLET went off in my kitchen as the blender bowl crashed to the floor and all the hot contents are forced out in a crime scene that included my kitchen floor, dining room floor, kitchen wall, foyer wall, cabinets, doors, appliances … you’re getting this picture, right? Pumpkin and dry spices are not water soluble … just in case you aren’t grasping the mess here …

In simultaneous moments, my mind had these two thoughts … What in the world was I thinking? And, this is going to be very painful to clean up!

The memory of how much it hurt to lean on my knee the night before ON THE COUCH sent hot, angry tears streaming down my cheeks as I considered the necessity of cleaning up this mess I had made. Adding insult to injury, I was trapped in my mess … the only way out was through.

Let that thought settle in this morning. Sometimes when we are trapped in our own mess … the only way out … is through. And if it isn't our first rodeo in mess-making ... the thought of having to do this all over again ... well, overwhelming may not cover the range of emotions.

As I made my way to my mop and bucket then back into my kitchen, I was fairly certain I was leaving a pumpkin trail, but I refused to look back and see what I was leaving behind because I still had to figure out how in the world I was going to clean up this colossal mess. My mind was reeling as I looked for the tools I knew necessary … because the hurt in my mind is so fresh from last night, I came up immediately with solutions … God, you could send someone to my door to help me clean this up … maybe Randy could arrive unexpectedly and help me … if only Jena were home … if only I hadn’t stupidly fell in the first place … the conversations in my head were not productive …

and then a still, small voice whispered … “I have some things I want to show you … wipe up as much of the as you can with paper towel, fill the rinse bucket with really hot water … fill the sink with cleaning water and do this a little at a time … and listen to My Voice.”

So with some pain, I wiped up as much as I could just bending at the waist, I moved mats and stools and a few things that were on the floor, filled the rinse water bucket with hot water and lowered it to the floor … I filled the sink, poured a little lemony cleaner into the steamy water and as I began to listen to His Voice he said …

“How much easier would this be if you could just get down on your hands and knees!”  

And I realized that I had avoided getting down on my hands and knees to clean up this area because in my heart, I knew how dirty it was under the cabinets and under the mats and beside the fridge. But I didn’t want to take the time to put in the hard work to get it really clean … I just wanted to do my weekly “a lick and promise” clean up so that from a distance, there was the appearance of clean. But in reality, there was an unseen sticky mess under the mat, a spider web in the base of the kitchen stool, cobwebs under the fridge and I’m serious I have NO IDEA what that was under the cabinet base.

And that’s when He began to show me Truth.

How much is my own heart just like my pumpkin nightmare? I know there’s some work to be done … sin to be removed, dirt that needs tending to, repairs that need mending, a few sticky messes in places which aren’t evident at first glance, cobwebs where I’ve given up and things I can’t even identify where I’ve given in. Oh, I do enough clean up to make everything presentable from a distance, but when you get up close and personal, there’s such evidence of the need for a deep clean. And how much easier would it have been to spend the time on my knees, letting the Holy Spirit do it’s refining, cleansing work on a daily basis, rather than pushing things to the side, sweeping them under the mat, refusing to look closely at what was right before my eyes and going on to things that brought more immediate pleasure. But then comes the “bullets” of  a life that is not bulletproof bringing us painfully to our knees, realizing that there’s a lot of dirt we have to wade through to find clean again. And, just like me with my banged up knee, we are helpless to do this the easy way. We have to listen to the voice of the Father who plots the course for us and then takes us gently through the process of cleaning out the unkempt places in our heart.

Perhaps you find yourself as I did in the midst of a crime scene this morning. Maybe the bullet launched was from your own actions … or possibly it’s the shrapnel from bullets sent in by our adversary. Regardless of the circumstance, the triage of scripture is the same! Will you settle yourself before His Throne, even if you can only bend from the waist.

Ps. 71:1-3
In you, Oh Lord, do I take refuge;
Let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
Incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge,
To which I may continually come;
You have given the command to save me
For you are my rock and my fortress.

Romans 7:21- 8:1

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being. But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in  my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Ps 51:7
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

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