Originally published Wednesday, 10 June 2015.
Usually, I am prepared for the big breaks. I arm my heart with truth and prayer to beat the all-out smashes of life, but it's those small cracks, those unexpected issues, that so often send my heart in an emotional tailspin.
Last week, I went on my 10-year anniversary trip. My expectations were higher than the empire state building and all signs were directed to fun.
I drew a line in the bright sandy beach that said "all my eggs are in this vacation basket, nothing can mess with this."
Vacations are off-limits, aren't they?
Then, my blog internally crashed.
Email after email couldn't resolve it.
Four different people couldn't find a solution.
My husband had various concerns of his own.
The kids were waiting for fun and I felt like there was work to be done.
I knew I had a choice, I could see the big issues in my sight, or I could fight fright to grab hold of God's might. I chose to fight - to see the great God above me rather than the issues before me.
And, it worked, for, a bit..
...until God whapped me upside my head.
Yes, you heard me right, my friend.
As I entered the pool like the cool, calm and collected "faith in Jesus" girl that I was, I giant bird pounded my head with the speed of a world cup soccer kick. Apparently this crazy bird thought my bun was nothing less than a tasty soft bun.
Whap! My head seemed to spin with the velocity of all that was coming at me.
And it was in this moment that my hands fell by my side, the tears broke through my face and my heart was cracked wide open. I asked,"Lord, why are you hitting me while I am down? Do you not care about me? What is it that you want to get through my thick skull!?"
Dang. We can fortress ourselves up like Jericho, but still, the cracks find their way, don't they? They break us down and shatter our worldly and emotional well-being, leaving us saying, "God, how did I end up here? Why did you leave me?"
We amp up our lives with God in the big,
but his volume can seem low in the little.
Why bother God with something we should be able to handle, right?
God loses his "needed-status"; he becomes our opponent, rather than our encouragement.
And, this brings me to my patio...(this will all tie together, I promise you).
I first noticed this:
Abundant dirt in the place where abundant flowers were supposed to reside. So much for nursery promises.
But, then God unveiled this:
Flowers all throughout the little cracks of my patio.
Flowers, not contained or restrained, potted or predictable, but simply flowers sent on a mission from God.
These flowers helped me see beyond my toddler-like demands of expectation, to see God's best working ground is in my foundation - in the grime, in the dirt, in the cracks.
This is the soil where he grows beauty. It's the soil where things bloom. It's where the deep roots of faith are sowed.
How often do I take for granted God's gentle cracks of beauty,
because I am too caught up in the pot that contains no flowers?
How often am I so dead set on my plans,
that I miss God's desire to spread his seed beyond me?
In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world--just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace. Col. 1:6
Fertile soil is a powerful breeding ground for the message of Jesus Christ, it says, "Your will be done, Lord, not mine."
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Lu. 22:42
Cracks are God's holy ground.
Our cracks, turn us back to say, "I need you Jesus." They bring us into his presence. They call us in by name. They set us on our knees. They focus our thoughts on his Word. They humble our hearts into receptivity.
Great seeds of life-growth take root, not always as expected, but in a way where Christ is reflected, where love is invested and so we are redirected.
Ultimately, the cracks launch Christ's arrows of love straight into the dry-soil of our deep-set emotional issues.
The question is - will we view the small flowers in the cracks as buds of his glory
or will we keep our eyes dead set on what we deserve?
Will we allow attacking birds and cracks in our perfect lives to become messenger's
of God always-redeeming story - the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Beacons of the great work that God is doing in us.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Is. 60:1
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