On this gray, windy morning, I feel a bit like a flat pancake. Not because of the weather. Just my human condition flaring up again. While I found out yesterday I won a little blogging award relating to communicating truth, today I found out I have to make amends for a miscommunication of mine. Someone misunderstood my "tone of voice" in an email I sent. (A word of advice: I guess those smileys come in handy and I should use them more often. If I focus on communicating complex administrative details in an email, I can't be too much to the point- I've got to interject warmth and sweetness into the tone of the email, somehow). And there are other areas where I feel I have stumbled around. So I let God know this morning how frustrated I am that I can't carry out the good I want to do without botching things up all the time.
My Quiet Times with God, in the morning, are not usually quiet. I talk, out loud, to the Lord, as well as scribble furiously in my journal. I felt relieved to know that no matter what I said to God this morning, He understood my meaning. He can handle me, how I say things, and get the gist of it all, perfectly well. There was no miscommunication.
Though I feel a bit like clay this morning, I also sense the sweetness of the grace of God. How? Well, lately God is talking to me as if I was a little child and couldn't handle too many big words. (King Solomon rightly answered God when he said he was just a little child and didn't know how to go out or come in).
God is condensing the big truths into manageable nuggets for me. I'm not doing any long word searches throughout Scripture or intense studying, lately. It seems God wants me to just dial down a bit. I've just been listening and sensing the loving correction of God coming to me in a couple words, a couple phrases.
When I heard these little phrases over and over, I realized they are the same gentle but challenging instructions I have for my own kids, if I had summed it all up- which I forget to do.
Be well. Don't fall into confusion or despair over your own failings or over the dark meanness in the world. Ask God for forgiveness as soon as you know you erred. Be real about what you did wrong, and about how God lavishly forgives and restores you. Be well in spirit, clear in your mind, alive with hope. (3 Jn 1:2)
Stay warm. No one should ever be alone in the world, and no baby should go uncovered at night. It's God's will that our heart not grow cold. That no one cry alone in the dark without the warmth of someone's arm about their shoulder- and if no person can be there, then may the Almighty Arm of God be felt around you.(1 Thess 2:7 talks about the gentleness we should have, like that of a nursing mother who keeps her baby "warm" or cherished.) Receive and share the comforting blanket of God's love.
Do Good. The good you know to do, do it. The good you're trying to do and botch up, well, God knows what you were aiming for. If God prods you or provokes you to do keep doing the good things, thank Him for it- even if you don't like His methods. Keep going.
Be Happy. It'll be a sign to the world that God reigns. Be happy and be joyful. Smile- by faith. And when life is hard and catastrophe strikes, hold onto the hope of how God will create something better than happiness in your heart- its called assurance that nothing can separate you from God's love. Nothing can destroy your eternal hope and destiny.
And then when all is said and done, I know this is what I long for at the end of the day- that my kids come home. Whether they walk in the door recounting their successes and their triumphs, or whether they come home sharing their pain, I want them with me. God feels the same way. He's the author of the Nesting Syndrome. He's the Eagle hovering over His nest of kids, jealous that none think they will find a better parent elsewhere. Cause you won't. He's the Loving Father. He's more protective than a nursing mother. He'll keep you warm. Eternally.
I hope no one misunderstands me here. But if you do, I hope, at least, that you don't misunderstand God's love and His plan for you. Maybe Scriptures have been hard to understand. Maybe you just started to read the Bible and its a bit much to get through. Maybe you've read the Bible for fifty years and you know so much but need to remember the little phrases of truth that you can cling to, like:
And always,always,no matter where you went wrong, or even if it's at your last hour-