Sunday, December 13, 2009
My daughter recently heard a speaker tell a story on one of her friends.
"The girl was engaged to an English fellow, and when she went out to meet his family, she decided to impress her future mother-in-law by scrubbing all the disgusting, horrible-looking stains out of the inside of the family's teapot. *insert horrified gasp*"
"The mother-in-law literally shrieked when she saw what had happened, but then patiently explained to the cleanliness-obsessed American that 'the richness of the tea comes from the stains.' So true, in so many ways."
This morning I was checking out a friend's Spark Page and saw that one of her goals was to "stay sweet...". (Thanks Michele, you really encouraged me.)
When I am overwhelmed and just plain old not feeling good, I find it so hard to stay sweet! My baser self rises to the surface and I want everyone to "go away". I want to retreat. But, it is at those exact moments that I really need to be inviting, not retreating. I need to invite our Lord to minister to my wounded spirit. I need to invite my family and friends to hear my pain, see my tears and and allow them to minister to me.
I need to be inviting, because God heals in relationship. With Him and with others. I know, from experience and from God's Word, that not all relationships are worthy of our hearts. We do need to be careful. We need to guard our hearts, but we also need to trust. Trust, first and foremost, our loving Father. And secondly, we need to trust our (healthy) family and friends. Not an easy task when one has been hurt and/or betrayed by many people, is it?
So, to those of us who have had "difficult, stained backgrounds", please, continue to trust and invite. Continue to recieve the healing and comfort that only our Lord can give. Remember what our Lord says in II Corinthians 1:3-4; God comforts us so that we can comfort others (my paraphrase). There are so many hurting people in our world who need to be "rescued". Only God can do that, but as we recieve our healing and comfort, amazingly, (amazingly!!!) God uses us.
So, I choose this day, NOT to allow my "stained" past control my future. Today, I choose love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, gentleness, humility, prayerfulness, trust and comfort. I choose to continue to heal and help others in need of encouragement, love and healing. I choose to allow God to use me. And, I choose to "stay sweet". Because I am learning that:
"The richness of the tea comes from the stains." So true, in so many ways!
Thanks to all of you who keep me accountable, who encourage and love me. You are all so inspiring. And, thanks to our Living Lord!!!