Paint it Purple and Move On
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to 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; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4: 1-9
Hello friends--I apologize for the the gap in my communcation on pleasepassthemustardseeds.com. A blogger should blog of course, and that has been my intent. However, this blogger, perhaps like many of you, has spent a season of pretty hard pressing. Physically, emotionally, professionally--yep, even spiritually, there's been a steady drip of discouragement that feels a bit like water torture. The details of all the wierdness are not important. None of it was horribly huge, but it was ongoing. It seemed relentless.
I love words, but there are times when the power of words betrays me. Such was the case this summer. Words weren't too helpful as I tried to navigate messy stuff. It wasn't about needing more debriefing conversations, although those are an incredible blessing. It was about needing to understand more of Jesus' power and presence in my life. It was about learning to trust Him more deeply, turn to Him in the still of the night when an overloaded heart awakens me, and just keep going. It was about savoring His Word in a new way, as both a bandaid and tourniquet, It was about really walking out my faith.
In our COVID crazy, divided, amped up world, I know I am not alone. Anxiety abounds these days and all of us are impacted by the confusion we walk through. There are oh so many of us trying to get out sealegs in this same strange, oh so large boat! Of great comfort and encouragement to me is that I am not alone in it now, and God's Word is rife with stories of folks like me who rocked aournd in it too. Folks like Paul, Peter, Esther, Job, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, David--there is pretty good company hanging out in the boat of discouragement. These folks realized, sooner or later, they were not alone in the boat. I got that too. This summer has been a time of sweeter, more refined connection with my Savior. The water's been rough, but the anchor of Jesus Christ holds. He is and has been with me.
Paul talks about the boat of discouragement in 2 Corinthians 4. The reason we bounce around in it, he says, is to give God glory. Suffering refines. Shadows prove the sunshine. God builds our reliance on Him through times of trial and in those time we come to understand the amazing beauty of our ever-present Savior. Emmanuel is His name. It is who He is.
One of the goofy wierd things that happened this summer is that I dropped a 60 lb. weight squarely on my left toe. It hurt like something Jesus has saved me from ( :)), and turned an exquisite array of odd colors. The nail looked gruesome, and I was sure it would come off. Armed with my summer's newly curated view of suffering, I painted that nail purple and kept on going. So far it is still attached to my foot. Seems like an apt metaphor.