Saturday, June 13, 2009

Flint Removal

Grumpy weeks are good ones for making me humble. For me it takes a while. First I go through the complaining stage, reciting to myself all the reasons I have for feeling the way I do. Somewhere in there God begins to challenge my heart, and I take a closer look. It's not that I don't have lots of reasons for needing God's grace to cope and hang in, to give out and to keep going. It's just that the most important thing to God, and really to others, is how I do what I do. What's the point in coping, hanging in, giving out and keeping going, if I don't do them with true grace and gentleness? That was what I always found fault with my mother about, and others who had "power" over my life. If they were harsh, and they often were, I wilted and cringed. Of course I have that capacity well built into me, despite how much I hate it. I may come across as gentle to some, and may indeed be gentle inside, but often it is harshness that lashes out, especially with those closest to me. I am grateful that today I can share challenging and helpful words from Streams in the Desert (of course) that have spoken deeply to my heart, and my need in this area:

When God conquers us and takes all the flint out of our nature, and we get deep visions into the Spirit of Jesus, we then see as never before the great rarity of gentleness of spirit in this dark and unheavenly world.

The graces of the Spirit do not settle themselves down upon us by chance, and if we do not discern certain states of grace, and choose them, and in our thoughts nourish them, they never become fastened in our nature or behavior.

Every advance step in grace must be preceded by first apprehending it, and then a prayerful resolve to have it.

So few are willing to undergo the suffering out of which thorough gentleness comes. We must die before we are turned into gentleness, and crucifixion involves suffering; it is a real breaking and crushing of self, which wrings the heart and conquers the mind.

That breaking and crushing, that wringing of heart, is really a daily thing, which the great saints knew and embraced so well. I want to be gentle. This I truly know. With all my heart. I want "thorough gentleness". So that means I must embrace all that will create that in me.

This reminds of what my daughter said when she was so mad at someone who hurt her regularly. She said she was always glad to have something to apologize for to that person. It helped her to deal with the other issues, helped her to stay humble and in a place of openness to growth. When I struggle most with attitudes in others, that is when I most need to look at myself, and learn the lessons of my own untamed heart.

The servant of the Lord gentle. (2 Tim. 2:24)


Belinda said...

God's finishing school: He does much buffing and sanding in order to reveal the latent beauty in our souls.

Angcat said...

Hmmm. Yes Meg. True words. Suffering and dying does bring about gentleness.
I am far too often, most of the time, alive and well, but Holy Spirit draws me to that place of reckoning myself dead to sin and alive in Christ.
Everything that I am inside is so contrary to God's nature, yet I see and hear His birthing process and love what He is doing and love Him all the more for doing it.

A good word.
Thank you.