So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vacuum Visions

One thing I find interesting about Jesus is that He used pictures and examples of everyday things to reveal deeper truths.  To the farmers and fishermen that followed Him, He talked of seeds and wheat and nets and waves.  I was reminded recently of an everyday item that the Lord used to teach me something.  Nothing so romantic or even natural as waves or seeds, but rather a typical household appliance:  A vacuum cleaner.  The Lord has actually used this humble tool not once, but twice to help me see how His Holy Spirit works, and this is the tale of the second lesson.

I am on the cleaning team at my church, which, unsurprisingly, involves vacuuming.  We have a nice, self-propelled vacuum which usually works easily and effectively.  You turn it on, push it around, and it picks up dirt and debris from the carpet.  A few weeks ago I was vacuuming and noticing that it didn't seem to be working all that well.  I checked the bag; fine.  Over the years of being on the cleaning team, I have learned that vacuums get clogged (the first Holy Spirit lesson, for another day), and unclogging them involves nasty dirt and hair and mess.  I'm not fond of nasty dirt, hair, or mess.  So, I just kept vacuuming, persuading myself that it was just me and the vacuum was fine.

I vacuumed my area, and then I was ready to move on to mopping.  My cleaning partner took the vacuum to finish another area.  She remarked that it wasn't working very well.  I said, "Yeah, you're right, I think maybe it's clogged.  We should probably take it outside and look at it.  I do know how to unhook things so we can check."  So, we did, it was, and after I pulled the nasty dirt, hair, and mess out of the hose, viola, vacuum cleaner worked as intended.  It took all of five minutes to accomplish the change.

Sometimes my life is like a clogged vacuum cleaner.  I notice that I'm not doing very well at staying peaceful, or having faith, or serving cheerfully.  "Hmm," I think, "maybe there is something in between God and me."  And there probably is.  But taking time to sit down with the Lord and pray it through and figure it out and allow the Holy Spirit to clean out the nasty hurt, unforgiveness, or other mess is not something I enjoy.  At all.  So I just reason to myself that it's nothing and I'm really fine.  Until finally one of my partners in the Christian life or the Lord Himself clearly points out that my current approach isn't working.   

So, I overcome my dread and sit myself down on the couch to open up my heart to God to unclog whatever junk has come between us.  It's not always a five minute fix, but it is never as horrible as I have imagined before I get started, and I'm always glad that I did it.  Every single time I tell myself that I should let God deal with me before it gets to that point, and yet. . . I still avoid it.  Hopefully this recent reminder will spur me on to be more timely in allowing the Lord to clean out my clogs.