Laurel Thomas

Monthly Archive: March 2015

Sunday

22

March 2015

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COMMENTS

Love’s Leap

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There were black stripes on the walls and on the ceiling. Walking upstairs, I saw dark swaths on both sides of the carpet. Pockets of dusky residue gathered in corners of the ceiling. I mopped the kitchen floor three times. Still black.

It was soot. Not just the kind we could wash off with soap and water. But the kind that left an oily residue, resisting all my cleaning attempts.

I thought about crying. It was a mess far bigger than I could fix. I couldn’t physically clean and repaint the walls and ceilings. Not that I wanted to, but this was beyond want to. It was out of my league.

We’d dedicated our house to the Lord. It was open to happy parties and spilled lemonade. Open, also, to hurting hearts and muddy feet. So what was the deal? I was sad, then angry. Then both.

The Lord had one word for me. Repent.

What did a problem too big for me to fix have to do with repentance? In my younger days, I’d just apply elbow grease and git’er done. This time I wandered around the house muttering, “What the heck?”

I asked and He explained. He’d put me in the middle of an object lesson. One that revealed me. Ouch.

It had to do with forgiveness.

See, I’d learned to say, I forgive. I’d made the choice to set my will in God’s direction even when I didn’t feel like it. But that was like the first layer of soot removal. Good, but not enough.

Not enough continued to scream. Not enough to keep anger and hurt from pouring back in when I faced an offender. Not enough graciousness, not enough generosity to take the final plunge and release that debt – no matter how large or small.

One of my friends told a story about riches buried under temples in India. Starving people walk overhead as their answer rests under the soles of their feet. Were there treasures hidden in me, locked away from the needs of others? Had they been marred by the soot of unforgiveness?

I figured I had to measure out forgiveness with great care because I might run out. I’d yell (inside, of course) “Stop! Too much!”

Too big a mess to fix alone. Hmm. Just like my house. Unforgiveness locked residual pain to the corridors of me. It stifled the beauty of the gift inside. The one with power to restore and reconcile because it came from the Reconciler Himself.

So I’ve decided to make the leap. Sure, I’m trembling a little. But I’m building my faith for it on purpose. Because, like you, I have a future. And that future requires more than I have.

I want it to be an unlocked future. One that offers His riches to other’s needs. The kind that restores messes and brings out the beauty hidden there all along.

Want to join me in the leap?

Shalom,

Laurel Thomas

 

Monday

2

March 2015

0

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Cannonball into the Deep

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It was bliss. Swimming in the Gulf, diving under waves and letting them pull me back and forth, over and over. No wave pool like it.

Now and then, I’d touch the bottom, get my footing and a little rest, then swim on. Until one morning when I dangled my feet and found nothing. My adult self might have panicked. My ten-year old self floated, swam forward and found the sandy bottom once again.

I don’t know why I need the shallows these days. I tell myself it’s because I like mastery. Let me learn something and learn it well. Let me check it off my list. Accomplished?  Check.

God doesn’t cooperate with that plan. Instead, he invites me into the deep, to venture into borders of His calling I’ve never visited. To let Him take me where I couldn’t go alone.

Moses and Aaron were used to deep waters in Egypt. They let God speak and act through them. Over a million people came out of cruel bondage because they were willing not just to say, God do it, but, God do it through me.

Our battle for the deep is all about identity. If we believe we’re made only to splash around the shallows, that’s where we stay. But the Creator of the universe formed us for much more.

Moses climbed the quaking mountain, full of the smoke of His glory, to receive a heavenly download for the next part of their journey. Part of that download included Aaron and his sons. God spoke of a new identity, prepared for a new place and new time.

Their identity would invite access to Him. They would be a part of teaching and modeling that access to an entire nation.

Instead, Aaron let a cheap imitation overtake the real. His decision contradicted what God knew to be true about him. Instead of teaching God’s people how to draw near, he led them into another system of slavery.

Not being willing to know His heart for me now is dangerous. It says that what I know is enough, even though the challenges of today prove otherwise. So I’m pressing into that mountain for a new view. It’s more than I’ve experienced and better than I know. It’s time. Time for that cannonball, smack into the depths of Him.

Shalom,

Laurel Thomas