Saturday, April 28, 2012

Messes Happen

Now, don't laugh, but I meditate upon this verse a lot:

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox."   ... Proverbs 14:4

Ha! Have you ever thought about what that verse is really saying? To me, it says, "If you want to have an abundant, full-as-can-be life, you must accept that your helpers will sometimes dump messes on you along the way."


I mean, let's start with Tom's and my new cats, Sammy and Daniel. Oh wow. The first six weeks with them felt eternal, complicated, tiring and we wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into. But now? These cats fill our lives with companionship, laughter and a coziness you discover no other way.

Yet we had to slog through those first six weeks--and still now--we must put up with a few knocked-over items, tufts of black hair on the carpet (I vacuum daily now) and of course, the litter boxes must be changed. But Sammy and Daniel are worth it all.

And how about the friends we all have in Life? Sometimes they criticize what we love, have a headache and take out their pain on us or pass over lightly something we valued incredibly high. But what happens if we can't accept their humanity? If, after 'three strikes, we throw them out'? 

We will eventually end up, alone. And God, Himself, said, "It is not good for (wo)man to be alone."

So if we want friends, we must accept that friends come with potential pain. At times their truth-about-us will hurt us, too! And yes, sometimes we must confront others if their behavior, over and over, is unacceptable. There is that, of course.

And yet mostly? The fact remains, if we want help getting through this thing called Life, we must accept that our help will often come, flawed. Because oh, we are--all of us--so very flawed, being human and all.

And that is where God's bright, unconditional love comes in--a love that sees past the flaws and peers much deeper into the heart's intentions. For most friends mean well--we ourselves mean well--but somewhere between our heart and the doing of a thing, we can sometimes blow it.

But yet, again, no abundant crops will grow if the stall is always clean for all its emptiness and we'll only experience an exciting, abundant life when we're humble enough to stoop down and calmly, gratefully, sweep up the messes.


Speaking of stalls and oxen,  I was tooling around my blog and found this old, original picture of our former barn:

And then I compared it with the 'after picture':

Wow. Kinda reminds you of the changes God makes inside us when we finally let Him work on us, doesn't it? 


Want to see some really gorgeous old barns? Go here.



Roger Crassi said...

Dear Debra,
I like the way you take your deepest meditations and express them in pure simplicity. Keep on doing what the LORD has called you to do.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks Debra, I needed to hear that today.

Rosemary said...

Love those barn photos. I was particularly drawn to one with the caption "the long and winding road" (chuckle) came from one of your blog posts.

Echoes From the Hill said...

Nice post. Thanks for the link to the barn photos. I love barns.