sleeplessinmississippi

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THE PERSON IN THE MIRROR

on July 31, 2013

Nothing will upset my stomach more than a raw onion.  But do you think for one minute that it stops me from eating one on a juicy hamburger?  And I sure suffer the consequences.   I was given cause to consider the “onion” while dealing with grief in the death of my son.  A book was placed in my hands which compared grief to an onion, with all its layers.  You peel one layer, and then there’s another and another, and when you think you’ve peeled it completely, there’s that thin membrane.

More to my point, God not only wants our relationship to Him to be right, but the outward expression of that relationship must also be right.  We are  like that onion in one way–there are layers involved in our makeup.  Our past is always lurking and it is a layer that Satan often uses to defeat and discourage us.  With it, he tells us that we’re not worthy to teach a class or sing in the choir because of our past.  Then there’s the future, and often it is a layer that causes us to worry and fret.  We borrow it from tomorrow, which belongs only to God.  And then there’s that layer of the “here and now”.   This is the layer that causes us to become so engrossed with our day to day living, we neglect to take care of what is most important–that is our relationship to God.

God will not allow anything to escape His scrutiny.  He will keep bringing us back to the same point over and over again and He never tires of bringing us back to that point until we learn the lesson.  You see, carelessness is an insult to the Holy Spirit.  We should have no carelessness about us–not in the way we worship Him, not even in the way we eat and drink.  But we do have some areas in which we are lazy and careless.  Our problem may be an impulsive nature, or our idle and wandering thinking, or our independent nature and self-interest.  God keeps peeling away the layers as He tries to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right in our lives.

I remember once, several years ago, when there was a person I really disliked.  I am not sure exactly why I disliked her, but we clashed on several occasions at work.  She always had to have the last word, and she was always right, of course.  Time passed by and I got a job in the same building, but in another office.  Wouldn’t you know it? She had gotten a job in the same office.  I couldn’t believe it.  How could this have happened?  Well, I’ll tell you what I think about it.  I think I had an unresolved problem (namely, lack of love) which I felt would be solved with a change in the scenery.  But my loving Heavenly Father (who loves me way too much to let me escape His scrutiny), wanted to teach me to love the unlovely.  We’re commanded to love, after all–it is not an option.  So, it seemed like every day, at the coffee pot or at the copy machine or in the elevator this person would be there.  I had to look at her.  It got so bad I hated going to work.  Oswald Chambers has a special place in my heart because one morning while reading his devotional “My Utmost for His Highest”, he (with the Holy Spirit’s guidance) pointed out  what the problem was.  It wasn’t the girl in the elevator–it was the girl in the mirror.  So I picked up a small plant at the florist downstairs in my building and I placed it on her desk.  When she looked up with a shocked expression, I said “Special delivery from heaven.”  Nothing was the same after that.  God gave me a genuine love for that girl, and we became friends.

The Holy Spirit, speaking through James said “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4  We must be careful about the small details, and careful not to say “oh, that will just have to do for now”.  May our prayer always be, “Lord, make me mindful of any thing, no matter how small, that robs me of fellowship with Thee.”


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