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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Puddles

I have been a puddle of late. A wet, messy, saturating puddle. And you know as I do that puddles creep, growing with moisture that is gathered at the edges. Where does this puddle come from? I cast gratitude heavenward with heart eyes for the answer to this morning cry...

Father, it is early. The day has really not begun, yet I am overwhelmed by the tasks. I can't hear you. I can't feel you. Speak! Draw near. I want to learn...

I am thankful for a God who sometimes answers with questions...

Tell me, Beloved, how it can be that one soul's misery contributes to the refining of another?

Puzzling, and foreboding, yes. But the day that followed brought clarity to His words.

For I rubbed bony backs as shoulder blades heaved over the toilet. I knelt to clean carpet saturated with the toddler's lunch. I held a weeping boy as he apologized for the mess he made. I came running at the weak, trembly call of, "Mama?" in hopes to prevent another carpet scrubbing.

My prayer that begged a lesson? It is not about you, Beloved. And those harsh, exquisite words create a puddle.

The Refiner's fire is melting this Mama down. She puddles around her pink fuzzy slippers, a soft smile bending her lips instead of a frown as she bends to the quickly-growing (and stinky!) laundry pile.
He is a refiner's fire, and that makes all the difference. A refiner's fire does not destroy indiscriminately like a forest fire. A refiner's fire does not consume completely like the fire of an incinerator. A refiner's fire refines. It purifies. It melts down the bar of silver or gold, separates out the impurities that ruin its value, burns them up, and leaves the silver and gold intact. He is like a refiner's fire.
I long to be separated from the impurities that ruin my value. Harsh words. A heart that longs to be doing something else. Unrealistic expectations, for myself and everyone surrounding me. Yet, every time one impurity is melted away, another is revealed, and the process is never-ending.

The work can wait... An impurity is added to the pile. His head hangs; I've been too short with him... Another is revealed. She is clingy, and I cannot put her down, so my writing will have to wait... The puddle grows.

Remember...

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Oh, Father, that this mess might reflect You, filthy as it is. Draw near.

And He whispers... I am.


You are always welcome at my little place - A Path Made Straight

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12 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Beautiful post dear.

November 25, 2007 at 3:09 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Oh friend.
Your "misery" contributes to the refining of mine...
I *needed* these words this morning. A little encouragment to press on...I am feeling weary of late.
Thank you.

November 25, 2007 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Praying for you sweet one.

November 25, 2007 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Sweet post, Elise, and very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing!

November 25, 2007 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

It is great to hear from you again. And isn't it great to remember that on the other side of this refining will be freedom. This too shall pass!

November 25, 2007 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Joy said...

Oh Elise! How I needed to hear that this evening...thank you for that gentle reminder.

November 25, 2007 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Still writing beautifully, even amidst the sickness. We have had our own "puddles" here lately- two bouts of the stomach flu in as many weeks. I'm right there with you!

November 25, 2007 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger nanashouse said...

when i reached the "point of no return" i was ever thankful that i did not have to run by the clock of the world. i could sleep in with my sick ones. school could always be caught up. my little ones remember cool cloths, 7-up in a special cup and more stories. bless you, sweet one.

November 25, 2007 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Isn't this the beautiful truth! Thank you for allowing the Lord, always, to speak through your gift for words. Feeling rather puddlish myself lately, unworthy to meet with Him each day when that's exactly what He's begging this messy puddle to do. Appologizing to my children, hoping for grace from them, praying for forgiveness. I live for those new mercies each morning!
I love you friend!
Sarah

November 26, 2007 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Beka said...

Thank you once again, dear friend:
your writings are always so well-timed for me. I've been rather "puddly" myself these days, and I do so long to be cleaned up and put back together by my Father. I can only hope and pray that my soul's distresses can contribute to the refining of others... somehow. But with Him all things are possible, right?

Hope the kiddies are feeling better and that sickness has left your home! Praying for you, always.

November 26, 2007 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

something every mama needs to hear.... i hope you all feel better soon.

November 27, 2007 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Vicki said...

So much beauty and truth here.

hugs,
Vicki

November 27, 2007 at 1:37 PM  

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