It seems that many times when God’s Spirit propels me into a growth spurt in my spiritual walk, the enemy is quick to push the right buttons in my life to try to derail the good that God is doing. While I am often now able to recognize the attacks when they are happening, I’m not yet very good at seeing it coming until I’m in the midst of it. God is continuing His work of restoring my connection with the camp I once served at and yesterday was a significant step forward in that process. So it should not have been as much of a surprise as it was that I walked into a situation at work today that frustrated me even before I found out the details of what had actually taken place. For all of us, this process of growth is a series of ups and downs which should increase our trust of God.
While the down side of the morning had my mind in a turmoil that made the writing process come to a halt, I headed outside to clear my mind. As I spent time with God clearing my mind, I got the ladder out and also spent time cleaning the gutters on the building. While they weren’t really in bad shape overall, several of the downspout openings were blocked so the water had no where to go but over the top. With just a little work and attention, the gutter system should be in good shape for the next rain. I suspect that most of us who are actively pursuing a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, have times where our condition is similar to the gutters on the building. Our daily walk, our time in prayer and God’s Word, the cleansing of the blood of Christ in our lives, has set us free from the build-up of filth that the enemy tries to bury us with but there are still times when we need to seek God’s help in clearing the “downspouts” of our mind so the flood of negative thoughts can be released and washed away. The more diligent we are about keeping our mind clear and focused on Christ, the shorter the time that the entanglements of the world can cling to our thoughts.
After taking care of the outside work that needed done, and clearing both my mind and the gutters, I was able to get a little more writing done on my current book project before calling it a day and heading home. At home, I mowed the lawn and then grabbed my camera to take some photos of some of the beautiful flowers growing outside. One of my favorite it the purple ball alium. Each ball contains hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of tiny blossoms that continue to expand the size of the ball as they open over a 3 – 4 week time period. By itself a single blossom out of this ball would hardly be noticeable but when joined together in the manner God designed them to be, these giant purple balls are a real eye-catcher! Many times we, or at least I, start to feel small and insignificant. We wonder what good one person can accomplish. We may even ask ourselves, “Who would even notice if I was present in this life or not?”. Sometimes we even deliberately withdraw from the ball — from the body of Christ that God has placed us in, thinking I don’t need them and they don’t need me. The body becomes divided and pulled apart until we begin wondering why no one seems to notice Christ in us and through us. It is when we find value in simply being the blossom God created us to be and remain in contact not just with the vine but with other blossoms that God has created for us to be with, we shine forth the beauty and light of Christ for all the world to see. When we join together without any part being concerned about drawing attention to themselves, our witness for Christ becomes and eye-catching thing to those who are watching.
I pray that you and I would seek to honor God not only on our successful mountaintops, but also in our disappointing valleys. I pray that we would live as those who are cleansed. I pray that we would examine not only what we allow into out mind, but also what it is we hold onto in our thoughts. I pray that we would understand the visible presence of Christ that would be seen if we joined together with the simple purpose of being who we were created to be.