Yesterday I shared how my heart is learning much about the asking we must do as we are truly seeking Jesus about a difficulty or a trial that we are burdened with in our lives. His will in our lives ~ wisdom and direction ~ patience and perseverance ~ many, many things require that we humble ourselves enough to ask of Him and then listen for His answers as to what the next step should be.
Even if it means we might be crawling, if we are seeking Him, dignity can be embraced upon our knees.
Dignity in Christ.
We ask everything according to His will, but we also ask that He grow our faith in the process of the waiting. We ask that He help us to remember when we fail to cry out to Him or don’t even bother to do any asking. We ask that He slice and dice our own will and make His clear and give us the power to obey Him.
But as I said yesterday, it’s not only about the asking. There’s so much for us to learn about the listening too, friends.
The listening and the obeying.
I also mentioned a bit about what happens along the way when we find ourselves asking, seeking, listening, and waiting upon the Lord regarding decisions we know we must make.
What are we to do in the midst of the waiting?
We embrace the beautiful parts intermingled with the ugly ones.
We seek to find things ~ be intentional about looking for grace, receiving it, and doling it out as well.
We look for the glitter that is sprinkled throughout the mud that we feel we are trudging through, friends.
Because it’s there.
Today my pain level was not much better than it was before. But my glitter-seeking antennae were up and running before my feet hit the ground. They were working better today ~ far more receptive ~ far more tuned in than they were yesterday or the day before.
They were ready to look for it, recognize it, and snap it up and hold it tightly.
I had to do things that were hard for me in the midst of the already hard stuff.
But I found the glitter. In Him, and in the grace poured out by others.
I stand in awe at the beautiful relationships and hearts that I saw around me yesterday and today. They have been there before ~ this is most certainly not the first time these people that I call friends have showered me in such lavish grace and care. But today and yesterday ~ well, I was hit with an avalanche of glittery grace that brightened up the quicksand my pain has been making me feel trapped inside of for a couple of months now.
It didn’t take away all of the mud, but it glitterize’d it for sure, my friends.
And it was less heavy.
And I know that God sent them to me, these friends. I know these are grace gifts that He orchestrated to come my way.
What are we to do along the way?
I thought of Jesus and the agonizing trek he had to make that led to His crucifixion ~ the day that His battered physical body could no longer carry His cross completely alone during part of the journey.
He allowed someone to help Him carry that burden for a while, friends.
He received the grace and the help.
And as dark as things looked, I believe it to be a beautiful example of humility, love and grace when the Savior of the world allowed a man to help him to carry the cross that He would be crucified on later that day.
Only Jesus could bear the burden of all our sin on that cross and save us. He chose to go willingly. He also chose not to walk alone.
We are to bear one another’s burdens. We are to give our grace and love freely, but called to receive it as well. It’s part of humility, dear friends. It’s part of listening. It’s part of obedience to embrace the glittery grace that others offer to us in the midst of our pain or difficulty.
It’s a gift for the receiver as well as the giver of the glittery grace.
It puts the mud to shame, even if it won’t completely relent.
It redecorates the space that we are in so that more glitter can breed and spread and eventually light overtakes the dark.
It invites others to share in our most vulnerable and intimate spaces and make them a part of it all.
This is relationship.
We can give some of our own out too, you know. Even when we are on our knees and still partly submerged in the quicksand, we can reach into our glittery pockets. Even if we have to throw it up in the air behind us and hope our aim is halfway decent.
Part of the way that we can be givers of grace comes from being the ones at times who are receiving of it.
If you are stuck in the mud and all is ugly and sticky and dark and heavy, would you look for the glitter that’s around you too, dear friend? If you cannot see it, cry out to the Lord and ask others for help. Are you willing to submit your pleas for help? Are you ready to receive it as a child would?
We need to allow others the gift of being there for us, just as we wish to be there for them in times of need. Instead of seeing ourselves as helpless animals stuck in the mud, let’s look upon it the way we would if the roles were reversed! Would we want to help a friend in need if they were stuck? Would we want to do everything we could to help them along the way? And if so, would we want for them to receive it graciously?
It’s part of what we must do along the way ~ open ourselves up to be the receivers of mercy and grace.
No one should set themselves apart from giving or receiving such grace.
No true giver of grace is someone who refuses to receive it when it’s their turn.
I am grateful for the glitter in the mud today. I am grateful the Lord gave me the eyes and the heart to see it and celebrate it. I am grateful for the grace givers and the ones who have received some of what the Lord provided to me to dole out to them at one time.
I am grateful. I am a muddy, glittery, mixed-up, probably frustrating, but ever-so grateful gal.
And as I get ready to rest for the night, I find myself being grateful for just one more tiny little thing.
That although I might be muddy ~ there’s glitter stuck all over me.
Maybe someday I will be able to testify that I have become better at living out the entirety of this little secret:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Philippians 4: 12-14