Back from a short blogging break. Can hardly wait to share with you what was going on during this temporary break soon!
Later this week I'll also have a MUST read book up for review and giveaway.
But for now...
It's been over two weeks since the beautiful (in countless ways) wedding of my little brother. Definitely not only just a beautiful wedding, but a precious couple starting out.
The wedding and reception took place back home on my parent's gorgeous farm in the middle of the hills of Tennessee. God's perfect little backdrop, especially as the sun was beginning to go down and the twinkling lots of the reception tent were beginning to glow. The outdoor theme was made perfect with the wedding invitation suggestions of wearing cowboy boots.
Despite growing up in the south in farm country, I had NEVER owned a pair or even worn a pair. Not to say I didn't want to. I just never had.
Several months before the wedding, my daughter and I bought our first pairs. My husband LOVED the fact that I now had a pair and often "bugged" me about getting them out and wearing them. He even made me promise that I'd make sure he was able to spin me around on the dance floor after the wedding in them (though I did fulfill that promise GLADLY---it was actually barefoot!).
Though I loved them, after countless hours on my feet being constantly on the go that day, those boots HURT! They fit, but oh my goodness did they hurt. I didn't think much about it other than they were heels and pointy.....and had been on MANY hours and especially after some serious activity levels over the previous days on my joints affected by lupus. I just went on about it and once the majority of the guests left I kicked them off and got back to work.
A couple of times through the next week, I joked around with my husband and daughter that my big toes STILL didn't quite have feeling back in them. Still didn't think much about it. Just noted that man those boots really must have done a number on my feet!
It wasn't until earlier this week that I noticed that nails on my big toes were DRAMATICALLY bruised. Because my toes were painted in a really bright red color, I didn't notice it until the paint started chipping off and I hadn't had time to redo them. When I finally did remove all the polish, it was a shock to see how bruised they were and how I had been completely unaware of what was really hiding under the surface. I was aware it was there, but I didn't really think about it being that big of a deal. (I can only imagine what they looked like the first week before they started to fade!).
As we were looking at those bruises that had been hidden and ignored last night, I couldn't help but think about something similar.
Hidden and ignored in our lives.
Just like the bruises hidden under the red polish----sin can be lurking in our hearts. Hidden from the world.
Causing pain. Causing discomfort. Keeping us in a state of turmoil. Preventing us from fully coming into God's presence.
Just like I went on with life with my toes being sore but not really stopping to investigate why they were STILL sore after so many days, we can do that with life.
We get busy. We get wrapped up in the circumstances of life and don't have time to spend with God asking Him to reveal our sin, purify us and give us the strength to do what is right.
We just don't want to.
It's not always easy to do the right thing. It's hard to let go of bitterness, offer forgiveness, or say no to self. I know that sometimes I think it's easier to just hold on to those deeply hidden sins than to actually deal with them. Sometimes it's easier to hold on to that grudge or anger than to deal with it. Maybe I'd rather not admit my own fault in a situation. Maybe I just want to hold onto those sinful behaviors because I feel justified in my own emotions. Maybe I'm just too selfish and want things my own way. Maybe I'm not fully willing to give something over to God or maybe I don't trust Him enough in my actions.
Whatever it is....
No matter how hidden. No matter how many coats of nail polish may have hidden the bruises, no matter how well we think we have hidden our sins from the world.
They are still there.
They are still needing the mercy of Christ to reach in with redemption and grace. Sin, no matter how deeply we think we have hidden it or even how openly we display it, harms and destroys. It eats us apart. It negatively affects others. It blocks us from enjoying the fullness of God's goodness in our lives. It blinds us. We can walk in it so deeply and so long that we can begin to ignore the warning signs of our conscious and the Holy Spirit's promptings.
Just like those pointy boots may have looked good on the outside, they were killing my feet on the inside. They were forcing my toes in a position they weren't used to and weren't designed for. Sin does the same thing. It forces our hearts into a position that it wasn't designed for. When put under the blood of Christ, it's gone. It's forgiven. We're made pure again in His sight. He paid the price. His mercy and grace replace the condemnation and pay the debt. Then we are free to operate under His wings and walk in His steps.....
Not cramped. Not broken and bruised. No dying on the inside while the world sees us comfortable on the outside.
Just another powerful lesson learned from the most unexpected moments. From a simple pair of boots. Point taken (ha....from pointy boots!).