Most anyone who has entered into a conversation with me about anything God-related has probably heard me quote Jack Deere. "God offends our minds to reveal our hearts." So long ago was my first encounter with Deere's writings and teachings that I can't remember if I read this in one of his books or if I heard it on one of his teaching tapes. No matter. I believe there is deep truth in this simple statement and I often find myself pondering it.
This evening was one such occasion. However, it wasn't merely a passing pondering or a thought regarding someone else. MY mind was offended and MY heart was revealed. Ouch! Double Ouch! The Spirit then reminded of a recent post at The Small Scribbler (see sidebar) about potholes--"deep... greedy...cavernous...potholes." I had fallen right in to the pothole called PRIDE.
Regulary I visit several blogs...some belonging to a couple of my dearest sisters in the Lord...some belonging to "rubber stamping stars." The latter provide inspiration and motivation for my forays into card making and paper crafting. I recently happened upon a new stamping/crafting blogger. And she has become one of my favorites in the stamping world. Her creations amaze me. Not only does she stamp, she has two adorable boys, an adoring husband, and a household to run, but she also finds time to make LOTS of handmade gifts and favors...from hand-knit or crocheted baby hats for a charity group, to Japanese thimbles and monogrammed stationary sets. Just yesterday she posted a "blog candy" opportunity as she has reached quite a milestone on her blog--11,111 hits! Entering to win her candy was simple...reply to her post. To have more entries for her drawing one could answer a few questions she listed (mostly relating to how you found her site, etc.). However, another way to receive an entry was to link to her blog from yours. I replied to her post and then I thought about linking to her blog...I thought...and thought...and thought.
That's when I fell into the pothole...full force. I gave some namby-pamby comment that I'd love to link "to [her] blog from mine, but mine isn't really about stamping, though I do have SCS in my blog roll." I further invited her to email me and I'd give her a link to my blog so she could peruse it. Did I give her a description of my blog? NO! Did I mention at all the purpose of my blog--to ADORE, AMPLIFY, and ADMIRE the KING OF KINGS? NO!
I didn't want to offend my newly-found cyber-friend (who happens to live on the WEST COAST), yet I was clearly willing to offend the One who saved me!!! Forgive me, Lord! So often I fall into the pothole of pride and man-pleasing!
The Small Scribbler's observations about potholes are right on. They are deep. Often when faced with temptation to sin, we dangle a few toes over the edge and suddenly find ourselves knee-deep in a mess! They are greedy. Temption (and the author thereof) is rarely content with a passing glance. It's the repeated drive-overs--our thoughts, our feelings, our actions--that cause the asphalt to weaken and give way to pressure. They are cavernous. Temptation and sin can be covered over again and again, just like the recurring potholes in Smallville. And just like a filling covering over an abcessed tooth, the rot eventually wins out.
Take Heart! There is Hope for the potholes in our lives. His name is Jesus. He wants to fill in all those holes with living water and to enable us to walk on top of those temptations, victoriously.
Praise God, His mercies are new every day. Praise God, He is faithful even when I am not. Praise God, His forgiveness flows in unending waves. Praise God, it is only through my sweet Jesus' grace and love that I may ever glide over that pothole called pride and not fall right in! Every failure and every victory belong to Him. He is the Faithful one!