...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I love old silverplated silverware from the 40's and 50's. I like to pick it up at garage sales and antique stores a few pieces at a time. I found some this week at a garage sale. It was so tarnished- even black in places- that she let me have it all for $.50. I was thrilled and more than glad to put in the sweat equity and spend the time and effort to shine it up.

Tonight when I cleaned and polished my new finds, I was pleased with how well and how easily they cleaned up. As I dried each fork and spoon and knife I began to recall how "polishing the silver" is a chore often mentioned in old books but is one my children never have to think about. For while I enjoy having this silverware to put out for special occasions, our day to day use is entirely the good old stainless steal that needs no polishing. Other than washing, it is pretty maintenance free.

So why, I wondered, do I prefer so many things that are NOT maintenance free (like this lovely silverplate that requires polishing to stay lovely). And it hit me. Maybe because I identify with it. I need maintenance too. Just like my favorite cotton shirts. There are shirts that never need ironing in my closet, but I really like the feel of the ones that are 100% cotton- you know the kind that get wrinkles the moment the dryer stops.

A silver spoon, left in the drawer, will tarnish and darken. A cotton shirt, left at the bottom of the clothes basket, will rummple and wrinkle. And a girl, left to her own devices and her own efforts, will tire and change courses and forget what her mission is. Trust me, I know.

I also know that with a little spit and polish and elbow grease that same girl can have her tarnish cleaned off and her shine come back. But what I know the most is where I have to go for that "cleaning treatment". Straight into the arms of my Heavenly Father. He was there all along, ready to polish me up and iron out exactly where and when I got dirty and wrinkled.

Tonight I think I will put a cotton tablecloth on the table, after I iron it of course, and use the new silverplate, which I just polished, to set it for dinner. Yes, it will take more effort and time, but then again real stuff always does. And it is worth it. Are you feeling a little dirty or wrinkled? There is only one place to get clean and get pressed.

Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
(Psalm 51:7)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Whatever Lord!

Whatever Lord!

What does that mean? What are we signing up for when we say those words?

The saints through the ages who have lived those words are the ones who have walked through wind, rain, and storm, getting wet and cold and bruised in the process but believing Him all the while to faithfully complete what He has begun in them.

What does it mean to say, "Whatever Lord!"

If you are Abraham it means leaving all your family and your home and your security for a promise that seems impossible. It means believing when all hope seems foolish. And it means taking the hope that has been fulfilled and laying it on the altar of God's will.

If you are Hannah it means humbling yourself with grief in your plea to the Lord to the point that the priest thinks you are drunk. It means going home in hope and faith and then seeing your greatest desire fulfilled. It means raising that love of your heart in the knowledge you will soon take him to the Temple to spend the rest of his life there.

If you are Hosea it means dieing to the dreams of a happy home and family that rests in the heart of every young man and instead following the Lord's direction and marrying the one who was guaranteed to defraud you, shame you, and break your heart. And then it means taking her back again and again so as to be a living example of the One who does the same for all His people.

If you are John the Baptist it means leaving the parents whose delight you are to live in the desert and wear uncomfortable clothes and eat bugs. It means proclaiming a message of repentance instead of one of prosperity. It means scorning the leaders yet gaining a following of the common people. And then it means purposefully withdrawing from that fame so you will decrease that Another can increase. And finally it means proclaiming the truth so forcefully to the wickedness around you that your head is severed from your body.

What is God asking of you today? Is it hard or uncomfortable? Is it outside your comfort zone? Outside your gifts? Does it run counter to your plans and dreams? Does it involve a cost, whether personal or physical?

May He find us, His people, ready and willing, and shouting at the top of our lungs, "Whatever Lord! I'm your man! I'm your woman! Send me!"