Tag Archives: devotional

Take My Messy Fingers

He loves to “help”, with the dishes that is. As soon as he sees or hears the dish water running he starts crying out, “Trevor, do it, Trevor do it.” In typical toddler fashion water goes everywhere. A dirty bowl somehow ends up on top of his head, clean dishes end up back in the dirty water. But, he loves it. Me—not so much. I let him “help” sometimes. Usually, we make it through the “fun-filled” ordeal. Other times I loose my cool half way through and stick him back on the floor while I hurry to finish the job myself.

I am glad that God has more patience then I do. I cannot help but wonder how helpful my “help” is at time. “Let me do it,” I cry and rush in with excited emotion and the eagerness of a toddler mirrored on my face. But, is my “help” really helpful? Sometimes I look back on the cultural blunders I have made or the relationships that have suffered from misunderstandings and can’t help but wonder, “God am I doing more harm then good?” Yet, He still allows me to be where I am “helping” in spite of the many messes.

That is what we do as parents, right? We allow “help” even though the processes is much messier and much longer then if we just did the task ourselves. Why? Because children learn by example, by doing, by observation, by being close and getting their fingers (and every other possible body part) messy. Slowly, there is maturity. Gradually, the messes take less and less time to clean up. Characters are built, skills are acquired and eventually a child’s help actually does become helpful.

So, this is my prayer, God. Take my messy fingers, my eager but imperfect self and make me more like you. That is what happened with the twelve disciples, right? They were constantly trying to “help” with their bad theology, selfish agendas and short-sited thinking. Thankfully, time with the Master changed them. They matured, grew bold and through them the entire world was changed.

Thank you, Lord, that you never give up on us and that you delight in using the messy fingers of your children.

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Keep Me Safe

IMG_66366 a.m. the sun barely tinting the sky. The more light appeared the more ice appeared. Elsa’s dreamland, but not conducive to carrying overweight suitcase from our little cabin in the woods to where the car was parked. I wouldn’t have been up if the plan hadn’t been to start our trip that morning from my parent’s house to Chicago (which on a sunny day is a 6 to 7 hours drive). The sun had a way to go before it would win over the ice, which left us no choice but to delay our trip until the roads cleared enough for safe driving.

In spite of the ridiculous cold, something in that icy early morning air felt a bit magical. The world lay in a stunned sort of silence. The beauty of winter frozen in time, but just for a moment. The morning sun threatened to melt the spell.

Since the trip was delayed, I grabbed my camera and stole a pair of my dad’s rubber boots. It’s hard to take a bad picture in the middle of so much beauty. As I snapped away, I spotted a tiny nest dripped in icicles tucked safely in the branches above. “That,” I thought, “is a picture of refuge, a picture of resilience.”

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I’ve been reading through Psalms again. Somehow I always seem to come back to reading the Psalms especially when starting a new phase in life or when going through a difficult period. There’s something so raw and honest in the words of the Psalms. Deep cries for justice and honest searching for life’s meaning. There are also tremendous amounts of hope on each page of poetry. Such beauty in word choice, and deep meaning in each line.

As I’ve been reading, the word refuge keeps surfacing. I love the idea of God as the one safe place in the midst of life’s uncertain, icy storms. He is a shelter when challenges seem overwhelming, a rock of hope when injustice overwhelms. There are no promises of an easy life, but like the nest high up in that tree there is always a place to go for shelter. There is always a place to stay until the sun melts the icy night. “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.” –Psalm 16:1

“Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” –Psalm 5:11-12

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