Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Grand Gesture


Walking through our living room the other day I wondered where the pretty aroma was coming from and then saw this little dish of dried rose petals I had placed on a side table. It surprises me every time because it does not seem possible that an old dried up rose that used to be so beautiful could still offer such pleasure. But it does, and it made me smile.


Many years ago while scrubbing a dirty wall in a church nursery, I made what I thought was a grand gesture in prayer. I said to God, 

" Please get me out of the way so that you can shine more brightly in me God. Reduce the Susie and magnify the You in me."

Turns out, God did not appreciate my grand words or even the real desperation that lie behind them. In fact, as I remember it now, I think He may have been a bit bugged at me for my request. And it takes a lot to get Him bugged. I heard a quick answer.......

"No I will NOT reduce the Susie in you. I created you and I like what I designed just the way it is!"

When God talks to you there is an understanding that goes beyond the actual words you hear. I knew that God was telling me that He made me in a specific way for His purposes and when I do not like myself, I am insulting what He made. There is something about my "Susie-ness" that He loves and my personality, quirks and talents are not by accident. They are useful to Him and He enjoys me as me. Even when I don't.

The dried up rose petal provides a soft and comforting aroma long after the fresh blossom is born. God likes the way He designed the rose. It has a purpose and reason for being just the way it is. I am treasuring each stage of the life (and death) of that yellow rose and its' siblings from the same rose bush.

Some days I feel much more like the the dried up and dead rose petals than the soft and dewy fresh blossom, but either way, I am loved by a God who designed me to be nothing more than me. Not only is being myself good enough, it is perfect. To do less or to moan about who I am would be insulting to my God and I do not want to make Him bugged at me again!

My friends, can you apply this small and so simple truth to yourself? God likes who you are, the way you are and the way you do things. He is not shaking His head in frustration when you "mess up". Our lives are a learning season and mess ups are totally expected. Get back up, laugh at your goofiness and try again. One further bit of advice though...do not ask Him to get you out of the way. He won't go for it at all. 


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15 comments:

  1. Love this, and so true. Sadly, it's taken me soooo many years to even understand this, and I still struggle with it sometimes. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for commenting Sarah. Yeah it is one of those little/big lessons that are continuous I think. So easy to fall back into negative feelings about who we are and how we are.

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  2. This was so insightful. So often we hear that kind of prayer: Lord, reduce us so that you may be glorified. I get the intent, but you're spot-on. He created us to shine and be who we are. By doing that we WILL glorify Him. Now how's that for a mind shift in thought?

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    1. It really IS a mind shift huh? The last several generations of church, tended to denigrate man in order to uplift God, but it was not necessary, God is big enough without us calling ourselves worms or wretched (as some of the old hymns do.). Though I certainly have my "wormy wretched" days! Ha!
      Happy Sunday to you Julie!

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  3. I needed this today. Doing a lot of introspections into my own heart/soul/purpose these days...trying to put things into perspective and decide just where and what and who I should be right now in this stage of life. Maybe I am expecting too much of myself...maybe I just need to let God be God in me the way He wants...and not try so hard to be what I think He expects me to be....some good food for thought today. Thank you.

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    1. You are welcome Pamela. Every once in a while I sit here and good stuff happens. Whaddaya know? Ha!

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  4. Beautiful, Susie. Beautiful.

    Say, you've got a huge number of followers. This is a good sign.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (My poetry blog)

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  5. THis was really great. Had a hard day and wanted to kick myself a few times for silly stuff. Thinking better of it now. THanks.

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    1. You are very welcome Zoe! Hope tomorrow is better.

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  6. So thankful God uses every bit of my mess.

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  7. You know...I think God has been showing me that for the longest time and I finally am starting to grasp the beauty and freedom in it. His love is amazing...and I spent the majority of my life complaining about every detail from the way I look to where he had me (really, the smallest state in the USA- what was He thinking!) Now I see how He has changed me...and my attitude- and I love this little state he has me in. He does not appreciate me despising the small details. WHich are really not small at all- but His choices and handiwork. Beautiful, post.

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  8. I know you will be shocked, but I'm still struggling with this quite a lot:

    "No I will NOT reduce the Susie in you. I created you and I like what I designed just the way it is!"

    It always makes me take a deep breath and relax a bit to read your messages on this topic.

    And on scent having such an effect, I have a story you'll love: Last night, I went to the grocery store (alone) at about 7:30. When I had finished, I couldn't bring myself to come home. So I drove to the library to return some books. When I stepped out of the van, I was hit with a dizzying floral perfume that made me feel almost a bit inebriated. I'm dying to know what kind of flowers they were, but they were growing everywhere! I picked a branch to bring home, placing it on the windowsill in my kitchen, and it has brightened my mood immediately every time I've walked into the room since. That's why it's so important for me to burn candles or incense and to have the girls pick me fresh flowers from the yard. Such simple things can completely change the way our days unfold.

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All comments are good comments!

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