Weed Eating Revelations #101
God gave me the privilege of working beneath the blue sky this past weekend, on a farm belonging to friends. I handled a few of their chores and they handled a few of my bills. I spent most of the day behind a sizeable weed trimmer, working along the perimeter of their property. There was a strip of rough terrain near the front entrance that presented a problem. It meets the road and then slopes back about 45 degrees, so you can’t mow it. It has no grass, only dollar weeds hovering just above the ground. But those weeds were treacherously disguising the jagged pea sized rocks underneath.
Now I’m used to suburban style weed-eating where shorts are a must, so that’s what I wore this weekend. When my friend put this section of his land on the to-do list, I sincerely thought about leaving. There’s just something about launching rocks at myself that makes reluctant. I can pay my electric bill some other way, I thought. Sure enough, 30 seconds into a 30 minute job and my shins were getting blasted. I must’ve tilted that trimmer at least 15 different angles to stop it, but nothing, just rocks. This went on for 10 minutes until blood was actually running down my leg (a few trickles) – no exaggeration. The pain was intense!
I gave it few more minutes and finally hoisted up that trimmer. “That’s it! I‘m not doing this! Hard work is one thing, but this is torture!” I reached for the kill switch to turn the motor off, but at that very moment my eyes were drawn to the trimmer head. Something was missing. I stopped its rotation and noticed that every inch of string was gone. That didn’t take long – I guess it was all those stones? The Lord reminded me of my commitment- crud! So I replaced the string, restarted the trimmer and forged ahead. I just couldn’t quit, but the remaining work seemed insurmountable. The pain was killing me. My legs continued to feel like they were being sprayed with buck shot. All I could do now was pray in frustration. “Lord why are you doing this to me? Why do want me to be in pain?” I continued trimming but got madder and madder at God for making me do this, just to pay a bill. No answer!
I finally got so tired of it I said to Him, “you know what?! I don’t care what you do to me! I WILL complete this work! I don’t care how much it hurts, I‘m going to be HUMBLE and finish, even if my legs fall off!” About 3 seconds after that, a large rock nailed me right in the fore head. The sting was intense; I even felt a little dizzy. Everything in me was screaming “stop! This is ridiculous!” I didn’t speak to God after that, but just kept working in anger, thinking my sacrifice would be seen as humility. I forgot about my iPod until it fell from my shirt pocket- must’ve been all the dancing around. I hope nobody saw that. Anyway, I’d left it on pause earlier, and shoved it in my pocket. It was a nice surprise. I pressed play with no discernment of what song was on. Anything would be a nice distraction from the beating my shins were taking. I even began to sing without paying a lick of attention. But after a moment of it, the lyrics were inescapable. I realized then that God was speaking to me through that song – answering my complaint.
“And though my heart is torn I will praise you in this storm” (Casting Crowns)
Surely He was telling me to praise Him, right then, in this storm! But He was talking about more than the shower of rocks hitting my legs and face. Honestly, I’ve been angry for months over our situation, maybe longer, and He knew it. As the song played out, I was having overwhelming thoughts of Jesus. I could see Him being mocked, beaten and spat upon, while remaining quiet. My heart softened up and I could feel tears approaching. But they were for His pain instead of my own. God impressed upon me in waves that JESUS IS humility. And He was never angry about how He was treated, only about how people treated each other. I realized what God was saying. Real humility was the quiet resolve in the midst of unfairness, and it is never angry. It is the giant that only looks small to small people. My heart sank and I was ashamed. But at least I had clarity. If humility was a town or a destination, at least now I knew which direction to start walking. At least now I had a map.
With that revelation I pressed on –just kept going! The same cuts were being hit again and again, making a red swollen mess out of my legs. But in the end my frustration was absorbed by God’s grace. The “why me?” no longer mattered, only the resolve to honor Him in the midst of it. 20 minutes later that rough section of terrain was done. I finished it with torn up legs and a mended heart. “Thank you Lord for this work to help me pay my bills!” and then I thought to myself, “next time…I’M WEARING JEANS!”
Okay, that’s good! But I kind of already know this…
We can look at Jesus all day and say “I know Him” but unless we know where we are in relation to His character, we can’t begin to approach it. In other words, we need to know where we stand before we can know how to move. If Humble is a town, you really CAN’T get there from here, if you don’t know where HERE is. I’m still about as humble as a rodeo clown, so getting pelted by a few rocks doesn’t count for much. But it was enough to help clarify to me, what real humility looks like, and where I stand in relation to it. At least now I can plot my course and begin the approach to that town called Humble (Jesus)
Is Jesus a destination (Humble Town)? Doesn’t He already live inside the believer?
Jesus is the contact point for transformation, but we live in a world of dual nature and contradiction. Obedience comes through suffering – pruning and refinement, inch by inch in the right direction. So even though our destination already lives within us (Jesus), approaching Him fully, resembles a journey. It begins by clarifying the distance between us and then moving forward, toward Him. The closer you get the bigger He becomes until there is nothing left but Him.
Aren’t “WE” really the obstacles to course correction?
1.) We believe we’re more like Jesus than we really are (that would be me)
2.) We think it’s impossible to be like Him because He is God and we’re not.
We cannot be God, but we can be like Him as He is on this earth – that is the intention of the Holy Spirit. Our potential for being like Him is real. We can’t just blow it off and treat Him like some kind of magic act. He lives! And we are His body! We are called to be like Him and that makes what I’m saying here really important.On the other hand, we have to know where we stand, and that requires prunning. I thought I was being humble by pushing myself through that pain, but God revealed that it was anger, not humility. He course-corrected me, so I could take a step in the right direction. And that is a revelation I wouldn’t have received if I had quit early thinking it wasn’t possible.
Today’s scripture: Luke 22:60-62
59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.
61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”
62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Wow! You can just feel the Lord’s eye’s locking onto Peter’s as the moment hangs in the air! His best friend, whom he would die for an hour earlier, he now denies even knowing! I’m convinced that Peter’s journey into the town of Humble began here. Because like us, Peter had kept company with the very essence of humility, but he never realized where he stood in relation to it before this moment. Once Jesus looked into his eyes with recognition, Peter fell to a place where he could see the chasm. It blew his mind and sank his heart. It also prepared him to lead the church on the day of Pentecost. When power came, Peter was ready for it – thanks to Jesus!
Prayer of Humility:
Father you are a consuming fire that purifies our hearts. Continue what you started in us, that every fruit of your Spirit will grow wild and sweet from these pruned and tested branches. Burn away our addictions and dual nature. Teach us to rely on you alone and remove the fear of praying these words. Teach us to stop boasting how great our love is for you and begin to boast on how great your love is for us! Continue Lord to hide just out of sight that we might seek you with our entire heart, and find you, when you are the only thing we care to chase. We rest completely in you Lord and we receive your loving yoke that you offered freely. In the greatest and most high name of Jesus we pray and we submit ourselves to your will. Amen!
On a Personal note:
We have been through a week of painful clarity as God continues to burn away the chaff in our lives. And we have seen His hand move mightily as we put our faith in Him alone. Our daily needs continue to be met. Praise God!
My focus will continue on subject of humility in the next post. If you find encouragement here or just need prayer, please sign up to receive these posts via email and I will add you to my daily prayer list. Thank you for your prayers and tender hearts toward us in this walk – we covet them and love you in Jesus.
PS: It remains my desire to post daily, but God speaks to me when He’s ready – much better that I wait for that than try to be clever and on time. Thanks so much for waiting with me!!
Be blessed my friends and thank you so much for walking with us!
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