He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9

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SPIRITUAL MUSCLE

And I can feel Him digging.

I recently listened to Joshua Harris speak words that were another chunk of earth turned over by the Spirit’s spade. He talked about the daily choices we make– and the realization in his own life that anything which made him less hungry for the Word and the Spirit in his life is not a good choice. Regardless of how it is rated or how harmless it may seem. Someone said that a good judge for choices in our lives is to ask the question….”how far from a spirit of prayer does this activity take me?” It is a jarring thought, to apply this to every single moment of our lives. And even a bit amusing.

Take, for instance, my daily encounter with diapers. The other day I was going about the normal responsibility of changing yet another diaper. I was almost finished with the dirty task at hand when I glanced up at the baby and saw an object on his arm, near his chest. I continued the wiping and wrapping and fastening, then realized that the entire contents of this particular diaper had mysteriously ended up in my son’s UNDERARM!!! I wish I were kidding.

I hesitate to mention the consistency of diaper contents on the world wide web, but the words “large ball of stinky, sticky play doh” come to mind. I am quite sure that those of you who are still with me on this and have not turned in disgust to another, more D-rated (daddy rated) blog are indeed mothers or a rare breed of diaper-changing daddies - and can handle this kind of language.

Anyway….where was I on the whole digging thing? Oh yeah. So here I am, cleaning poop out of my son’s underarm. And how far from the spirit of prayer does this activity take me? Actually, these kinds of mommy tasks force me into an almost constant state of prayer – Oh Lord, please help me to have both survival and wisdom! Don’t let me ruin these dear children forever. Dear Father, help me to know how to distract them from killing each other. Jesus, please help me to distract myself from killing THEM!

And so I find myself with a living room completely full of boxes, another half of my stuff yet in storage, my husband gone 4 days out of every week, all of my kids sick and my world in virtual shambles. And I go into survival mode.

But he digs and reminds and sends little messages and seeks me from many different directions. I go to the kitchen radio, hungry for some meat. I turn from the 7-11 station and find something that draws me to Him – teaches, comforts, urges, lifts. (By the way, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term 7-11. It’s my dad’s endearing term for Christian songs which repeat the same 7 words over and over 11 times. It’s like eating refined, enriched bread all day. It may not be complete junk, but it’s not enough nutrition to really feed you well.)

And as I see the footprints He leaves behind on my soul as He moves around me, reminding and drawing me – I am immensely grateful that He cares that much. That He sees me in my current state. That I don’t even have to explain it all to Him. That He loves me enough to put me out of my comfort zone. (I’m the most at peace when there is space and order around me. Yeah right... What’s that?!) And I know that even now, He draws near to me. Loves me as I am. Reminds me that He’s going somewhere with all this.

The trying of our faith produces patience. My husband calls this spiritual muscle. There is nothing going on that would seem like a major trial to all but those dearest to me. I have known great grief and crisis – which is a different kind of testing. But this is the daily testing of a broken fridge, a leaky sink, a missing window, a messy house, a kid in the hospital. These things are here to give me patience – spiritual muscle. And please don’t EVER forget - muscle weighs a lot more than fat!!
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