Bruises and Blessings

Debbie and I have been enjoying a quiet and relaxing day. That means we have both been working on our computers. I have been catching up with some personal finance bookkeeping, Debbie is making sure her charting for patients is all complete. So for us quiet and relaxing means working I guess. What is interesting compared to the pace and focus of my life in politics it does seem more relaxing! I did get my amended tax return ready to mail. I am planning on another refund based on an oversight when I first filed.

Tomorrow begins an interesting week for me. I will call the Northern Colorado Rehab Hospital about my outpatient therapy. I have a follow up appointment with my infectious disease doctors and on Friday, Pastor Steve Harris will accompany me to Denver to the Capitol for me to open the House session in prayer. This for me is a special opportunity and timing. Those I was elected with in 2006 will be completing their final term. Not that many left considering I came into the House with the largest group of new legislators since Statehood.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…“The n I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”   Jeremiah 18:3,4

This morning we attended the Traditions Service at Timberline. As a matter of fact, this was the first time I took a regular wheelchair to a church service.  Also, this is the first time I have been in this service since attending several years ago with my mother-in-law. We enjoyed the service and some of the older hymns and choruses. However, it did make me feel old when the songs did not bring up memories of my childhood as much as my young adult years!

One of the songs we sang caught my attention. It is called “Spirit of the Living God”. The lyrics say, “Spirit of the Living God fall a fresh on me, Break me, mold me, fill me, use me” As I sang that song, I couldn’t help relate it to my health challenges and the time I spent immobilized in the hospital.

As a follower of Christ, I like the “fill me and use me” part of that song. I have experienced the wonder of the presence of God in my life and working through my life at various times. God’s presence makes the difference in our lives. Not just the awareness that He is with us as a matter of truth and faith, but the experiential part of it that is difficult to describe and important to cultivate. Remember King David’s plea in Psalm 51?  “Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

But to be honest this morning when we sang “break me, mold me”… that was difficult. In the natural I want to avoid that! Those are words that are easy to sing, but the reality of it can be hard. During my hospitalization, it was not just a physical breaking, but for me I viewed it as a big wake-up call from God. Confined to a bed provides opportunities for soul searching and reflection.

What does it mean to be broken? I think of the broken piece of pottery that is pictured in the Book of Jeremiah that is put back through the fire and reworked. I think of the idea of a horse being “broken” during the training process. I think of Jesus as the Heavenly Gardner, pruning branches from a tree to ensure its usefulness (John 15) I think of an individual who comes to the end of themselves, perhaps emotionally or spiritually or both.

In all of these analogies, there is the concept of change, redirection, vulnerability and openness. And that is what it takes for us to be ready for God to use fill us and use us. Our lives, our will and our minds surrendered to Him. That impacts our thoughts, our behaviors and our attitudes.

If I am going to be “worked over” as challenging as that process is, I can’t think of anyone I would trust more to ensure that what happens is for my good than the one who gave Himself for me.