Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From the Fullness - Cure for a Backward Heart

I slip out of bed and pad to the kitchen. The hardwood floor is winter-cold. I pull my slippers from the closet and start the coffee.

The boys are still alseep, and it's a good thing. They'll need to be well rested. It's our first day of school after Thanksgiving. Zay is sick and hot with a strong virus. Logan has returned to college, and the house seems hollow without all of our sons.

A backward heart. If there's one recurring stronghold issue that I slosh through, it's my backward heart. Oh, I wish it were a week ago. We were all together. Looking backwardness is the chorus that rings steady through my life. Even when we decorated the tree, over the weekend, my heart wandered back in time. Samuel chose that ornament when he was two. The year he loved dinosaurs. I wish we could have that time back.

Sometimes I sink so far into yesterday that I don't see the blessings of today.

Someone once peered into my soul and asked a tough question. "Why do you do that? Why do you look backwards so?" I felt vulnerable. Unveiled. I stumbled for words. Groped for reason. The best I could come up was with was a stammer. "I love my life so much, I hate to leave parts behind."

So I stand in the kitchen, warm coffee and warm slippers, and blink back tears that I don't even want.  A helpless longing tugs at my soul, and I can't shake it away.

Life has been good. Life has been sweet. Maybe I'm afraid it won't always be.

Could it be a trust issue with God? That He won't care for my heart? Provide for my life? Deep down, I'm afraid. Afraid of missing. Afraid of loss. I want to twist time hard to hold it still. It's an effort that is always lost.

From the fullness of His grace, we all receive one blessing after another. John 1:16

It's my life verse. My rope. My wrap-your-hands-around-it-and-hold-on-tight promise. From the fullness of His grace..a fullness I'll never understand. I depth I'll never see the end of. Something so wide and rich and deep with love I'll never scratch the sweet surface, this side of heaven.

...we all receive one blessing after another. The context is Jesus and the blessings that flow through His blood. The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (vs 17). Salvation. Grace. Acceptance. A paid-for, blood-smattered, glory-grace invitation to the family of God. It really is more than I can fathom. I long to understand.

But as I stand in the kitchen, coffee growing cold, I wonder if I can stretch it wide enough to cover today, without making the promise small. Will it cover my fear, God? My worry that it won't always be so sweet? It it okay to claim over everyday goodness? Over blessing I can see and touch and hold?

Peace floods my soul, warms my spirit, and I think all is well. I think it's okay. Tomorrow will be covered by Jesus, and there is promise in the full, endless depth of grace. Today will hold blessing, too. And the blessings, the love-of-life sweetness that I'm afraid to hold with an open, unclenched hand?

Maybe I don't need to be afraid.

Because I believe that those sweet everyday blessings fit in the fullness as fragments of His grace.


  1. Dear Shawnelle,

    I had to read this three times to soak in all you expressed. What a great exploration of our nostalgic weakness and God's promise of grace and blessings for us all.

    I came to the following verse after reading your thoghts: 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

    "For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

    We all know we can't stop time and prevent loss, yet God has assured us that His LOVE is sufficient to battle life's storms. As long as we have Faith and Hope in the One Above All Others, His love will carry us through.


  2. Thanks, Lori, for sharing...esp. the verse from 1 Corin. I'll spend some time on that.
    Oh, I think my heart was full yesterday morning, thank you for hearing me through the muddle.
    His love is sufficient...precious truth. Thank you for the reminder.
    I love you...