Slough

Slough: v. To be cast off or shed; come off.

Lord, have mercy. Changes in my circumstances and recent attempts to draw nearer to God have caused numerous non-beneficial habits and unlovely things about myself rise to the surface. The “mirror of God” reflects Truth, and I will give thanks with a broken spirit.

Last night, I went to sleep with some anxiety over seemingly insignificant events, which were easily preventable if I were a more disciplined version of me. I prayed and prayed trying to shake this thing, but alas. This morning the feelings persisted. God is faithful to speak to us through His word and Spirit. I am confident He will give me strength and wisdom to endure with more purpose in the coming days.

I’ve been making all kinds of lists lately. Today, the list was Good and Bad Habits/Activities in which I engage. The list of possibilities for “Good” things I want to do regularly was way longer than my “Bad” list. And on paper, the “Bad” list was pretty embarrassing and pathetic. So here I go, sloughing off the “Bad.” It’s super easy for me to beat myself up and become anxious about my mistakes and sins, but I realized that my obedience toward God isn’t supposed to be miserable. It’s supposed to be a delight, and on top of that it should give me freedom. If I’m not feeling joy in this sloughing, I’m probably doing it for self-serving reasons.

On the train yesterday, a homeless man walked around asking passengers for money. This happens almost everyday, and I’ve become rather accustomed to it. I don’t carry any money with me so I usually just say “I can’t help you.” Which feels really weird as I sit there in my nice clothes listening to my iPod on my way to get in the car my parents let me drive. Anyway, this man skipped over me for some reason, but I observed him as he walked to the back of the car. A woman on the end handed him the most beautiful apple I think I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was almost glowing with beauty.

The homeless man took the apple with both hands.
He brought it to his mouth.
He didn’t take a bite, but kissed it, bowing slightly as if he were a prince.
He continued moving slowly around the car clutching his beautiful gift close to his heart.

My heart softened, and I was filled with both joy and sorrow at the sight of this interaction. I am like that man; we are all like that man. I ask God for things with questionable motives. A lot of times, I don’t receive specifically what I asked, but God knows my needs better than I. In His compassion, the the Lord blesses us with unexpected, beautiful, shiny gifts. My prayer is that we might receive God’s direction in humility with meek and quiet spirits giving thanks through faith and action.

The reason I long to write openly here is so myself and whoever might read these words would also be blessed by witnessing the Lord’s generosity and mercy. We are all sojourners here. We are all broken and incomplete without grace, without God.

Sola Gratia,
Susanne

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