Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Broken Vase

Why is it that always when my heart is heavy I feel so much closer to Jesus?  Maybe because I reach the point of honesty, not rote prayers, but real soul cries to my Rock of refuge.  This week I've been filled up with the presence of Jesus who has met me in sweet communion, revealing Himself in such personal ways, but at the same time, my heart is weighed down.

My husband and oldest daughter have been away on a missions trip and so it is me with my youngest two holding down the fort.  Summer is my happy child, never sad, always lighthearted, delighted with being funny, making others smile.  But when we sat at lunch yesterday her mouth quivered and her eyes hung low.  I knew something was wrong.  She said, "The house is empty, too quiet."  And then the real clincher, "I miss Heather."  And I thought, "Oh Jesus, if she is this despondent when Heather is gone for only a week, what are we going to do when she goes to college this fall?"  I cannot bear this sadness.  My heart aches to see my Summer girl so despondent. 

Ivy's been begging me to play battleship with her, so yesterday we finally did.  It was supposed to be fun, building relationship, bonding.  Instead it turned into tears, anger, and bitterness.  Total defeat, and I'm not talking about the game.  Her Dad is not here to mend things over, heal the hurt, fix the wound.

My heart is weighed down with many things other things as well, paying for college and getting Heather there and at the same time starting Ivy in public school.  And now I have dental issues, a root canal next week, and I ask God, "Why now?"

I've been trying to paint the trim on the outside of the house before my husband gets back, surprise him with a finished project, and I'm chicken to extent the ladder to the highest heights to reach the top rafters.  Whatever happened to my 'no fear of heights'?   And after working all day, reaching, stretching, and straining, today I lack energy and wonder, "Whatever happened to my strength of youth?"

I have a reason for sharing all these things with you.  It was only as Mary's alabaster jar was broken at the feet of Jesus that all in the room were impacted by the fragrance of the perfume within.  If I clam up tight and never share my heart, then this vase is never broken, only a cold ornament sitting on the shelf and your life will never be blessed by mine. 

But mostly I share this because God has heard my heart cry.  As I've been writing a Bible study on the book of Ruth I've come to the place where Ruth returns to Naomi with the news of a closer relative.  Legally, she cannot marry Boaz, the one she loves.  Boaz has filled Ruth's shawl with grain, His provision and protection, and as Ruth carries that grain home she feels the weight and I cannot help but see the symbolism in her burden of grain.  Her heart is full, filled to the brim in sweet communion with her true love, but at the same time heavy, the weight of reality bearing down on her with each step forward.

Ruth arrives home and pours out the grain and her heart to Naomi whose response is, "Wait...for the man will not rest until the matter is settled today."  (Ruth 3:18)  And God tells me, "Cease striving, and know that I am God."  (Psa. 46:10)  Today I unload my burden on Him and sink into His wings, surrendering all these cares into His hands, for He will attend to every detail.  He notices even the sparrow who falls to the ground, how much more the apple of His eye, those who are His own.  I need only rest.  Trust . . . such an easy cliche' word, but oh so hard. 

Jesus, I lean not on my own understanding, but hard into You.  Soothe our hearts.  Open my tightly clenched hand and carry our burdens. 


  1. This is just what I needed to hear today. Thanks Jewel.

  2. Nice post...when we are so heavenly minded we are no earthly good. We all hurt. We all do it wrong. And, when a christian takes off the I am better than I am mask and admits they are just like me, I like them better. Good post!

  3. Love seeing a glimpse into your heart. Beautiful. Raw. Honest. Encouraging.