As I’ve mentioned a number of times, I’m an admitted plant-o-holic. Our property was fairly barren when we moved in decades ago, but no longer, for I have succeeded in cluttering the entire yard with shrubs, plants, bushes, flowers, tress, and of course, stray cats. But there is a downside to yard cluttering. What was once a simple, straight-shot lawn mowing chore has morphed into a maze-like obstacle course, as the unfortunate mower operator finds himself weaving a path through my plant wonderland. Unfortunately, my husband has not quite mastered that skill, and the first victim of his mowing madness was my gorgeous baby rose bush. And then as if that were not enough to warrant my ire, he later decapitated her little sister as well. But then came the last straw, so to speak. When I witnessed that mower plowing into my delicate butterfly bush, my wrath hit the fan, That’s it! Every time you bump into my plants with your mower, I’m going to ‘bump’ into your elaborate LEGO creations with my vacuum. So there! You knock over my stuff, I will knock over your stuff. Mature behavior for a woman in her sixties, right? Good grief! Really surprised that I didn’t fold my arms, stomp my foot, and stick out my tongue just for effect.
I should have realized immediately that my childish outburst did not escape my Father’s eye. As I opened my Bible that evening, this verse popped into view as if it were illuminated in flashing neon lights: “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing.” In the quietness of the moment, I considered Christ, my precious Savior, bruised, stricken, afflicted, spat upon, falsely rejected by His own, beaten beyond recognition, and what was His response? “yet he opened not his mouth.” Jesus never acted out in hateful revenge, or in a get-even attitude, even when dealing with religious zealots who were constantly trying to catch Him at His words, disciples who were slow to learn but quick to bicker, a friend who would betray Him, and countrymen who would crucify Him; every interaction He had with others was rooted in unfathomable love, mercy, and kindness.
Oh, how I need to get a grasp on the loving, forgiving, and patient character of Christ, to take those qualities from head knowledge and convert them into heart actions, allowing them to impact my innermost being. It is in the mirror of my most childish moments that I realize how desperately short I fall from the grace and mercy my Father demonstrates in my life on a daily basis.
Oh! to be like Thee, Oh! to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art; Come in thy sweetness, Come in Thy pureness, Stamp Thine Own image, Deep on my heart! May I make those convicting lyrics the prayer of my heart every day, that I would allow Him to stamp His own image deep on my heart.
Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Lord, forgive my childish outbursts and make me more like You. Help me to grow so much like You that my reactions are Your reactions, my attitudes, Your attitudes, my forgiveness, Your forgiveness.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1942-62bc00583cbb1' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1942&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1942-62bc00583cbb1' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1942-62bc00583cbb1' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>