Some of the psalms are so rich I spend days mining their treasures. There are many mornings I simply stay and pray with the psalm of the previous day, because I feel I’m not finished with it yet. Or rather, that it isn’t finished with me! The living word keeps calling me back to whisper one more thing.
“Thou has also given me the shield of thy salvation:
and thy right hand hath holden me up,
and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
In this instance, I haven’t been able to shake the last line of that verse. It has been echoing through my mind for days. (That’s the way conviction often works.)
Thy gentleness hath made me great.
It’s one of those upside-down sort of kingdom truths. And, oh, I live so right-side-up most days!!
I have the right to be annoyed by the inconveniences motherhood brings.
I have the right to be angry when my plans for the day are thwarted.
I have the right to let my displeasure be known far and wide in my little kingdom.
Mama’s not happy and you’re going to know about it!
It’s as if I think parenting greatness can be got by huffing and puffing.
But this little word is whispered again – gentleness. She who has ears to hear, let her hear! Careful, or you just might miss it . . . I will show you a more excellent way.
Lent begins today.
I’ve been praying about how God wants to focus my heart through fasting. Lent is about abstaining from particular “goods” in order to receive what is greater.
And I keep thinking,
What if I fasted from harsh and angry words?
What if I fasted from the frustrated reactions I display when my own will is thwarted?
What if I fasted from lording my authority and demanding respect?
Would this weeding out make room for gentleness to grow its holy fruit?
Oh, it won’t be easy, this I know. Habits must be broken. Thoughts must be renewed. Attitudes must be reformed. If I thought I had the strength in myself, I would have done it by now.
But already I feel this force pushing up from somewhere within, like rising sap. It is Spirit-life. And its strength is through surrender.
A Gentle Lent. This is what I need. And so I pray.
Lord and Gardener,
I have heard Your gentle whisper. You are calling me to greater life. You are calling me to a more excellent way. You are calling me to cast my handful of seeds into the earth and die to self.
Gentleness is Your fruit. I may not have it in me, but I have it through You. Keep me close to the Vine. Prune my wayward ways. Spirit rise and renew me in Your life. Teach and train my heart to grow aright.
Show me the power of Your gentleness. I want no greatness apart from You.