Out of a Broken Sole
For many, correction is not a word or act we welcome. Often times when one ponders this word, do we have an image of joy or happiness? Yet, God sees correction as love. In Proverbs 3:12, “The Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” To correct is an expression of his love for us. I frequently look upon this verse in my kitchen, taped there along with almost a dozen other significant scriptures. To know how much Jesus loves me, to know that even though life is not what I think, that His ways are good; He is good.
One day in late spring, I get a knock on my door and answer it. I find my neighbor at my door asking about my lawn if I need help trimming the lawn. I thank him for asking and close the door, grateful that my neighbor cares and thankful for the reminder. I am at peace with the situation. I am not able to mow the grass immediately as it is to rain. The next day, I get the lawn mower out of its tight position. I check the gas tank and I am thankful there is gas in the mower and it looks like just enough for the front yard. Now, I just need the mower to start. Typically, the mower doesn’t want to start or I have difficulty pulling the cord. “Please God” comes into my head as I yank the mower cord. Voila, it ignites on the first priming. Huge chunks of grass spit out of the mower as it starts. “Praise God” hit my thoughts. I move the mower onto the drive and to the front yard along the driveway. After a few minutes of mowing, thoughts about my neighbor creep into my mind again. Quickly, I realize this may very well be more whispers to incite offense in my heart. I start to speak in my mind about how grateful I am that the neighbor came over and I continue cutting the grass. My mind is now back to thinking about the situation, cutting the grass. Now, thoughts and the replay of the words my mother spoke a few days ago to me about keeping tidy so others don’t have to tidy for you, enter my mind. I sense this constant barrage of offense attempting to derail peace with my neighbor and I don’t want to go there so I keep bringing it to God. I continue to cut the grass, this time moving away from the driveway. Again, thoughts return regarding my neighbor, and I am cutting the grass now thinking about the neighbor one minute and the next asking, “Jesus please, take this, take these thoughts”. I continue to cut the grass. The more I cut the grass, I start thinking more about my neighbor and not sure if God was listening as my mind continues to go back to these thoughts. Now, I come to cut the portion of the grass with a slight slope and I have to push uphill. This is when I realize my left sole of my shoe was bent back. So now my thoughts are shifting to my shoe. I try to finish cutting the grass without having to stop to change shoes or to refill the gas tank. Determined to finish the job of cutting the grass I focus on trying to step carefully without having the sole bend back. I step lightly. I step big steps. I take great care to cut the grass and walk with this sole which is broken on my left shoe. The words “Please God” are a constant thought running in mind as the sole would not stop bending back. Suddenly, my thoughts shift to thinking how I look to my neighbors or those driving past. Yet this time, instead of consuming thoughts of how I might look, I just start laughing, each time the sole is bent back and I step onto it no longer moved by the state of the sole. An overwhelming sense of gratitude comes over me. For God did not let me stay in a place of barrage, he brought me out with laughter and a grateful heart and am no longer concerning myself with the broken sole. At this point, I get a revelation of the love Jesus has for me. He loves me too much for He will not leave me in a state of tug of war in my mind and heart. Jesus paid the price for sin and has set me and all who believe free with joy and peace. The focus of the love of Jesus is the focus of my mind as I finish the last clump of grass and the mower shuts itself off. Precision, the job is finished. It is finished. Jesus finished the penalty for sin on the cross. Jesus overcame sin. He died for the joy set before him, you and I my friend. To set us free from sin and guilt, and offense. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He, Jesus, is faithful to restore us all.
God sees and hears our cries out to him. His desire is to bring us out of sin with joy and peace. The rest of the week my heart is at peace for my heart is thankful for His love. No longer are thoughts of offense entering my mind about my neighbor, instead the words from a song are replaying in my mind with such joy, “Jesus you are the keeper of my heart”. And I am grateful. I pray you find him to be the keeper of your heart and enter into His joy and peace forever.