Saturday, January 31, 2009
His lips are like lillies: the 411
My body and my heart endured quite a workout this past week.
My quads have burned from the heavy lifting at work and my heart has ached for a patient who has been in the hospital way too long. When I'm at work, I try to do my job, go home, and move on, but this is the second patient I've had in just a very short while that has really affected my heart. And the hard part about this patient is that the eyes that showcase despair can be heart breaking as we work toward standing in the parallel bars for a few shaky seconds or labor in our other exhausting therapeutic tasks.
So when I Peter 4:11 was brought to my attention this week, I brought it with me to work. "...If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
And then Thursday came. Usually a great day for me to catch up with housework and spend some time with Zeke, but my little guy ended up grabbing a light bulb, burning his thumb (the one he sucks), and crying all morning. He was fine, but needless to say, we didn't have the best morning. I was tired, worn-out, and became so self-absorbed that I had myself a good little pity party. How soon I forgot to serve in the strength that God provides.
And then came Philippians 4:11: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
And then when I realized that there was some sort of numerical theme, I took one more glance and found this...
Song of Solomon 4:11: "Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride." It brought me back to gazing at the beauty of Jesus. Just Monday, I wrote about the beauty of His lips..." like lillies dripping with myrrh."
And that brought me back to I Peter 4:11. The first part. The part I kind of skipped over: "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. "
Dripping with myrrh. Speaking words of God. The strength He provides. Contentment despite circumstances. Things seemed to be lining up in my heart and mind.
His lips dripping with myrrh, a embalming resin symbolic of death and burial, spoke to my heart about the way I was to live. It's something that you hear in Christian circles all the time, but it was a powerful reminder that I needed to daily remember to die to my fruitless flesh and live in the strength God provides, speak the words He puts on my heart, and be content in the results. Because that's how He speaks. His words are laced with meaning and come from a selfless heart of love. He literally died so that I could have life. He speaks words in the context of a sacrificed Savior and a new order of life- life that is found in death to self. (see Matthew 16:24-25)
So after I bought myself flowers and posted the words the Lord had given me, I found that those words had touched someone's heart and brought forth hope in a dismal situation. Two other friends-one I've never even met- sent me notes of encouragement, reminding me that, "Sometimes God uses us in unexpected and completely unseen ways," and "Our hope is in the end and the things of this world will pass away."
My yellow flower post was a simple, seemingly non-consequential entry for a frustrating day. I don't always do well in asking the Lord what words He has for me to share to illuminate the dark places of people's lives. So often, "this little light of mine" exists with too much emphasis on the mine and dims in the darkness of ambition and the search for approval from those I love. But that day, my heart did well in speaking the very words of God. What a great lesson for me. To prayerfully post. To selflessly serve. To contentedly worship... even when there's no comments, no energy left, no accolades, and no vision of what is actually happening around me.
His lips are like lillies, dripping with myrrh. His words are beautiful and they are teaching us, shaping us, molding us, transforming us into His beautiful Bride with lips that drop sweetness.
How astounding is our God?
"His lips are like lillies dripping with myrrh." Song of Songs 5:13b