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Let’s hear it for Friday. Ah yes…there it is! Hurray for Friday! How has your week been? Not all good. Not all bad. But it sure has been a week, hasn’t it? Do your weeks sometimes remind you of that college challenge to see how many grown people can fit into a telephone booth? Or maybe a Volkswagen Bug? I realize some of you might not even know what a phone booth is. I’m sure those who don’t are the one who will know how to Google it. Weeks are always busy, some of them more regimented and packed than others. Yesterday I fessed up about being slightly frayed around the edges with our construction project. When I look around at what clearly is my house, I remember my dad’s description of my authentically teenager inhabited room….like an explosion in a mattress factory. Only this time it’s real. If you can picture that, you would also know why I couldn’t let you in if you came to visit right now. So bring on the weekend – and it’s just about here. A few more hours and then – relief. Well maybe.
I can see the end of construction in sight now.  The second I got home from work last night, Tim said “Hand me that drill.” And for the next 2 hours we assembled closets. Yes! Soon I will no longer be fishing my clothes from boxes and laundry baskets stored in corners and under other boxes.  The desire of my heart is to now reassemble the rooms of my house. For months each room has become a storage area for pieces and parts of things that didn’t belong there. So this weekend, I’m praying that God gives me the desire of my heart. Psalm 139 tells me that God knows all about me, knows my thoughts, and understands what will bring calmness to my spirit. Having things back where they belong – well, that’s one way to bring calmness to my spirit.
There’s a life lesson in all this that goes far beyond the months it takes to tear out a wall and reconstruct a room. That’s how it is with a life formed of a physical body, mind, and spirit. We are constantly, even without realizing it, trying to keep those pieces in balance. We get physically tired when we lack sleep or working to over exertion. Our minds get tired when we have too much to think through or overwhelming decisions to make. Sometimes I think so hard I get brain cramps. Then there is the spiritual piece that is so hidden we forget that we need to nurture it and tend to it or we become spiritually starved.  Remember Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Guard your heart. Don’t we often think that means to look away from doing things that are wrong?  That’s true. Of course it is.  But could it also mean to put up a defense by reading God’s word and feeding our spirit a perpetual infusion of spiritual food?
But the key is finding ways to feed our spirits so we don’t lose our faith. If we find ourselves in a mess, let’s be thankful that there’s a way to clean it up and start the trek back to order. Jeremiah 3:15 offers this small glimmer of encouragement “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” I love that because it’s a hidden promise that we aren’t in the game alone.
In all things – I know the truth of Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord said “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Sometimes the days are long, we look around and wonder how did we get here? How do we get out?  The answer is in acknowledgement.  “Lord, here I am and I’ a mess. This project is no longer fun. I’m learning and I’m listening.  Please show me the next step so I can get back on track starting right now. Teach me to be more like you. Strengthen my faith because I’m going to need it.” And you know what?  God is able.  Ephesians 3:20 “He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

Refining Grace