Have you had a time in your life when your world tilted? When what you thought to be steady just wasn’t anymore? When everything is being sifted?
Years ago, when I was surrounded by littles, we hit crisis. My husband was pastoring a young church and the stress was intense. One thing piled up top of another. Bad decisions were made. Miscommunication happened. And there was … dare I say it … sin. Nobody had the right to thrown stones. But we all did. All of us.
And as the dust settled, I was alone. Alone. Who does the pastor’s wife talk to when accusations fly against her husband? When half-truths are passed around? When old friends avoid you in the grocery store because they just don’t know what to say? Who does she talk to?
Pastors often wear a bulls-eye. As bombs flew, I withdrew. And experienced the blessing of the shrapnel.
I had gotten pretty good through the years of building walls, protecting myself, being the girl others wanted to me to be. And this pattern followed me into marriage, into motherhood, into ministry.
But now, by myself, I didn’t have the strength to build walls. I let the shrapnel do its work.
Every morning I sat in my chair and opened up the Jesus story. I set aside word studies and commentaries and just gazed at Jesus. Somehow I knew that though my world was tilted and shaky and sifting, Jesus was steady. And I wanted to know him.
Really know him.
Morning after morning I sat in my chair. I hesitate to say that I read the Bible because it was so much more. I marveled my way through the Word. My prayers were not so much adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication as they were expressions of wonder.
I watched Jesus as he talked, and walked, and listened. I beheld him as the Lamb of God, and the Winemaker, and the Table Clearer. I fixed my eyes on him as he welcomed a Pharisee, and met his cousin, drew near to a woman at a well and taught her to drink living water, to receive mercy and grace.
And I found myself drawing near to the throne of grace, thirsty for what she had. The shrapnel was working. In the hands of Jesus, every shard became a scalpel exposing pretense, and patterns, and perfectionism. I found mercy and grace, and welcomed the shrapnel. And I wonder if it’s time for you to do the same.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16