Category Archives: Refined by the Word

Of broken pieces and being put back together <3

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Hello my friends

The picture above is, or shall we say was, a treasured miniature tea cup from my maiden Aunt Lizzie’s collection. It was gifted to me along with some of the other treasures that were kept in a built in cabinet in the tiny dining room of the modest brick home she shared with her mother on the fringe of downtown Louisville until my grandma passed and she finally found true love in her 60’s and sold the house to move to Vermont.

Whew…that was the longest run on sentence and a record for even me.

But in it is packed a gazillion memories of the home and playing under the dining room table with her tea cups and a button collection that was amazing.

Not only was the cup marvelous in and of itself…I mean seriously…a tiny parrot formed of china that perched on the gilded handle of this miniature delight; it was probably my most favorite of all that she had.

And she had some beauties.

At some point when she was downsizing, she remembered my love of them and gifted me the whole lot.

But as we were packing up our home of six years to move across town to a new home, I bumped up under the shelf that displayed them and they all came crashing down.

Shattered bits of china and shattered bits of a heart that has never done well with change and this destruction of one remnant of days gone by as I watched the home we brought our third baby into get packed up was just too much. I wrapped the broken pieces and carefully stored them in a box to at least keep for awhile.

I have had other pieces of my heart shattered since that day and there are memories that are now broken and marred by life and decisions made by others and myself.

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Which is why these words from David touch my heart.

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him.

2 Samuel 22:21 The MSG

To this I can say a heartfelt “Amen!”

I remember a season I kind of crawled through a number of years ago where I wasn’t quite certain just how much more I could break and still survive.

Crying out to God, I asked Him to relieve the crushing because I was about down to nothing but dust.

And He whispered to my heart a picture of a finely woven net.

In my spirit I sensed His teaching that as I was broken, all that mattered would sift through the smallest holes of refinement and He could then remove any thing that would not surrender to the work He was doing in me.

Pride…jealousy….greed…envy…lust…self…the evil done to us by others and the bitterness it brings…all these are too big to be broken.

But I don’t want those to remain.

They are not God’s character and I only want His character left in me.

So I give Him the pieces…every time…and let Him make me complete.

It’s a good plan.

And way prettier than trying to glue it back together myself.

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Blessings <3

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Free indeed <3

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PC/Rachel Maxwell <3

I am so glad you came by again today! 

And guess what…I am in a hurry and trying to cram a bunch of stuff in before we head north…so business as usual here on the journey. 

But I wanted to drop a quick thought here as we work our way through the passages of this series from 2 Samuel 22. 

We live, as you may be aware of, in a time when any part of our human story that is flawed or offensive begs to be wiped out; erasing any evidence proving our sinful bent as a people.  

I am so thankful God did not spare any of the raw and ugly details of King David’s life and yet, continued to refer to him as “a man after God’s own heart.”

Because each and every one of us has moments, days, seasons of our lives that gave way to our fallen nature with flourish. 

We all have things done out in public and in the darkest recesses of our hearts that, should they be played on one of those big screens in Times Square, would make us run for cover and pray for the earth to swallow us whole. 

And God saw every one and yet He loved us enough to offer us a covering for our sin and shame through the blood of His own Son. 

So when David says in 2 Samuel 22:21: 

The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me.

NIV

We might consider this a man who has forgotten some major sin issues (ahem…Bathsheba/Uriah/the census/poor parenting skills/quite a few wives….among other things)

OR ….

We might consider this a man who confessed his sins each time conviction hit him up hard and who sought forgiveness for them AND who believed God when told he was forgiven. 

Perhaps being a man or woman after God’s own heart isn’t about being perfect, but about bowing before God and acknowledging who He is, even as we acknowledge our own humanity and fallen nature. 

In the context of every word of David recorded, he obviously placed every shred of his existence on the goodness and mercy and character of God… 

even….

and most importantly, the gift of salvation offered through Him to us. 

It is not boastful to declare you are made righteous through the blood of Christ.

It is the ultimate boasting in the LORD to say He forgave you and thus, you are forgiven. 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…let’s walk in that freedom every day as we….

journey onward

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The list maker in me has her say regarding David’s Song <3

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Before I even start today…I have a dear sweet friend who has been a great supporter of me from the earliest days of this blog journey and her precious daughter-in-law is prepping today for a surgical procedure. So would you all just join me and pray for Jessica to have a safe and healthy surgery and recovery? Thank you friends <3

Now to our thoughts for today:

We had a crazy snow fall here in the Midwest yesterday, so I spent my quiet time looking at the surreal image of our beautiful little tulip bush in full bloom, with a backdrop of snow crusted green grass. 

If you are just joining me here on the Journey, I have been looking at a portion of 2 Samuel 22. The passages around this Song of David cover his “fourth quarter.” The wording of The Message captured my interest and so we are exploring portions of his personal testimony this week. 

We started here  https://www.laurareimer.net/monday-musings-2/    if you are just joining us. 

As I have been meditating on the passages from the Message and then comparing them to the translation in the NASB, it seemed that Eugene Peterson completely flipped the perspective of the author. 

It has been challenging to compare the lines thought for thought. I have not puzzled that one out completely so for this morning I want to focus solely on The Message translation. 

One of the ways I like to study passages such as this is to organize the thoughts in a list fashion. 

I’m sorry. 

My brain tends to run amok and lists are fences for it, so let’s corral verses 21-25 into two categories. One of my frequent breakdowns of Psalms are “My part” and “God’s Part” so we will use those today. 

Here is the Scripture again from Eugene Peterson’s wording:

“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. When I cleaned up my act, He gave me a fresh start. Indeed I have kept alert to God’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted.” Everyday I review the ways He works. I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.” 

2 samuel 22: 21-25 The MSG

My Part:

  • I place all the pieces of my life before Him
  • I do the work to clean up my own behavior and attitude to line up with His commands
  • I keep myself alerted to God’s ways
  • I don’t take God for granted
  • I daily review the ways God operates; what His methods are like.
  • I try to always be watching for Him in my circumstances and in the events of planet earth.
  • I watch the way I walk each day
  • I open up my heart to learn from His Word and His sovereignty

God’s Part:

  • He makes my life complete
  • He gives me fresh starts and wipes my slate clean continually
  • He puts me back together the way I should be
  • He has rewritten the narrative of my life and shows me how my story is part of His big picture
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Now this is not a one way only thing.

My breakdown and wording is just my way of processing. 

As I review the two lists I see that there is much in my sanctification that must be done by God. I can’t put myself together. I can’t make myself righteous and holy. I can’t erase my mistakes like they didn’t happen.

But I can put myself in position for God to do these things. I can learn from my mistakes and make better and better choices that will lead me in behaviors and attitudes that are Christ like. I can improve and grow.

I am saved by Grace, and Grace sanctifies me…but I must do my part to position myself for that Grace. God has invited me to partner with Him in making me whole and complete.

I hope you will take the time to really read what David has written and reword it your way. 

Make the Scripture personal to you and even turn it into a prayer for yourself and those you love. 

Meditate on it. 

So much more productive than other ways we fill our minds. 

Let it become your “song” today, even if you just repeat one or two verses over and over. In this way, you and I open “the book of our hearts” and begin to see things with His eyes. 

Blessings on your day as you ponder what He is speaking to each of you <3

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