August 4

My friend and I sat and chatted, my fifth baby asleep on my lap, hers growing large within her belly. The others, all eight (!!!) of them, ran helter-skelter, drawing cities of sidewalk chalk, pushing baby dolls, catching frogs and traipsing through woods.

“Our lives are different now,” she said with a wry smile at one point, and we laughed.

Even as my arms are full to overflowing with the incredible blessing of God in these five children, my own self — the identity I once had — undergoes a deeper work of decay. If there are moments when, with a sense of panic I cry out to God, “I feel like I’ve lost all sense of who I am! Who am I?”, the Holy Spirit is quick to gently rush in close and whisper, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies…”

Covered by earth. Lost, as it were. That deep darkness working to soften, break open, doing its part to bring forth much fruit.

There is the tendency to grasp frantically at the receding light of day as the darkness of that earth closes in and around. To at the last moment jump from the altar I so nobly laid myself upon, a living sacrifice. To want to save just a few last sips from the drink offering being poured out.

It is so easy to forget that the things that were gain to me are truly nothing in light of the treasure that is knowing and loving and living for Jesus.

An amazing thing, really, that I can give such a small thing — my own “self”, nothing special at all — and receive in exchange the chance to be used by Christ, bearing eternal fruit.

Yield to His hand. I am not lost, really; no, I am being found. My soul may flail, but if I but lift my eyes to Him and yield to these little moments of falling into the ground, I will find my soul’s desire is, after all, in HIM.

*****

From Lilias Trotter:

“Today’s first lesson was in these little mountain paths. I followed mine only a few yards further this morning and such an outburst of beauty came. You can never tell to what untold glories a little humble path may lead, if you follow far enough.

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