Friends, let me start by saying…I DO NOT have it all together.
I got this message loud and clear when, two days ago, I pulled a steel crab pot out of the Chesapeake Bay waters. My catch of two weeks’ worth of crabs made my pot heavy. I knew if I used all my weight and if I leaned back hard, I could leverage the steel pot up, hopefully without launching myself over the dock. So, I did just that.
Exasperated, I leaned back for a second and stared at the fruit of my labor on that weather-worn dock. What did I see? It suddenly occurred to me: Hard-shelled, violent creatures fighting one another, claws out…
They were relentlessly aiming to eat each other alive.
Upon reflection, I wondered — is this me? Have I become hard-shelled?
“God, I know what I am doing. I have this handled.”
“God, you should have come through like this.”
“God, I shouldn’t be here.”
Or, hard-shelled with family members?
“I must defend myself.”
“I can’t receive what they’re saying, because their motives are off and this threatens who I am.”
I can’t help but think that my hard shell blocks out not only people, but also the voice of God. Who can hear with mufflers on. Hard shells muffle God-sent voices.
Hard shells also make fighters out of people. Everyone is a threat. Protection creates isolation in that person’s life.
I want none of it.
Today, I soften down. I haven’t come to be right in this world, I have come to be soft, to be real, to love others no matter what it may make exposed and vulnerable within me.
What about you? Where might you need to soften? Where might you need to ditch the cover so God’s voice can penetrate your heart?
Prayer: Father God, I thank you that you are my Protector, Provider and Keeper. I ask for grace and power to trust you more. I ask for help believing you when I feel afraid. You are my God. You are my Lord. You are my Protector. You are a stronghold and a fortress. Let me lean on you when the going gets tough. Equip me for this, even right now, Father. In Jesus’ name.
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