Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cracked Out: It Can Happen to Anyone


My husband and I love to hold hands. We have a certain way we fit as our fingers lace together. Walking in a parking lot, a store, even in bed while watching TV. We're hand holders.

Sometimes, his hands feel overly rough, especially in the valleys of his fingers. He uses lotion each night to smooth them.

We have a running joke; when his hands are rough I'll say, "You've been unfaithful."

"I have."

We'll laugh about it.

But I can tell. He can't hide it. Not for long. It builds. Worsens.

And that is exactly what can happen in your spiritual life. It starts when you're in a valley. At your lowest point. In Winter. When things seem upside down, uncertainty is your middle name. You lay off the lotion--the Word of God. You ignore the healing balm to heal wounds.

"From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment." Isaiah 1:6

Unfaithful to prayer.

Unfaithful to the Word.

Unfaithful to actions becoming a bride of Christ.

It happens over time. A slow fade--like Casting Crowns sing about.

And sometimes, it happens when things are wonderful. When you're soaring over accomplishments, when you're ministry is growing and thriving, your family is pulling it together, prayers are being answered in a tangible way.

You sleep in a little later, because God's got it all under control. You celebrate by focusing on your goal and leaving the One who gave it to You on the coffee table, the night stand, the kitchen counter. After all, you need to push through--push harder--get things done so you can soar over the  next mountainous goal.

Tiny cracks form in your skin. Barely noticeable as you make plans and plunge toward the next step in your life--in your purpose. The one God gave you.

The cracks widen, harden, build up. And one day you're exhausted. Worn slap out. You've opened up opportunity for the enemy to slip in with temptations you'd been guarding in the valleys--but hey--you were on the mountain! Nothing bad happens on the mountain tops. You can skip early morning with God alone, because He's in what you've woken up early to do. He's given you this ministry you're working on. That counts, right?

It doesn't.

Doing something for God's glory doesn't replace spending time in God's glory.

"...the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God." 2 Chronicles 5:14

Sometimes, you need to stop ministering and let His glory fill your temple.

Dried up skin bleeds when it's cracked. It stings. It opens up areas of disease to seep in. Inflammation and sickness can form before you're even aware.

And all you needed was a daily dose of lotion to lather on and stay smooth. Even. Healthy.

It's not too late to slather the lotion on. It’s not too late to ask forgiveness for putting other things before God, for dropping the ball, for ignoring His whispers. It's not too late to reorganize, reprioritize, and hit the start button again.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13

How are you at taking care of spiritual cracks? And what's your favorite lotion? I'm a fan of Vaseline's Cocoa Butter.

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*photocredit: freedigitalphotos

24 comments:

  1. One of my goals in 2013 was to read through the Bible in a year. I'm close to finishing it, and it has been amazing. What has been a challenge for me was making sure it's more than something on my to-do list. Sometimes I find myself flying through it just to get my pages done. I'm really trying to focus on inviting God in and making it about Him and not about me.

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    1. I've done that before too, Julie. Flying through the pages as a to-do list. Glad you keep cautious of that.

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  2. Oh, Selah!! Amen sista! I've been guilty of pulling the whole "well, I'm writing ABOUT you, so this counts as our time together" often. I've been seriously working on this one. I find I'm most vulnerable on the mountain top. I'm keeping "doing something FOR God's glory doesn't replace spending time IN God's glory".

    And I love all different Body Butter scents from Bath & Body works, just depends on the season and my mood for the smell.

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    1. I've been there too.

      Body Butter sounds fabulous. I had some Victoria's Secret Body Butter in Amber Romance once and loved it.

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  3. Constantly on the hunt for a good lotion. Found a pretty good one at TJs recently--smelly good.

    As far as God as a balm I openly confess it's in the high moments I forget Him most and it crushes me...b/c it's Him that brought me to the high mountain. I THANK HIM for grace!!

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    1. I thank Him for grace too. Been there. Done that as well.

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  4. Oh, this is so very good, Jess. Rarely does sin or distance from God just plop into our life...it happens in a slow, subtle way...and I hate that. But I love people like you who bring truth to the forefront, remind and challenge me. :)

    I love Bath & Body Works japanese cherry blossom. Ahhh...

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    1. Thanks, Tagg!

      Your lotions sounds fabulous but I'm not big on cherries. So now you can add that to my candy corn list. lol

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  5. Great post... I think prayer is the best defense against cracks. Keeping the conversation open and our eyes fixed on Him in spite of it all. I've been using Burts bees baby lotion... I use it for the kids but it has a really nice faint fresh smell and ut leaves a little shine without feeling greasy :)

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    1. Hey St. Louis! Glad you came by. I agree. Prayer is the best defense for all things spiritual. :)

      I love Burts Bees lip balm, with the peppermint oil. Awe-some.

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  6. Well. Wasn't this a butt kick.
    And I NEEDED it!!!

    Thank you.

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    1. LOL! Always up for butt kicking, J! ;) You're welcome.

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  7. My daily dose of God's Word helps keep me focused.

    I like Bath and Body Works lotions. My daughter keeps my supply well stocked.

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    1. Same here, Keli!

      I rarely go inside Bath and Body Works, but when I do, I come out with lots of good stuff.

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  8. "Doing something FOR God's glory doesn't replace spending time IN God's glory." BAM! Home run, Jess.

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  9. Love this!! I have a ritual every morning after the kids get on the bus and my hubby leaves for work. I have a word to focus on, then I read a chapter of the Bible, and finally, I meditate on a tiny devotion by Max Lucado. It focuses me, keeps me from getting all crackly. :)

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    1. That sounds awesome, Jill! I think a word focus is brilliant!

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  10. LOVE!!! I love a good analogy, and THIS is one of 'em. Such truth. I haven't been so faithful lately. I so often let everything else get in the way of my time with God.

    And I go for the cheap stuff, so I've got Suave Lavendar Vanilla at my desk. Lavendar is so calming, isn't it?

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    1. Love your honesty, sweet one. And yes, lavender is calming. :)

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  11. Great analogy, Jess. Love Slow Fade...great song.

    I read the Bible in the morning. I'm usually directed to something that I will need to take me through my day.

    We are hand holders too. I'm a Nivea girl.

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    1. It's one of my favorite songs.

      Still praying for you and your family, Loree.

      I've never used Nivea lotion, but I like their lip moisturizer. Works great.

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