It is powerful for me, and it has special clarity this morning. I have been cleaning out my closet, all of the drawers in my bathroom, under the sink in my bathroom and just getting things in order. Do you know what I keep finding? Read below and let me know if you figure it out.
August 15, 2012
I have a feather pillow that I love because I do sleep so sweetly when I use it. It conforms to the shape of my head and shoulders, and that is a good thing. I do have to double case it because the feathers tend to stick out of the pillow and can prick the skin - not a good thing.
The other day I noticed a slight separation in the seam which means several feathers could escape. I keep finding them. Just when I think they are all cleaned up, I find another. They are elusive little devils. They are so light and airy that it is impossible to gather all of them up.
It reminded me of a story I heard about a man who had repeated something that had caused great harm to another's reputation. He desperately wanted to make amends and asked his parish priest what he should do.
The priest told him to break open a feather pillow and put a feather on the door step of every person that knew what he had told and to come back when he was finished. Sure enough, the man came back after a couple of days and asked what he should do next. The priest told him to go gather all of the feathers back up.
The man couldn't believe what the priest had told him to do. He retorted, "I can't do that, all of the feathers have blown away." To which the priest replied, "I know, so have your words. Once they are spoken, they can never be taken back."
I immediately thought of the old idiom, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me." That is not true, is it? I have a broken little finger on my left hand that doesn't bother me one bit. I broke it playing softball at recess in the 5th grade; but I can think of words that were spoken to me by my 5th grade teacher that the devil still uses to try to discourage me.
How many of us have said things we wish we could take back? We can apologize, ask for forgiveness, and by the miraculous power of the blood of Jesus, forgiveness can be complete; however, words spoken are always available to our arch enemy to use against us. Never confuse the source of the voice that speaks to you.
In James 3, there is a perfect description of how we know that what we are hearing and experiencing is from the Lord. He tells us that words spoken to us by the Lord Jesus are "first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. [that produce] Peacemakers who sow in peace and reap a harvest of righteousness." When our words produce the same results, we know our tongue has been tamed by the Holy Spirit (we certainly can't do it.)
Back to the Present - January 2, 2013
If you guessed that I keep finding those pesky feathers, you are correct. With each feather, I thought, "I can't believe these things are still swirling around." (I really have cleaned and vacuumed since August). They are nearly impossible to catch.
After finding several in different places, I remembered the story I told back in August. Here, 6 months later, I was still trying to retrieve feathers I didn't even realize were there.
The Lord spoke so sweetly to me again. "Mec, my Word is as powerful as a two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
The thought then came to me that God, Himself has placed such ultimate Power in His Word, and because we are made in His image, our words also have great power. The fallacy for us is that we are fallen, and our words don't always encourage or heal. They often destroy or discourage. (I'm sure there is some great theological truth in the correlation between the power of God's Word and power of our words, but I haven't been studying the concordances lately).
I'm just sayin' that those feathers are still wreaking havoc in my cleaning world six months later. I wonder what encouragement or discouragement (havoc) our words spoken in August are still reaping.
Lord Jesus, "'set a watch before my mouth and keep the door of my lips,' so that not only can I approach this day with joy, but all who come in contact with me today will experience your joy because my words have been encouraging."
OK, that's all. Later this week I'm going to share something I learned walking this morning. Oh, it's good to have the Lord speaking freely to me again. Love to my dear friends and family. Mecca