It was last week that I realized I don’t have a gentle and quiet spirit. Shocking, I know.
Alright, so I know you are really thinking, “That should have been obvious a long time ago.” But sometimes we know things are lingering below the surface,and it’s not until something causes them to rise up and slap us across the face that we see how big the monster really is.
When I came to this realization I started reading “Keep a Quiet Heart” by Elisabeth Elliot and on Saturday I took off to Ventura to spend some time reading and praying by the ocean (because what better place to quiet your heart than at the beach?). Ona came along and kicked me in the gut for my weak faith at some point along the way, too (in the best, most caring way possible with a lot of laughter mixed in). I needed it. I’m thankful for friends who are kind and honest when I need to hear it.
Random side note (this is really for you, mom): In the midst of reading and enjoying the sunshine and getting kicked around a little bit by my good friend, I looked up and saw dolphins playing in the water. Not just jumping a little bit so you could see their fins, but actually leaping out of the water and playing together. It was so amazing it made me squeal out loud!
I didn’t get a picture of the dolphins, but I did get this picture of the beautiful view from where I was sitting:
Alright, back to the real point of this post. I wanted to share some quotes with you that have helped my heart out in the past week. I hope they are an encouragement to you, too.
This first quote was tagged in my book. I’m not kidding when I say I have no idea how, since it’s my own book, and I didn’t tag it (or at least I can’t remember doing that!). There was a little piece of paper sticking out and pointing right to it:
Instead of seeing His everlasting love, tenderly bending down to our humanness, longing over each one of us with a father’s speechless longing; we sometimes think of Him as indifferent, inaccessible, or just plain unfair.
The worst pains we experience are not those of the suffering itself but of our stubborn resistance to it, our resolute insistence on our independence. To be ‘crucified with Christ’ means what Oswald Chambers calls ‘breaking the husk’ of that independence. ‘Has that break come?’ he asks. ‘All the rest is pious fraud.’ And you and I know, in our heart of hearts, that that sword-thrust (so typical of Chambers!) is the straight truth.
– Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, pg. 51
The other from her book is a little story:
When my brother Dave was very small, we spent a week at the seaside in Belmar, New Jersey. In vain my father tried to persuade the little boy to come into the waves with him and jump, promising to hod him safely and not allow the waves to sweep over his head…Dave was sure it would mean certain disaster, and he could not trust his father. On the last day of our vacation he gave in. He was not swept away, his father help him as promised, and he had far more fun than he could have imagined, whereupon he burst into tears and wailed, ‘Why didn’t you make me go in?’ (pg. 32)
And the final quote is from a blog I frequent often, Of First Importance, which gives daily reminders of the gospel:
“You will find it a stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have no rights as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason; but nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. Be not afraid to say, My Father, hear my cry.”
– Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening, March 22
Why is God so kind?! Especially to such fussy and strong-willed children? That’s what’s actually shocking.