Frustrated, Thwarted and a Blessing

I tried to vacuum yesterday.  It spit all the dirt neatly behind the vacuum cleaner.

While sewing a seemingly simple, straight stitch using a   sewing machine …the stitch seemed to have a path of its own that veered here and there  , making instead … uneven, curvy lines.  Ughh…

There was one particular plant needed to finish the creation of a potted flower garden.  After a walk to the local feed and seed store, alas …it was not there !

unfinished ...
unfinished …

Another job needed to be done but the perfect tool needed was missing.

I’m trying to lose weight …something went south on that plan and it seems more like the whale is beached !

I had just the right shirt to match that skirt … washing didn’t get out the stains!

Started a project …didn’t have the right ribbon to finish !

Called to make arrangements for my Mom’s 90th birthday party ...not in  !

Plans to walk rained !

Thought my day would go this way … it went that way!

Frustrated. Thwarted.  Unfinished. Disappointed.

And then the blessing came.  Oh,  not in the way I expected  or with  the wording I  wanted to hear — but a blessing nonetheless.

It came through the voice of a man who just recently fell into the arms of Jesus and received the final redemption of the groaning this world has to offer.    With  the news of  the passing of Brennan Manning  — greatly admired author and amazing-all-is-grace– communicator —  I was drawn to  listen to a video of his teaching posted on youtube.  At the end of his talk, he gave a blessing, written by his spiritual director in New Orleans–Larry Hine.  After a day of frustration and thwarting,   I sat back  with eyes closed … waiting to receive this blessing from this profound teacher who now knew, more than ever before, the grace and blessing of His Savior, Jesus Christ.

The blessing …

“May all your expectations be frustrated…

May all your plans be thwarted …

May all your desires be withered into nothingness …”

And right about now I’m thinking  words my insightful   husband verbalized…”Wait a minute!  Is this supposed to be a blessing or a curse?? ” But there was more …

“That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God Who is Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.”        (written by Larry Hine via Brennan Manning)

I sat in silence as I pondered this blessing …unsure of how I felt about it.

How could powerlessness and poverty sing and dance together?

Could it be that in letting go of my power  to try to control life (powerlessness) and realizing I have nothing to bring (poverty) that I experience the unconditional love of the Father and  can   truly  be free to sing and dance with abandon?  When my desires wither and my plans and expectations are thwarted, is it then that true joy and freedom come?

Is it always in  the letting go that All  is given?

Might I receive all that  God has to offer in Himself as Father,  Son and the Spirit when I’ve emptied my hands of my own package deal?  Am I working so hard to achieve what can only be gained  by reckless abandon?

I’m emptying out my pockets  …the  frustration is free to go.  Can I  really do it, though? …trusting Jesus to help me !

And the thwarting  …could it be  His mercy …protecting me  from the lure of things that He knows can   never fully satisfy.

Maybe it’s in the letting go that  my soul  is given wings and dancing feet … feeling light-hearted and free enough to sing and dance  with abandon …realizing the Father’s love is being  poured out on me with  even more abandon than I can ever realize!

“The Lord your God is with you, 

He is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

(Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)

Sermon worth watching  by Brennan Manning:  with his famous quote …

“God loves you as you are …not as you should be.”

(Brennan Manning)

Another great read by Tullian Tchividjian on Brennan Manning’s life and legacy:  All is Grace !

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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