Several years ago I first uttered the prayer; “God, remove the tares from my life and make me the finest of wheat.” I didn’t know what I was asking. I only knew I wanted to be cleansed of any baggage that kept me from living in intimacy with Him and with others.
He put that prayer on my heart. It was His invitation to my healing. In the years since, He has been exposing the decay hidden away, not only in my life, but my husband’s. It has been like a domino effect. After all, in a marriage, one person’s stuff does affect the other.
I spent years putting unattainable demands on myself and my husband. Seeking love and value, I have allowed my feelings to rule me. I have sought value not only in my performance, but other’s actions as well. I have looked to David to rescue me from my pain. It’s not possible. My demands for intimacy, which he could not meet, have left him with words of failure.
My husband on the other hand, has lived to please. Seeking love and value, he has allowed his feelings to rule him. If he can just keep people happy maybe they won’t be disappointed in him. Maybe somehow he will deserve their love. He lived so long trying to please others that he lost himself in the process, leaving him emotionally and physically detached. His detachment has spoken abandonment, disinterest and rejection.
We have fed each other’s pain , completely unaware. Life has been unstable. Our choices have been costly.
We entered our marriage battered and wounded, yet oblivious to the fact. We played into each other’s pain without even knowing it, reinforcing lies. We can never recover the years. I have been mourning the loss.
Jesus began to speak to my soul. “Jewel, I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten”. “Remember the forest fires.” I knew He was inviting me to reflect on a teaching I heard in 2004. In remembering I believed He would unveil His heart amidst the ashes of the life I’ve lived.
Trees grow so tall in the forest that they overshadow the soil, keeping vegetation from growing, leaving animals in need of food. It’s as if the heavens declare it’s time for cleansing as most fires start with a lightening strike. As the fire ignites the forest floor it cleanses away debris, insects, disease, and excess wood, preparing for new life.
Even the pine cone tells a story. Made with resin covering over it’s outer shell, hidden away inside are fruit bearing seeds. As the fire burns away the resin, the pine cone pops open allowing it’s new seedlings to expel onto the cleansed ground.
The ash left behind fertilizes the soil. Once the land settles down from it’s cleansing, the vegetation comes in stronger and more luscious. The cycle of life has had it’s way, clearing away to prepare for a more nourishing fruit.
As I reflect, He speaks, “I must burn away the chaff, Jewel” You are being consumed by Me.” “As I consume you, the disease that surrounds your heart and mind is burned away.” “Debris is being removed.” “Beauty will explode.” I’m preparing the soil, sweet Jewel, for a more nourishing fruit.” “Beauty is being exchanged for ashes.”
Yes, Jesus, but the years that are gone. We can never have them back. So many years, Jesus. “Jewel, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day with Me.”
Death and life once again intermingle. As I mourn, I also rejoice. The consuming fire of His love is clearing the land. Beauty is replacing the ashes, a garment of praise will replace our heaviness. The steadfast love of my God never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.
A new morning is breaking forth. He is overwhelming us with His love. His restoration isn’t one that can be measured by time. The ground is being prepared, the life inside awaits. The ashes will fertilize the soil for a rich, nourishing fruit. Beauty will replace our ashes. My mourning is turned to dancing as I consider, a new day is dawning on our horizon.
“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:12
©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd