Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rocks in My Path

Photo by Yinan Chen 2013


In this dream I am living in a one-room cabin in a farming community. The leader of the encampment announces to all the settlers that we must each clear the path to our cabin of all stones and dirt, collect them in a container, and turn them in to him to be weighed. The total weight of stones and dirt on each cabin’s path would be announced the next day.

As I start raking my path, I am humiliated to realize how many stones have accumulated on the once level brick path, and how much dirt has crept into the mortar cementing the bricks together. I had prided myself on keeping a clean house, but now the poor upkeep of my path would be known to all, even to my next door neighbor who always put on airs as if she were superior to me. 

Naturally, the handful of debris that she was gathering from her path looked miniscule next to the huge heap now blocking the entrance to my home. Still, I comforted myself in realizing that the man who lived across the way was even more slovenly than I, with massive boulders on his path, covered in soot and grime.

Finally it was time to turn in our piles of rocks and dirt and to have the weight tallied and announced. To add to my embarrassment, the only container I could find was a flimsy paper tray, resembling what fries might be served in at a fast food restaurant. Even that evidence of my contamination by the world would add to my guilt and shame.

As I started scooping handfuls of dirt and pebbles into the paper tray, a faint drizzle of rain moistened the dirt and the paper started to dissolve. Then the skies opened with drenching rain, washing away all traces of the dirt and pebbles. No need to gather the rest, for the flood had cleared away the whole mound of rocks not only from my path, but from all the others in the settlement.

The storm stopped as abruptly as it started, leaving only the refreshing scent of ozone and a dazzling rainbow in the clouds. As I awoke, I thought of how easy it is for worldly clutter, sin and weights (John 15:19; Hebrews 12:1) to creep into our life even when we think we are guarding our heart, mind and body (Psalm 51:10; 119:11; Romans 12:1-2) to keep us separated and set apart for His service (Leviticus 11:44-45; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16)..

While we cling to the illusion that we are holy and pure (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19), it is all too easy to judge others for obvious faults in their lives, without recognizing our own (Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 6:41-42). Or we go to the opposite extreme, getting discouraged when we think we don’t measure up to the example of others (John 21:21-22; 1 John 3:20). But it is not for us to judge, for only God knows the hearts (Psalm 44:21;139:23; Luke 16:15; Acts 15:8;), and only He has that right (Romans 12:19; James 5:9).

The truth is, we have all been weighed in the balances and found wanting (Daniel 5:27). None of us on our own merits can meet the standards or keep the law set forth by Holy God. But thankfully, we don’t have to (Romans 8:1-4), for He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for all our sins (Romans 3:25;.1 John 2:2; 4:10.  

Now all those who are born again (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23) by placing their faith in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6) are justified in His sight (Romans 3:20-30; 4:5-25; 5).. Now it is “just as if” we had never sinned, for His perfect righteousness is credited to our account. Now if we confess our sins, He is faithful and merciful to forgive us (1 John 1:9).

All our sins are washed away in His shed blood (Revelation 1:5), and Jesus, the Living Water (John 4:10; 7:38; Song of Solomon 4:15), washes us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). He formerly cleansed the earth from all the wickedness of man by sending the great flood, and even now He allows storms into our lives for His purposes. Sometimes the storms show us where we have allowed the filth of sin to contaminate our lives; sometimes they demonstrate His awesome power to destroy and yet to restore; and always they strengthen our faith in and dependence on Him.

Just as He sent the first rainbow after the great flood to remind us of His promise to never again destroy the earth by flood (Genesis 9:13-16), we can be reassured by every rainbow of His power, mercy, grace, and infinite love (Ezekiel 1:28). Praise God that we have no need to judge one another, for He is the only One to Whom every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord! (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10) Praise God that we can leave our burdens at the foot of His cross and be showered in blessings from His precious Fount! 

© 2015 Laurie Collett


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35 comments:

  1. I'm your neighbor to the north in Sandra HK's Saturday link up. What fun to find your blog. You have such diverse interests that I'm sure you bring a lot to your devotionals.

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    1. Thanks, Michele, for the kind words! God has blessed me with never a dull moment, that's for sure!
      Love in Christ,
      Laurie

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    2. Neighbor to the north. Love it. :)

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  2. How thankful and eternally indebted I am to Jesus for his cleansing work in my life!

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    1. Amen, Elizabeth! Praise God for His Living Water and precious shed blood that washes away our sins!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  3. HI Laurie,
    I love this. I could feel the downpour washing away all the pebbles - free and clear. Thanks for linking to Sunday Stillness.
    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. Thanks, Janis, for your lovely comment & for hosting! May you have a blessed week in Him!
      Laurie

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  4. Hi Laurie,
    that is so right that we must not judge others or indeed pride ourselves on anything. It is wonderful that God does not see 'faults' in His children, only weaknesses, and it is wonderful that we can say to Him 'I love Thee O Lord my strength. He is our strength in all our trials, and the water of the Word that falls from above has the ability to wash away all our clutter, to bring about the rainbow of all the promises of God to be 'yes' in Jesus.
    God bless you and continue to give you dreams of blessing.

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    1. Amen, Brenda! He is our strength, shield and salvation. He alone can wash away our sins. Praise God for His promise of protection, symbolized by the rainbow.
      May God bless you, your health and your ministry also!
      Laurie

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  5. Amen! The blessing of being cleansed by the grace of God over and over is so powerful. Blessed you linked up at The Weekend Brew.

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    1. Praise God that His mercies are new every morning, and that we can be washed in His Word every day! Thanks for your comment & for hosting.
      Love in Christ,
      Laurie

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  6. How wonderful it is when God uses a dream to talk to us and that His words never fails. Thanks for the teaching and wisdom from God's words. I need to be reminded too!

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    1. Thank you, Joy, for your lovely comment! Praise God that He still speaks to His children, through His Word, His creation, and even through dreams!
      May you have a blessed week in Him,
      Laurie

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  7. The ultimate judgment belongs only to Him. The more I love, the happier I am about that! Thanks Laurie.

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    1. Amen, Jason! Only He is the Righteous Judge, and we can have faith in His judgment. May His love shine through us!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  8. Beautiful illustration Laurie. How many are so worried about their sins and trying to get rid of them themselves they never let God wash them away? He promised he would if we would confess them, but we tend to try to hide them instead.

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    1. Thanks, Donald! Our works are like the fig leaves Adam and Eve used to try to cover their nakedness -- totally useless in removing sin. Only His shed blood can wash away our sins and make us white as snow.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  9. Laurie, I like the picture of the rushing water, like the water of the Holy Spirit, drenching and washing out all the debris. Praise God it is by His power we are changed and cleansed!
    Thank you for visiting the Small Wonder Link up!

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    1. Amen, Jody -- praise God for His cleansing and restoring power! Thanks for your sweet comment & for hosting!
      Many blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  10. Lovely visualisation. The HS certainly helps us purify ourselves for GOD and removes all the obstacles that we have. PRAYER is certainly powerful.

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    1. Thank you, Dominique! Without Him, we can do nothing, but with Him, all things are possible! Praise God that we can boldly approach the throne of grace with our prayers and that He hears us!
      Love in Christ,
      laurie

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  11. What a wonderful, edifying post! So thankful to have found your blog tonight. God bless you for sharing what He places upon your heart. :)

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Your sweet comment is a great encouragement to me! You are a blessing!
      May you have a wonderful weekend inj Him,
      Laurie

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  12. What a wonderful, edifying post! So thankful to have found your blog tonight. God bless you for sharing what He places upon your heart. :)

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  13. He so covers us. He is faithful to his promises. He loves us. Thank you for all these powerful reminders that I need on a daily basis and thank you for joining the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith. Keep going in the name of Jesus!

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    1. Amen, Kelly! Praise God for His protection and faithfulness! Thank you for your lovely comment and encouragement and for hosting.
      May you have a blessed week in Him,
      Laurie

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  14. So many verses in the Bible to guide us, to point us to salvation and give us assurance of God's love. Let His love pour through us to others! I'm glad you visited my blog.

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    1. So true, Carol -- His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path! It is my daily prayer that His love and light will pour through us to others.
      Thanks so much for your visit and sweet comment!
      Love in Christ,
      Laurie

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  15. I love that you had a sense of smell and saw vivid colors in your dream. :)

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! I often remember specific colors in my dreams, scents not as often. Last week I had a dream where I was eating a piece of cake and I awoke remembering how it tasted!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  16. Beautiful thoughts! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

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    1. Thanks, Tina, for hosting and for your lovely comment!
      Many blessings,
      Laurie

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  17. I'm so thankful that even though we are all found lacking, God's grace made a way for us to be righteous. That is the best news EVER! Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth. :)

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    1. Amen, Arabah! Praise God for His saving grace allowing Jesus' perfect righteousness to be credited to our account, so that believers can spend eternity with Him and with our loved ones in Him! That is indeed the best news ever! Thanks for your lovely comment, and God bless!
      Laurie

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