by Maria I. Morgan
It happens every year. Heavy thunderstorms cause our pond to be filled with sand and debris. What starts out as a large reflecting pool ends up looking more like an island surrounded by small trickles of water.
Cleaning out the pond is hard work. It requires much more than a few hours of labor and a couple of shovels. This is serious. My husband, Steve, rents large excavating equipment – a backhoe and a front-end loader – to tackle this job.
As Steve mans the backhoe, I operate the front-end loader. He scoops the sand out of the pond into the loader’s massive bucket, and I make my way to the far end of our yard to deposit the gritty granules. I lose count of the number of trips I make back and forth from pond to woods.
When the pond is free of debris, we once again enjoy its beauty. It functions like it was intended to: the pond water flows freely down the waterfall and into the creek that makes its way across our yard. No more sand piles to hinder its progress.
Me and the Pond
I have to admit, I’m a lot like our pond. I was created to reflect the light of the Lord, but I often allow the storms of life to fill me with things that crowd out my faith and trust in Him. I take my eyes off the Savior and begin to doubt His goodness.
Instead of thinking about what is true when the trials come, I entertain the wrong thoughts: Can God handle this situation? How much longer do I have to wait? I’ve got a good plan; He won’t mind if I help will he?
Wrong thoughts snowball into wrong actions, and I finally realize what I’ve done. I’ve taken control of my life and am no longer reflecting the characteristics of God. Time to do some radical cleaning.
King David understood the need to repent in order for his relationship with the Lord to be restored. Following his sin with Bathsheba, he penned a heartfelt prayer to the Lord that serves as a wonderful example to me.
Some Things to Consider
*King David begged for forgiveness. He realized what he had done was wrong, and he asked God to show him mercy: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2).
*He asked for cleansing. King David understood his sin had separated him from God. Yet he also knew God longed to restore him: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
*King David praised God for His forgiveness. He experienced personal restoration with his Heavenly Father. Now he was ready to praise God publicly: “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise” (Psalm 51:15).
*He chose humility rather than pride. The Lord wasn’t interested in sacrifices that weren’t given from the heart. King David decided to do things God’s way: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
A radical cleaning of my heart involves acknowledging my sin and asking for forgiveness and cleansing, praising God for His forgiveness, and moving forward in humility. The result?
I function as I was intended to. I am able to live a life that reflects my Savior, and I can point others to Him.
Are you an accurate reflection of the Lord, or do you need to do a bit of cleaning? What step will you take to get rid of the “sand” in your heart?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving me enough to point out the dirt in my life. Forgive me when I doubt You and try to take control of my life. Cleanse me and help me praise You for Your restoration. Help me choose humility instead of pride. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo Courtesy of Alycia Morales
Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. Her passion is sharing the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation.
Many of Maria’s faith-based articles have been published in magazines and e-zines. She contributes regularly to My Forsyth, Cumming Patch, Jewels of Encouragement, and Women Behind the Scenes; is the Tuesday hostess at Living by Grace, and posts twice weekly to her blog. She also hosts a Life Lessons video series that you can view on her website.
When she’s not writing, Maria enjoys spending time with family, reading, playing the piano, and traveling. She lives in sunny Georgia with her husband Steve, daughter Riley, two dogs, and a cat.
Maria has written a short, devotional eBook, God Speaking. It contains 10 devotions that highlight how God uses ordinary things in our lives to teach extraordinary things about Himself. You can download a free copy of God Speaking on her website: www.mariaimorgan.com.
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