March 17: The Pain of Creating

Read Psalm 51:1-12

It is hard to get all my ducks in a row.

I have four ducks. They are messy and disgusting. They laugh at me and hiss. They are never all lined up in a nice, neat row. Rather, they duck and run and hide.

While herding my ducks, I was thinking about the Lord attempting to unite my heart- my emotions, will, and mind. I know myself- I am more unruly than ducks.

Perhaps that’s why the Psalmist prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”

When he asks the Lord to create, he uses a word that means to fashion by cutting or to pare a reed for writing or a stick for an arrow. Cutting hurts. Just picture the Lord whittling the knobby edges of your heart away to make it useful. It makes me cringe a little.

But then, I think of my messy, disgusting ducks. I don’t want my heart to be like them, either. I do want to be useful. I will have to submit to the Lord’s creating, painful or not.

Am I willing for such treatment if only I am used? Do I agree to be cut down to size, to lose all that I think of as my natural assets (as Paul did, who saw that all such were but rubbish if he might win Christ) to be split in two, my heart laid bare to all the insults and hurts that may well be hurled at me, scoured of all that blocks the free flow of the Spirit, and so used as a channel to carry the Spirit to the needy all around me?”

Helen Roseveare, missionary doctor to the Congo

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