Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Murky Waters

“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love, for a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”

by Amy Carmichael
Because of some nasty interchanges in the films we watched during childbirth classes, my husband prepared himself to hear some awful things come out of my mouth when the blessed event came.

But I'm happy to say I did okay. I didn't scream at him or blame him or call him any bad names. Delivering four different times, the worst thing coming out of my mouth was, "Let's get this sucker out of here" referring to the darling cherub stuck in the birth canal.

So why can I hold it together in the most unlikely of times (without any epidurals, mind you) and yet blow it in the minor things? Why can I grip my husband's hand sweetly (although FIRMLY) in childbirth, yet let an obscenity slip when I can't get the stupid mower started? Why can I listen quietly when the doctor says stage 4 cancer, but scream at my kids when they're being too loud? How can I keep my cool in a fender bender, yet slam the dishwasher door shut when I bang my shin on it?

What is the matter with me?

Please tell me I'm not alone.

What does this say about my spiritual condition? Do I not understand God's love? Am I full of "bitter water?"

That's a little hard to swallow. God has brought me a long way in handling my sinful nature. Just ask my sister who I used to beat on a regular basis. She's a full grown functioning adult now. Thanks be to God who helped me get my temper under control so she could live. There must be another explanation.

How about. . .I'm human? Is it possible to only spill "sweet" water, when we reside in an imperfect vessel?

Occasionally I'll get bumped and some bad comes out. It's my old self rearing its ugly head. I'm working on it and God's going gangbusters on it, but these things take time, LIFEtimes. Instead of bemoaning my bad reactions in the little stuff I need to think of them as practice to learn how to handle the big stuff. Dealing with every day annoyances develops muscles for the real crises. They remind me I can do nothing without Christ. They make me very aware of my need for a Savior.

I'll keep plugging away. One thing is sure--God will bring the opportunities! Some positive reactions in tough times is a good sign He's transforming me, isn't it?

May He continue to work in us to "will and to act according to his good purpose."

Soli Deo Gloria--To God be the Glory.

Read other impressions of this quote and say hello to one of my favorite bloggers, a woman "across the pond" as they say in her neck of the woods, at Miriam Pauline's Monologue.


MiPa said...

You are not alone. And you are wise to point out that we live in an imperfect world that sometimes feeds us bitter water. I love your examples of how sweet water can come during the more harsh things that happen in life--and it is in those times that the deepest part of us shows.

I find this quote challenging because I don't want my kids and my husband to be the recipients of bitter water--and it is in the *little* irritations of life that I am most likely to slip. If I try to show sweet water in the harsh things of life shouldn't I also offer it to those closest to me?

Thank you for adding to the conversation today! Be blessed my friend!

Jennifer said...

So true that it is often harder in the "little things" than in the big ones...but so true also that those are the "reminders" to turn to God to change our hearts. Thanks for sharing today!

Sarah said...

Wow!! It really sounds like you were me. I never swore or said unkind words to my husband during a very difficult labor. I never said anything inappropriate when the doctors told me my Mom would not survive her brain aneurysm. I just cried very sad tears. BUT, my patience can be sooo tested by the smallest things....computer taking too long, my own clutziness, etc. How does that happen? I can be strong during the greatest times of testing and yet fail during the most mundane. You are right. I am a mere human in need of a Savior. I am thankful for the evidence of his presence.

Thank you so much for your wise words today.

Karen said...

That was really good. I often been bumped and what spilled out wasn't good. Thanks for sharing today.

Denise Hughes said...

Wow! Great post! I can SO relate! I can be the eye of the hurricane in the big storms of life, but I can also totally blow it at the littlest things! Why is that?

"Instead of bemoaning my bad reactions in the little stuff I need to think of them as practice to learn how to handle the big stuff."

Thank you for these reassuring words.

On another note, I'd love to hear about your birth stories sometime. They sound somewhat similar to mine.

Anonymous said...

I chuckled the whole way through your post. NOT in the laugh at you kind of way but the "yep, I'm right THERE!" kind of way. I totally felt the same about this quote. It is not possible in human vessels to spill sweet water each and every time but then I also thought about how God's sweet water dilutes the bitterness little at a time.:)
Your poor sister, I beat on mine too as a kid. I've also got 4 blessings, delivered naturally.
It is nice to meet you! This is my first week.
Jessie at Blog Schmog

Susan said...

You are not alone...

Great thoughts on that awesome quote.

Thanks for sharing this today♥

Debbie said...

Believe me Tami, you are not alone! Most of the time I can be sweet and loving and kind but there are those moments when I'm really stressed out. And it surprises me because I didn't realize "that" was still in there. But we still live in these earthly fleshly bodies this side of eternity and we have a choice to allow Christ to live in us and through us OR satisfy our flesh.

Thanks for your honesty.


Andrea said...

This was a terrific post and as others have noted, you are not alone!

My spiritual condition is in need of work as well. It just shows that we're all in constant need of God's grace and guidance.

Thanks for being so transparent!