The Honey-Do List

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And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. — Philippians 1:6 NLT

 “Oh, no,” I muttered as my bare foot met with a wet floor. The puddle of water seeping from my dishwasher meant only one thing—another job to add to the honey-do list.

I hated to do it, especially after my husband spent all summer working on our son’s car while our son played baseball in Canada. That car job included replacing three control arms, with bushings, and two sets of brakes and rotors; finding and fixing an elusive oil leak; patching an exhaust leak; and, somehow, putting back together a cracked splash guard, which had unexpectedly met with both a curb and a snow bank—then making sure everything was in working order so it would pass inspection. All at our expense, of course. What we don’t do for our kids.

 But some repairs can’t be ignored for long, so I added “check dishwasher leak” to the ever-growing and getting-easier-to-ignore honey-do list, which included two commodes—one that kept running and pumped the well dry if we didn’t jiggle the handle and the other that shut the water off too soon, leaving a practically empty bowl. Then there was the hot water tap in the upstairs bathroom—my bathroom—that I kept turned off at the valve because the drip evolved into a slow run.

I’ve learned not to complain or nag, not because I’m such an ideal wife but because I know there are other, more important jobs that need done, such as fixing David’s car. I don’t need an outhouse—yet—and I can get warm water from the tub to brush my teeth. No big deal. 

God, too, has a honey-do list for each of His children. I can just see mine: strengthen patience, repair growing leak around mouth, patch cracked shield of faith, replace emotion-brake so she won’t lose control, find and fix trickle of envy.

His honey-do list, like our household list, is never ending. Finish one job and another pops up. Or something that was fixed breaks down again.

Again, I’ve learned not to complain (too much). Not because I’m such an ideal child of God but because I know, little by little, He’s transforming my attitudes, correcting my viewpoints, honing my emotions, and replacing my dreams. 

Such a total transformation from the inside out must be done gradually, with skilled Hands, a loving Heart, and a wise Mind. But when the job is finally completed, we’ll be more than we could ever have imagined—and all that He knows we could be. 

What God won’t do for His children.

Father God, please keep working on me. Amen.

 Read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 5:17.

 From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God, © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Seed and Me

 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. — John 12:24 NIV

No discipline is pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. — Hebrews 12:22 NIV

It’s cold down here. And damp. And so very black. I can’t tell which way’s up or which way’s down. I can’t see what’s ahead or behind me. I’m all alone. 

Oh, for the day when I lived in a nice, warm, bright packet with my family and friends! It was cozy and dry in there. I wanted for nothing. My shell was smooth and sturdy. Nothing could get to what I guarded within.

But one day a hand ripped open the packet and shook me onto the ground. Then clumps of moist dirt covered me, and I was alone in this strange, cold, dark, place. What did I do to deserve this? I cried. Why me? But no one answered. 

Time passed. I didn’t know when it was day or night. How long? I wondered—and wept. Just when the ground around me became comfortably dry, water seeped through the soil, chilling me and softening my shell. Then one day, it cracked open. Oh, my beautiful shell! Oh, the pain! My innermost being was now exposed to the ugly world around me. 

But I was changing. A tiny green arm sprouted from my insides, and I began reaching, stretching—until I pushed through the soil into the brightness above. Uncurling, I lifted my face. I felt the warm caress of the sun and the whispery kiss of the wind. 

Day after day, night after night, I reached and reached and reached. Then one day a tiny bud appeared on my stalk. Slowly, it unfolded, opening to the sun and wind and rain. 

“Oh, how beautiful!” I heard a voice exclaim one day as I danced with the breeze. 

Do they mean me? I wondered. I wasn’t beautiful as a seed. I only became beautiful when I died to what I was and allowed the soil and water to change me. And when I reached for the sun.

My flower is fading now, but I’m not done yet. Deep within my blossom are countless seeds, just like I was once. Someone carefully removes them, dries them in the sun, and places them in a clean, dry packet. 

 Dear God, I am that seed—falsely content in my envelope world. But You know what it will take to transform me into what You have planned. Just when despair is about to overwhelm me, remind me there is a purpose for the cold, dark, lonely times—a purpose for the pain. Grant me the strength to keep reaching and the faith to believe that someday I WILL bask in the light of the Son. Amen.

 Read and reflect on James 1:2–4.

 From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.