Degrees of Flexibility

By G. P. Avants

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.”

                                    Psalm 51: 17 

            I am sitting in a parking lot waiting for a hiking group. I want to use this time wisely so I am purposely looking for another idea for one a devotional. I love the fact that nature, right in front of me, is screaming out, “Look over here! Maybe this will work.”

            I see a group of plants growing. There is a gentle breeze that moves the grass but just the top of the tree next to it. Being flexible came to mind. There are times to be flexible and other times you have to firm and be rigid. I guess it depends on what is coming your way. 

            There are times when we have to be grass. When the stress comes in order to snap us in half, we need to become more flexible than we imagine. It’s then we might be ridiculed or even persecuted for our faith. Is that a time to snap or a time to let the Lord have his way? They may be humbling times that shake out any pride that I didn’t know existed.

            Then there are times to remain rigid. There are times when we have to stand our ground and not compromise. These are times when something we see grieves us and we know isn’t right. Some of us are bold enough to confront that situation, immediately, in love. Others become diligent in prayer, waiting to see what the Lord would have us do. But we stand firm. The winds of change may ruffle our branches and make out leaves wiggle but, our resolve is rooted in the truth.

            When it comes to whatever situation there is, this is certain. We need to be hard toward sin but gentle with the sinner. Easy to do? Are you kidding? It’s a miracle how God can love the sinner and hate the sin. I don’t know about you, but He keeps putting me alongside more and more challenging situations all the time. I must remember that it’s not me who’s going to do that job but, the Lord Jesus through me. It’s His love and His steadfast resolve I am to trust.

            Lord, help me to be appropriate. Let me know when to bend and when to remain solid. Show me how to love as you do. Please help me when I can’t, don’t want to, or can’t figure out if I am doing it right. I am open to your humbling strength to guide me though each new situation…amen. 

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