For years I have suffered from what was first diagnosed as dry skin, then eczema, and now psoriasis. I have tried creams, medications, bi-weekly injections, even a gluten free diet. Each came with promises of a miracle cure; each left me disappointed, scaling, and flaky (Yes, I’m guilty of THAT kind of flaky too). My new attempt at conquering the chronic wintery skin- solar lights. Yep, a good old fake-n-bake tanning bed! Of course, my dermatologist offers ‘medically approved’ solar treatments for a substantial fee several times a week. Um, how about I pay only $30 a month and get me some summer color in the middle of February instead!? Sounds like the best choice to me!
Can you picture it? Reclined in a brightly lit, WARM, coffin like container (did I mention it was incredibly WARM?), sweating my buns off (and hopefully my thighs too), with nothing else to do but think, think, think. I began to wonder what would happen to those areas- you know, the ones that hadn’t seen the sun in years. Uh oh, maybe I didn’t think this through very well. The next day I realized just what a bad idea it was. Now, let me clarify, I’m only referring to my stomach and back. The other areas, the unmentionables, those I won’t even consider baring to UV lights. My stomach, which hadn’t seen that kind of light since pre-kid days, a decade and a half ago, was lobster red. It hurt to wear clothes, it hurt to sleep, it hurt to shower, it hurt to breath. But a few days later, it was all worth it! I’m excited to report that I have now been comfortably lying beneath bright, warm UB lights for two weeks, and I have no more worries of burns and pain. (And my psoriasis is improving, in some areas.)
What’s my point? Well, today as I lay in that bed, rocking out to Kutless, I was also think, think, thinking on my recent verses from Ephesians.
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. –Ephesians 3:16-19 NKJV
What does this have to do with my tanning experience? EVERYTHING! I realized that the areas I kept covered; the parts of my body that hadn’t seen the light in so long; those parts that are carefully kept hidden; those are the areas that hurt the most when they finally ARE exposed to light. What area am I referring to? ANGER. FRUSTRATION. Oh how I have neglected to bring this struggle in my life into the light. I have kept it hidden. I have allowed it to fester and grow, and God was faithful to reveal this to me.
Here’s what my morning looked like:
I was attempting to look at and think on the words… ‘being rooted and grounded in His love,’ ‘the width and length and depth and height,’ while at the same time getting the kids ready for school. I sent my son off to do the usual brush teeth/brush hair/apply deodorant. Ten minutes later I stepped into his room only to find him knelt on the floor, holding his tooth brush (toothpaste still intact), and reading directions on how to assemble a Lego structure. This is when all God’s love departed from me and I blew a fuse.
UGH. Yes, I failed to follow through on the love I had just been reading about. WHY CAN’T I JUST READ IT AND THEN GO DO IT!? WHY IS IT SO HARD!? If it is so easy for me to step out of LOVE, what then are my roots grounded in?! If anger pours out of me so quickly, that must mean it is sitting there, festering, and waiting for any opportunity to show its ugly face. And my poor kiddos are usually the ones to see it. Oh how I want to love them as God loves them. I want to give them the unconditional love that He gives me, even when I deliberately disobey Him. His love has no bounds!
To be rooted and grounded in love requires a daily checking of ourselves. It requires me to expose my sins and struggles to the LIGHT each and every day. When I neglect to do this, my roots begin to sink themselves into everything but love, and I become grounded in a foundation that is weak, weary, and ready to tumble. After so long, exposure to the LIGHT hurts! It hurts when my wrath is let loose on my kids. It hurts knowing I must confess and apologize to my son. It hurts to see the anger I have hidden; the anger that keeps God’s love from strengthening my inner man. However, as soon we hear this Voice; as soon as the conviction sets in, and we proceed with confession and repentance, the process of bringing this sin into the LIGHT becomes less and less painful.
I am thankful for a God who sees those hidden sins of my heart; a God who is faithful to reveal these sins to me, and patiently waits for me to confess them and repent. He is a Fixer, and I am in need of being fixed.
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