Meditative – Splinter, Chip Off, Crack Off…To Conceive

A glimpse into how our Creator/Potter uses his wrath and power and patience to destroy vessels of wrath to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy.

Words – Thoughts – And Nurturing Our Souls

The sayings of my mouth
And the meditation of my heart
Are powerful
Leading either to separation or unity, to fear or to love, to lies or to truth, to death or to life.

When the sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart are grounded upon and flow from God’s living Word, they are infused with the healing and life-changing power of Love and Grace and Fellowship.

This meditation is about the path to life. Trusting love, the deep and constant interest and love of a perfect Being toward unworthy objects, seen and experienced through a process of splintering, chipping off, cracking off, dissolving what we hold dear in order to swallow them up by Life. Trusting love is a key component in our journey in recovering spiritual truth, and rediscovering who we really are. It is taken from the Study Blog titled Splinter, Chip Off, Crack Off…To Conceive if you’d like to check out the Scripture texts that it’s based on.

My prayer for you is that you will encounter the breath of the Almighty as you experience and contemplate this meditation and that your weary soul will be satisfied, and your languishing soul will be replenished.

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. Job 32:8 (ESV)

Do you regularly focus on your soul’s condition and needs as you do your body’s condition and needs?

My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

Are you aware of your soul?
Are you aware of turmoil within? Do you know it’s cause?
Do you know the path to relief?

In your heart’s eye, picture a beautiful piece of pottery molded by a master craftsman.
A beautiful piece of work containing not a single imperfection.
What shape is it?
What color(s) is it?
Where is it kept?
What is its purpose?
What is its value?
What is in it?
What plans does it’s crafter have for it?

Now picture the scene as the master craftsman offers his masterpiece to you.
Notice your response.

Are you aware of your soul?
Are you aware of turmoil within? Do you know it’s cause?
Do you know the path to relief?

This beautiful, carefully, perfectly molded work is you.
A treasure.
As a young child
Filled with life
A sense of wonder
Free
Uninhibited
Authentic
Innocent
Curious
No baggage
No worries
Present
In this moment
Present
In each moment
Beautiful, precious, living, loving, giving pottery.

But then something changed within you
The sense of wonder was replaced by your own thinking and judgments.
You surrendered your authentic feelings, innocence, and curiosity to other peoples’ opinions of you.
Fear invaded
And enslaved you to the need to be accepted by other people.
Your mind became corrupted. Shriveled. Withered. Spoiled. Ruined.
You lost simplicity of mind,
That simple, natural, sincere, undivided, eager desire to know and learn and experience and simply be.
You began to rely on pretense rather than sincerity.
You began to hide your feelings and motives.
You got lost in self-seeking, self-interest.

My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

Are you aware of your soul?
Are you aware of turmoil within? Do you know it’s cause?
Do you know the path to relief?

In your heart’s eye, picture an old, wooden, slatted bucket
Unused, uncared for
Let go, forgotten and forsaken.
Slowly, determinedly negligence does its cruel work.
The wooden slats dry up
Shrivel and separate.

Are you aware of your soul?
Are you aware of turmoil within? Do you know it’s cause?
Do you know the path to relief?

How often we work to maintain our exterior façade,
While hiding and covering up our interior,
The neglected, shriveled, cracked, dried up wooden bucket
That is our soul.

O Lord!
My sins, my iniquities,
My attachment to ego-centered thoughts, emotions, body, will and desires
My failure to diligently pay attention to, care for and look after my soul
Have left me unsound in body, mind, emotions, and soul.
Unhealthy physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
Insecure
Full of defect
No longer based on truth and valid reasoning.
My wrongdoing has gone over my head.
Like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness.
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate
All the day I go about mourning.
I am feeble and crushed.
I groan because of the tumult of my heart
My neglected, damaged
Soul.

O Lord!
My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

O Lord!
Rebuke me.
Be right.
Correct, chasten me.
Argue, dispute, plead, reason together, convince, decide, justify or convict me.
But not in your anger.

Anger, a splinter, as chipped off; rage; strife; to crack off;

The anger of the Lord God.
What does it look like?
What does it feel like?
What is its purpose?
What is its fruit?
In your heart’s eye, picture the anger of the Lord God in terms of the master potter at work
Perfecting both his vessel of wrath and his vessel of mercy at the same time.

O Lord!
My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

O Lord!
Discipline me.
Chastise, with blows, with words. Instruct me.
But not in your wrath.

Wrath: heat; anger; to conceive.

The wrath of the Lord God.
What does it look like?
What does it feel like?
What is its purpose?
What is its fruit?
In your heart’s eye, picture the wrath of the Lord God in terms of the master potter at work
Perfecting both his vessel of wrath and his vessel of mercy at the same time.

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.

What was the psalmist David asking of the Lord God when he prayed these words?
What are you asking of the Lord God when you pray these words?
Did David want the Lord God to spare the vessel of wrath?
Did he understand the Lord God’s ways and purposes?
Do you understand them?
Can we understand them?
Do we need to understand them?
Or do we simply need to know the Lord God himself?
His character. His word. His heart.
Love.
Life.

Has the potter no right over the clay,
Has the potter no right to make out of the same lump
One vessel for honored use
And another vessel for dishonorable use?
What if God
Desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power
Has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction
In order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy
Which he has prepared beforehand for glory
Even us
Whom he has called.

The Lord God prepared the vessel of wrath.
Repaired, adjusted, completed it thoroughly.
For the purpose of ruin.
For the purpose of loss. Physical. Spiritual. Eternal.

But beforehand, in advance, the Lord God prepared the vessel of mercy.
Repaired, adjusted, completed it thoroughly.
For the purpose of mercy and active compassion.
For dignity. Honor. Praise. Worship. Blog 8 – How Long, O Lord? Will You Hide Yourself Forever?

When you, Lord God, discipline a person with rebukes
Discipline for missing the mark by neglecting the soul
When you discipline with rebukes, chastisement with blows and/or words, for instruction,
Discipline to correct, to argue, to plead, to reason together, to convince, to convict, to be right, to decide
When you discipline people with rebukes for their guilt
You consume like a moth what is dear to them,
You consume what makes them attractive,
You consume what is greatly beloved,
You consume what is coveted,
You consume what is lusted after.
When you discipline a person with rebukes for their guilt
You consume like a moth
You dissolve, make to melt, water.
Surely all mankind is a mere breath
Merely a puff of wind.
Emptiness.
Something transitory.
Something unsatisfactory.

O Lord!
My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

Are you aware of your soul?
Are you aware of turmoil within? Do you know it’s cause?
Do you know the path to relief?

While we are in this tent, our earthly home, this mortal body
Which the Lord God
Repaired, adjusted, completed thoroughly,
For the purpose of ruin,
For the purpose of loss, physical, spiritual, eternal,

We groan
Longing
Being burdened
That we would be further clothed;
That what is mortal
That what is prepared for destruction, ruin, loss, death
May be swallowed up by life.
Swallowed up
By Life!

Prepared.
He who has prepared us
To be further clothed
He who has prepared us
That what is mortal, what is destined to die,
May be swallowed up by life
He who has prepared us
For this very thing
Is God.
God has given us
God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
We have a building from God
Our heavenly dwelling
Life.
A guarantee.
The Spirit.

Vessel of wrath.
Splinter
Chip off
Crack off
Everything that is vain, empty, transitory, and unsatisfactory
That the Lord God prepared for destruction, ruin, loss, death
In order
To conceive
To take in
To form or develop the mind
Of Christ.
To understand
To cause to begin Life.
Vessel of mercy.
New
Life
Meaning
Purpose
Satisfaction
Eternal.
Spirit.

How does God accomplish his purpose to swallow up what is mortal, prepared for destruction, by Life?

Love.
Love comes from God.
You can’t love if you don’t know God.
You can’t know God if you don’t love.

God loved us.
God didn’t just speak pretty words about love
God didn’t just express warm, fuzzy, feel good emotions
God revealed himself
God is love.
God showed his love for us.
God sent his only Son into the world
So that we might live through him.
Through him, the channel of an act
The passage
The course through which we are carried from ruin, loss, destruction, death
To be swallowed up by Life

God is love.
Love can be known only from the actions it prompts.
God’s love is seen in the gift of his Son.
The gift of his Son, an exercise of the divine will
Caused by that which lies in God’s nature.
Love is God’s nature.
Love
Is not an impulse from the feelings
Love
Does not always run with the natural inclinations
Unless love is the natural inclination
Love
Does not spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered
Love
Seeks the welfare of all
Love
Works no ill to any
Love
Seeks opportunity to do good to all
Love
Expresses the deep and constant interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects.

Love
This deep and constant love and interest from a perfect Being
Is seen
Is made apparent
In the gift of his Son.
Gift.
Set. To lie outstretched. To place in a passive posture. Utterly prostrate.
That you may live.
That all may live.
Through him.
The channel of an act
The passage
The course through which we are carried from ruin, loss, destruction, death
To be swallowed up by Life.

Lie outstretched. Utterly prostrate. Mirror the gift given to you.
Detach yourself from your rational intellect and deductive reasoning.
Let go your attachment to your senses, emotions and imagination.
You can’t receive or experience the gift of the Son through these channels.
Abandon the familiar, noisy distractions of thoughts and emotions, to-do lists, plans, worries
To become aware of hidden, inner depths where Life is found
From where life flows.
Be still.
Let go to receive.
Lose to find.
Die to live.
Leave ego-centered consciousness to enter God-centered consciousness.
Experience. Intuition. Breath of the Almighty. Spirit.

Deep and constant love and interest from a perfect Being, God the Father
Is made apparent
In the gift of his Son.
That you may live.
Live through him.
The channel of an act
The passage
The course through which you are carried from ruin, loss, destruction, death
To be swallowed up by Life.

This experience of being swallowed up by Life
This experience of union with God, with Love, with Life
Produces and fosters a reverential love in us towards God.
This experience of being swallowed up by Life
Produces and fosters a desire in us to help others to seek God.

Trust the anger, wrath, and discipline of the Lord God, your master potter, the perfect Being
To swallow up what was prepared for destruction, ruin, loss, death
To swallow it all up by Life.
Trust the anger, wrath, and discipline of the Lord God
To heal and restore your neglected soul to perfect condition.

In your heart’s eye, picture the beautiful, carefully, perfectly molded work
Containing not a single imperfection
Even though it’s been pierced, cut, chipped, splintered, and cracked by the words of the Lord God
By means of the discipline of his anger and wrath.

Look carefully.
Note the stream of warm, pulsing, flowing, liquid,
The Love and Grace of the Lord God,
Being ejected into each opening, each wound, each cut, each chip, each splinter, each crack
That the disciplinary words of the Lord God created.
Look carefully
Deep within.
Note the changes in the neglected, dry, shriveled, slatted, wooden bucket hidden inside.

See how the neglected bucket responds as Love and Grace reaches it, surrounds it, fills it.
See, experience as the damage from negligence begins to heal.
Infused with Life, Love and Grace, and Fellowship the wood begins to soften and to swell,
Separation between the slats disappears
Holes, splinters, cracks, chips, even missing pieces are covered and filled in
And the restored bucket begins to fill up!
Receiving and holding, treasuring the precious, life-giving flow.
And when the bucket is filled to the brim
It begins to overflow
Filling the entire vessel in which the bucket is housed.
The life-giving flow soothes each and every wound in the outer vessel, too,
Not by filling in and covering over, but by widening so that Love might flow more freely and fully.

You
Once again
Filled with life
A sense of wonder
Free
Uninhibited
Authentic
Innocent
Curious
No baggage
No worries
Present
In this moment
Present
In every moment
Beautiful, precious, living, loving, giving pottery
From which the constant, life-giving flow of Love and Grace oozes and spills and rushes out from every healing wound.

God loves you.
He showed you that he loves you by sending his only Son into the world,
Into the world filled with neglected souls, dry, shriveled, separated, longing, burdened.
Receive Love!
Trust Love!
Trusting love keeps the channel clear, the relationship open, cherished, protected
Trusting loves allows love to freely flow
So that you are always full to the brim and at the same time always being emptied.
This is experiencing relationship with God.
You will love because you know Love.
Because you know Love
You will rejoice always: Be cheerful always. Be calmly happy always. Be well-off always.
You will give thanks always. Be grateful always.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not extinguish the Spirit.
Do not suppress the Spirit.
Do not cool the Spirit
Through self-will, self-pleasing, ego-consciousness.
Instead, love.
Let flow out of you the gift that the perfect Being has given to you,
His gift of deep and constant love and interest.
Love
Seeks the welfare of all
Love
Works no ill to any
Love
Seeks opportunity to do good to all
Love
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Focus intently on your breath to the exclusion of all else.
For it is the spirit in you,
The breath of the Almighty,
That makes you understand.
Spirit can be known only by spirit
God’s Spirit and your spirit in open communion.

As you enter contemplation to nurture your soul, become aware of the damage that neglect has done to your soul and how neglect of soul shows itself in your everyday life; in the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart, spreading out to every action and reaction.

Take time to become aware of your soul, the turmoil within.
Acknowledge your soul’s groaning, being burdened
Longing for the frailties and failures of what is mortal
To be swallowed up by life.

Even, and especially, in the places of your deepest pain, loss, and failure
In those lonely, hopeless, hidden places
Where you’ve shut out even the Lord God
Open them, expose them fully
To the deep and constant love and interest of the Lord
Who gave to you the gift of his Son
That you may live and love through him.

Embrace your pain as a gift
Through which you may know intimately the friendship and companionship
Of love and Life that swallows up what is mortal, empty, unsatisfactory, transitory,
Swallows up what causes pain, suffering and death.

Wait patiently for the Lord God to use your pain to transform you, to give birth to new life, new understanding, fresh perspective, deeper revelation of his deep and constant love and interest in you.

Welcome presence, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of Holy Spirit. In developing this practice and discipline of presence, you will find that you can rejoice even in your pain and disappointment. For ruin, loss, destruction, and death is being swallowed up by Life.

Be silent with a sense of anticipation. It is here in this openness and focused attention and intention where the breath of the Almighty will make you understand that you really are who he says you are in Christ. May you be intimately familiar with the deep and constant love and interest of the perfect Being that produces and fosters in you a reverential love toward him. May familiarity with that deep and constant love produce a desire to help others become intimately familiar with God’s deep and constant love and interest in them as well.

Close your eyes. Stay in this position of quiet anticipation for as long as you can.

When ready
Open your eyes
Breathe in
Breathe out

Go, and live as you really are, as the breath of the Almighty in you nurtures and matures the simplicity and singleness of devotion to the Lord God that is in Christ Jesus. Live in wholehearted devotion to the Lord God, through the breath of the Almighty in you, today and every day. Awaken to life through God-centered consciousness, your eyes ever toward the Lord God, your Helper.

Philem 25 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (ESV)

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