Digging deeper isn’t just about uncovering more dirt.
When you persist and dig, you may discover buried treasure under your resistance.
Last year, I looked at a package with a photo of cheery yellow and white daffodils. Ugly brown bulbs, looking like dehydrated onions, filled the bag.
To prepare the bulbs to become daffodils, I bent with a spade, trying to loosen and break up hard soil. The claylike dirt was so tough, I used my weight on a large shovel so I could break the soil up more.
A vision of yellow and white daffodils blooming like cheerful greeters motivated me to persevere.
I needed to create deep enough holes for the small bulbs. I also removed pebbles and chunks of clay-like soil so they couldn’t block the bulbs’ growth.
Several weeks ago, ever-lengthening green leaves sprang up like green welcome spring banners.
Today, yellow and white daffodils bloom, smile at me whenever I see them.
A similar process can occur as we prepare the soil of our souls for new growth.
Recently, I received a message from a reader of 7 Days of Soul Care.
She gave me permission to share her words:
“[S]ometimes the work you do helps people in ways you cannot see, or that you even intended. . . I had a really hard time with your book [7 Days of Soul Care], but not because of anything other than I have been in a bit of a spiritual crisis over the years.”
My heart sank when I read: “I had a really hard time with your book.”
But then I read:
“BUT your book was part of my facing it [my spiritual crisis] down – because I could finally see how deeply I was resisting, and anytime that kind of resistance shows up, I know there is something that I need to face buried inside of it.“
She hit hardened soil in her soul: deep resistance.
But instead of walking away, she dug deeper and faced what was buried under her resistance.
Then, I read the rest of her words and exhaled:
“. . . your book helped me face and discover what I needed, [my husband] and I have found a wonderful church here, I attend bible study which is like the favorite part of my week, I am singing in the choir and as soloist (which is really hard to wrap my head around so I try not to think too much about it. . .”
I read her words twice.
She dug deeper and discovered what she needed.
She didn’t stop digging when she faced deep resistance (like those pesky hardened clay clods of dirt).
Instead, she faced what was “buried inside” her “resistance” as she read my book.
Because she persisted despite resistance, she “discovered what” she needed.
My heart did a happy dance when I read how God provided what she needed: “a wonderful church,” a “bible study. . . the favorite part of my week,” and “singing in the choir as [a] soloist.”
She discovered new community, a Bible study, and a talent as a soloist because she dug past her resistance.
Sometimes beauty blooms when we view our “resistance” as an invitation to dig deeper for what’s true instead of hiding deeper in denial.
Her words made me glad I overcame what Steven Pressfield calls “the resistance” in his book The War of Art.
(A Big Thanks to all my praying friends when I battled the resistance.)
Her words also reminded me: God redeems and transforms dark places to light and beauty if we let Him.
God specializes in creating beauty out of what is broken if we persist with Him. (Click to Tweet)
(I’ve seen God transform brokenness into beauty in many people’s lives, including my own. Yet I still sometimes resist his invitation to persist with Him. Sad truth. So thankful for God’s gracious patience.)
Welcome to Week 4 of the 7 Days of Soul Care: A Guide to Letting God Do the Extraordinary with Your Ordinary Book Club.
In Day 4 (Discern Your Soul’s Condition) of 7 Days of Soul Care, I share some of the rocks and weeds I’ve had to pull out of the soil of my heart.
One of the biggest rocks (lies) I believed was that I had to earn God’s love and forgiveness. The whole point of the good news of the Gospel is God gives me through Christ what I could never earn.
Christ’s work on the cross makes my relationship with God possible initially and continually.
We change because God already loves us, not to earn God’s love.Day 4 of 7 Days of Soul Care
Feel free to invite friends to join.
We may have been unable to prevent what happened in the past, but we can prevent bitterness and resentment from stealing our present and future joy.From Day 4 of 7 Days of Soul Care
Remember soul care is not selfish. It’s wise because it connects us with our extraordinary God who is our life (see John 15:1-5) so we can be fruitful in our relationships and work.
If you want the scheduled questions for all 7 weeks, here is a downloadable PDF.
Why are we taking one week for each of the seven days in the book? Learn why and read an excerpt from the Introduction here.
Thanks for being here. I always appreciate your presence here.
Next week, we discuss “Day 5: What Trials Can Reveal” with new questions and activities.
Daffodil photo via Annie Spratt at Unsplash.com