The swamp

As parents we sometimes try to shield our children from the harsh realities of life … We try to protect them from themselves … from making the same mistakes we did …

There is only so much we can sheild them from and sometimes we must let them enter the swamp, with deceiving signs of safety and be ready to watch as snakes bite, and hope that they remember enough of our words to nurse the wounds and get the venom out … that their souls would not be poisoned by bitterness …

Then we hope that they would remember their way home … but if they don’t, I hope they can learn to spot the snakes and steer clear of them. But then if the cold should take hold they would remember enough of our warmth, that no fire in the wrong lap would entice. And if it should burn, that they would remember that the fire sheltered by elders never burns … that they might be drawn back home.

But if they should continue, that “inswaswa” the sounds of the swamp would not tear at their confidence. That they would remember the value in our toil for them … every sacrifice possible … but if they should be so broken down that our toil seem meaningless … that they would remember the man who gave up riches to hang for them.

And if that memory be not enough, and they find themselves trapped in sinking sands, in strings and beds of their own making, that Jesus who in His word promises never to lose those entrusted to Him, will not forget his promise towards His own.

… He owns her heart …

What’s in a label … Victim

I have been pondering this for the better part of 2 days … can’t even believe that I lost sleep over it. But I met someone recently who wears the victim label really well and in thinking this over, I remembered a story I once heard about the power of sin …

This isnt the exact version I heard but I hope you get the picture. A man buys a house and cleans it up, sets everything in order and leaves the man of the house to live there. Initially he does well, keeps it clean and enjoys being there. One day the old landlord comes and asks for just a small spot on the wall saying, “I just want to keep one small cloth on a nail.” No one will even know it’s there.

The nail is hammered into the wall and the cloth placed on it. What the man of the house is not told is that the cloth is dirty and smelly and soon, its smell soon fills the whole house.

So it is with sin, Jesus comes and sets our houses in order and gives us all his abundance, but whenever the enemy comes back, enticing, requesting a small space, he doesn’t stop there. The influence of that small sin, can fill and taint our whole being; and so it is with anger and bitterness.

Some people are so blinded by the label “victim,” that they are unable to see past a perceived wrong, or even a real one. No one is immune to hurt and pain as long as we exist in a world where we interact with other beings. Some of us, including me, at different times have allowed ourselves to put offence on a nail, and let bitterness grow until it’s stench fills every inch of our being. Everyone who walks into our lives can smell it and most choose not to stay, but we are so used to the stench that we are unwilling to deal with the source.

Bitterness infects everything we do and leaves very little room for the enjoyment of the things we have. It focuses on what has been lost and how we have been wronged and refuses to acknowledge our part in what has happened in our lives.

Sometimes we are so comfortable with the anger and want to hold on to it, and left unchecked, anger morphs into bitterness and Bitterness is never mild, it’s a cancer, a contagion that affects those we touch too. No wonder God asks that we Keep our hearts with all diligence and to not let the sun go down in anger. We are all victims of wrongs committed at different times by different people, but staying a victim robs us, so I pray that we recognise bitterness for what it is, where it lurks and remove it before it taints us.