The Ugly Chair

I was at the ball-field a few weeks ago watching my youngest play baseball and this older gentlemen was sitting beside me in one of those old-school folding chairs that can be positioned on either end. It’s this crazy, rainbow-striped pattern…quite eye-catching. As he was sitting there watching the game, I commented on how he had the “best seat in the house”, because he looked mighty comfortable. A few minutes passed by and the game he was watching was over, so he stood up and said, “Here, I’m leaving this with you.” Now, of course I quickly said, “I’m fine, I got a chair” and “I don’t need it”, but he was adamant that I needed to take it…”It only cost me a few dollars at the flea market.”, he said.

Now this chair has been sitting underneath my carport since then…after riding around in my car for a little while, too. I was honestly trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do with this hideous chair…I couldn’t very well just take it to Goodwill, ’cause I have stuff still in the back of my car that has been riding around in there for close to three months! Too, it matches nothing at my quaint, little house and sticks out like tall tree on an open prairie.

So, it sat.

Yesterday was a particularly hard day for me. Actually this past weekend was a rough one to say the least. I struggled with a migraine for two days (from stress, I’m sure). When our children are hurting, I think as mamas we hurt for them and our hurt is magnified more rapidly than if it was our own. Mamas, you know what I mean! God entrusts us to care for them physically, emotionally and spiritually so they can grow up to be mighty men and women of God. However, we can’t do that without Him leading us and guiding us each step of the way. Because of this hurt, yesterday afternoon, I came outside and was just compelled to unfold the chair and lay outside in the quiet. I unfolded it, got it in just the right position and I laid in the shade listening to birds, cars and tried to remind myself that “this too shall pass.” I cried a lot of tears yesterday for my sweet babies and their innocent hearts and tucked it all into my heart to go to work, leaving the chair unfolded under the carport until next time.

This morning after I came home from taking the kids to school, I decided it was time for breakfast and to finish my coffee. I had already been texting a friend about my frustration and hurt and contemplated going back to bed and pulling the covers up high…but big girls like to eat. As I was wiping off the stove and pulling out a pan for some scrambled eggs, God said, “You don’t need physical food right now, you need Me…spiritual food.” So, I quickly obliged and found a space beside my car with Bible and coffee in hand. I opened it up to Mark 4 where I have vowed to stay at least for 30 days or til the Lord moves me elsewhere. I really focused on verses 21-25 this morning, as I am going through this chapter slowly and with intent.

In theses verses, it talks about using your light. The light of The Lord that lives within us. It’s not to be hidden. The devil is good at bringing things into our path to distract us from the greatness of God. He doesn’t want us to be spiritually perceptive…he wants us to be blind from pursing an intimate relationship with Him. So he throws himself at us in so many ways creative ways to get us to flinch and hide The Truth within us. He had me in a place of darkness yesterday and this morning. The devil did a good job this past weekend, but my babies are covered with a blanket of grace and light so thick that darkness will not and CANNOT penetrate!

I sat outside this morning just being reminded that darkness has no place in my life and with the name of Jesus, evil must flee. Just by reading His Word aloud to the ants, the birds and for my ears to hear I am strengthened and renewed…no need to go back to bed…that’s not where God wants me! In verse 24, Jesus said, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use, it will be measured and added to you.” God is going to respond to us as we have responded to Him and His Word. I love this quote from Spurgeon and it stirred something up within me:

“The hearer of the gospel will get measure for measure, and the measure shall be his own measure.” And it works out just this way. To the one with no interest in the gospel, the preaching of the gospel seems uninteresting. To the one who wants to find fault with the church or the preacher, they find plenty of faults. On the other hand – the more blessed hand – those who hunger find food, and those who want the solid truth receive something from any faithful ministry.”

I found food this morning in my ugly chair. I am sure that man has forgotten about his small gift to me that evening on the ball-field, but I am grateful to be sitting here right now with my Lord and feeding on his greatness, His mercy and His love. My heart is full…overflowing, in fact…with the knowledge that the more I exercise my spiritual health, I will grow stronger in Him. Sometimes it’s a struggle to release that faith, especially when it comes to your children, but “gifts and graces multiply by being exercised; and God has promised to bless the hand of the diligent.” (Matthew Henry)

As I sit in this ugly chair with my outstretched feet sipping my lukewarm coffee, I am expecting a harvest because God’s Word says so! If you are struggling with darkness trying to cloud the light within you, rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Get into His Word…there is truth and light dripping from the pages. As sit on my rainbow (chair), I am thankful for that generous man and his gesture…

‘Cause when there is a rainbow, there is a promise.

You can’t have a rainbow without light.

Jesus is the color in our sometimes dark world.

Shine bright in this moment, friend. Use your light, no matter how you are hurting.

Someone needs your light…the light of Jesus. As I am speaking it to you, speak it someone else. Pass the lighted torch of Jesus today