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A Challenge
by Beth Muehlhausen
03/23/08
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3-23-08


A Challenge


Geological strata await excavation. Who might care to dig, explore, and discover the layers comprising “me” – and also open themselves to the same scrutiny? Who conversely would rather slip by, almost unnoticed, only to hide in his or her own well protected, inner vault?

It might require boldness to choose to look inside my eyes and beyond my features, chiseled by age, and thus expose the soul lurking beneath my frosting of gray hair. The heirloom diamond standing brazenly on my finger amidst gold filigree…might it attract a thrill seeker rather than an in-depth compatriot?

Does some other human being truly want to know my heart? Does anyone care to examine a soil sampling from beneath my mole-studded, surgery-scarred skin?

If not, you’re excused. If so, read on.

Squishy sand lies just beneath the obvious externals, much like summer’s best effort at soft relationship. The nurturer there desperately hopes for gut-level warmth in order to share (and perhaps resurrect) the desert-moments of life. And yet occasional rocky obstacles - doubts slippery with the rotting moss of inadequacy - suggest it’s impossible to ever be, do, have, or say “enough.” In reality, God is always "enough."

Deeper yet, an autumnal frost covers well-manicured grass like heavenward pointer-fingers. It also artfully paints wispy strands on the soul’s windowpane to shape a still life of desire. Whether standing tall to encase existing earthly realities aimed toward eternal ones, or creeping across glassy spiritual transparencies, desire reaches and feels while knowing the Truth waits on the other side.

Locked in death-like rigor mortis, glacial bedrock hides everything but pain. It unabashedly screams, “I am the common denominator for all people everywhere!” It’s true that no one escapes the paralyzing, icy sting of physical and emotional hurt. But whenever dark and dank, sweaty walls seem to close in, sanctification also manifests. Perhaps it is because of trials and perseverance that the final layer – the core – can support and manage all the rest.

At the center of these layers bubbles the artesian, life-giving promise of spring-like hope. More than a wish or yearning, this guaranteed “living” baptismal water provides ongoing rebirth and renewal. Its waves wash over the other layers with foamy whitecaps, literally sweeping despair out and out, until it dissipates into thin air. Even stale weariness retreats in the face of hope’s refreshment and renewal. This gift from God performs its work as unmistakable evidence of His mercy.

Dare you dig deep enough to travel through these layers with me? May I journey within you? Or is the risk too great, the trip too long and demanding? Would we rather skim the surface and miss the blessing?

Who will accept the challenge as the robins return despite a new heavy snow, and the promise of spring approaches – again?




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
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Toni Dester 24 Mar 2008
Beth - wow - these are things I have been contemplating a lot lately. Since we are moving and my 3 friends are very far away, distance-wise, I find myself "alone" in the friends locally who are willing to dig into life together. Of course, that is fine b/c it is a real gift of God when you have a friend like that - and there are seasons. You have an amazing writing gift and I appreciate you!!!! Please keep writing :) - it makes me feel not so alone - that someone out there who loves Christ is thinking some of the same thoughts I am.
Julia May 23 Mar 2008
Beautifully written. This kept me spellbound. I loved it. Write on, Sister! Love in Christ, Julia




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