24 February 2012

Five Minute Friday ~ Grit

I grew up in Oklahoma... not during dustbowl years, but I still remember grit.

Now, I live on the backside of the desert...

and we're intimately acquainted. Just keeping the desert from moving in and taking over the house can become, in some seasons... like now... a full-time occupation or preoccupation.

Freshly swept floors immediately recovered with fine particles of sand as soon as the windows are re-opened and the fans circling again overhead. Grains swept off furniture several times daily, piles of orange sand in the sink where grimy kids have washed hands before dinner, and there is no escaping grit shed from pockets, shoes, bare feet, blonde hair and sweaty skin - when your entire yard is a playland sandbox. My kids believe it next best to heaven; after sweeping the floor and dragging rugs outside to beat for the 4th time, sometimes I'm more inclined to wonder if I'm trapped in an infernal nightmare.

Grit... yuck!

And yet?

After more than a decade at this, I'm discovering that it takes a special God-given grace-filled grit to deal with all the grit of this placethis life.

It takes grit:

eye-blinking courage,
a setting-of-the-jaw-never-give-up type of attitude

- regardless of circumstances.

Moses exhorted Joshua, "Show some true grit, boy, because God ain't gonna take off on ya!" (i.e. "be strong and courageous...") in Joshua 1. That oft repeated advice is remains radical marching orders.

Some days ~

...at the blessed end of one of those days,

when tiny specks of grit are all that remain after crushing grindstones of sinful self, of sinful people, of this as yet redeemed yet unrestored world, of spiritual battlefields, of dark principalities and demonic powers, of human frailty and fatigue, of discouragement, of God's growing me... God-given, grace-filled true grit is all that remains. It is what helps me pray (and most days, mean it), "Father, help me to remember that hard is not bad, that suffering I have the privilege of sharing with You. Help me to gently trust and then ferociousl grab and fiercely cling to hope that You are growing a gem, polishing a pearl, from this moment... or this season... of hard.

Give me Your true grit to brush and beat and sweep away once again the grit that distracts me from the joy of Your abiding Presence in all things." 


  1. you described this so beautifully...I was there with you, broom in hand to beat that grit :)

  2. "Father, help me to remember that hard is not bad, that suffering I have the privilege of sharing with You. Help me to gently trust and then ferociousl grab and fiercely cling to hope that You are growing a gem, polishing a pearl, from this moment... or this season... of hard."--
    Yes, yes, yes! What a perfect prayer when the hard times come!

    And being a desert dweller too, I totally get what you're saying about keeping the dust down being a full time occupation. Though I'm not in the African desert, our little home in the windy California desert gets pretty dusty too!

  3. People around here always complain about the snow. We personally drove the worst blizzard Ohio has seen in a hundred years. And I am reminded of the torrential rain storm I experienced in Haiti with Tim's Dad - it was raining so hard, it was literally a wall of water that obscured everything behind it, and drove the rain right through the walls of my "waterproof" tent. And then I think of the sand storms you have there in Niger. Given my choice, I'll gladly take the snow! Sure, we're perpetually cleaning ashes off everything because of the wood stoves, but it's nothing compared to what I imagine keeping your house clean must be like.

    In a way I envy you - as missionaries, you have the greatest job in the world - but I certainly don't envy your housekeeping!

  4. Oooh, i can taste the grit in my teeth! Bon courage!

    If you want a little visual break from the dirt, I posted today about our fresh snow we got last night. :)


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