Artichoke Analogy, Part 3
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
At the center of the artichoke is the heart. It’s not easy to get to it. It takes a lot of work. Just like forgiveness. As I mentioned in a couple of posts ago, I’ve been madly reading Kelly Minter’s “The Fitting Room”. My eyes popped out of my head as God was laying all this forgiveness and artichoke and Joseph stuff out for me last night. Let me explain…
This past February, Jason and I had the opportunity to take a trip to another state and enjoy a little bit of time away, just the two of us. Jason was also speaking at a church conference and I was scheduled to speak to the men attending the conference on Saturday afternoon. That morning, Jason left early and I had the entire morning to myself. Did I mention it was also my birthday? On my morning run, I spent the time reflecting on my life and how far He has brought me and brought Jason and I. I was so thankful as I reflected. I then began to ask God what He wanted me to share with the men. And what He said was “I meant it for your good.” I couldn’t remember where in the Bible this verse was found, but I knew it was in there. So, as soon as I made it back to my hotel room, I looked up what He had given me.
And it’s the story of Joseph. His brothers had sold him into slavery, he endured prison although he was innocent, and then Pharoah elects Joseph to be his highest official. Some 20 years later, Joseph encountered his brothers and recognized them as they were trying to purchase grain from Joseph. Fast-forward to the end of Genesis and this is what Joseph says to his brothers:
Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
It was a certain kairos moment for me. God showed up! He told me what my heart knew but what my mind couldn’t fathom. And he asked me to share it with the men at that conference. And its all true, what Jason or satan meant for evil, God meant it for good in my life. I’m a better person because of what I’ve been through. And I wish that for every wife out there that has walked a similar road as me. This verse has become a part of my personal mission statement.
And last night, as I was reading “The Fitting Room”, Kelly writes what I have thought but haven’t been able to put into words. This is what Kelly says:
Could it really be that God is gathering all the years of wrongdoings to your soul, harvesting it for an unimaginable feast He is preparing, and spreading it on a table He is setting? And not just for heaven but for some very tangible realities here on earth? Just a thought. Or more accurately, a truth for those who are willing to trust their souls to a faithful Creator.
Could that be the prized heart at the center of the forgiveness artichoke? Being in a place where I realize that I am better because of what I have been through? And I wouldn’t take it back because of all the benefits God has blessed me with because of it? For now, being in this place is the center of my artichoke. And I believe that this can be a reality in your life, too.