I recently read a commentary that perfectly depicted how many of us are walking out our faith as we enter into Holy Week: defeated from a long cold winter. Dry bones. Let me paraphrase the commentary:
Winter is departing and with the resurrection the dead season is gone and new life begins. We are changed because of the dead season but not barren. Christ brings new life if we choose to leave winter and spring forward.
I adore this analogy. Just when we think we absolutely can not take one more second of the season? The Lord gives us a glimpse of His wondrous glory.
Christ gives us the choice to commune with him in new life because of the resurrection. Because of Jesus. A chance to move forward in anticipation of new hope and new life. How many of us choose to let fear keep us from moving forward? How many of us can’t quite let go of the past season in order to embrace the new birth of a bright fresh new season?
My puppy Henry, as frustrating as he is, has been my saving grace since my husband passed away last July. Henry and I have struggled mightily over who is in charge. One thing Henry has taught me? He doesn’t remember when I’ve scolded him or if he does he doesn’t show it. He leaves the past season in the past. He eagerly awaits my entrance every single time I come into his peripheral vision. He only sees the here and now. He only sees the good. Regardless of how I’ve behaved he’s eager to welcome me by bouncing and literally hugging me with his two front legs and paws. He loves me unconditionally even when I don’t deserve it. Shouldn’t we all be welcoming Jesus and new seasons exactly in the same manner in which Henry does? Jesus most certainly treats us with the same regard.
It’s sobering thinking about what Jesus physically endured for us. When I have that picture in my mind? I am embarrassed that I can’t let go of some of the dead bones from the winter season. Jesus. Brutally beaten to a pulp to take away our sins. We certainly don’t deserve it. He did it freely for us.
When we are walking around with dead bones? That is bondage. That’s us allowing the enemy to steal our rightful place in the Kingdom. This week let us all spring forward into thanksgiving and praise for the One who died to give us the freedom of new life.
“Faith does not make things easy. It makes them possible”-Luke 1:37
Two years ago I was a wife. Two years ago I was a mother of two college students. Two years ago I was a homemaker. Two years ago I snapped this photo of Robin and our daughters while vacationing in Charleston. Two years later? Robin is in heaven and I am a widow.
When asked today who you are how do you respond? Are you a wife? Mother? Teacher? Doctor? Realtor? Business woman? Who do you say you are? Who do you identify as or with? Think about that. “I went to Saint Mary’s too!” “My husband was on the board with your sister!” “I, too, was a Chi O!” “Our family had a beach place there for years also!” When the layers of identity labels are pulled off who exactly are you?
When I stripped away the title of Robin’s wife, Olivia Whitford’s mother, Carrington’s mother, Marc’s sister, Dawn’s sister in law, Sam’s aunt, George and Jane’s daughter, a girls school alumnae and a particular college university graduate? Who exactly was I?
When your kids are grown, the beach house is empty or sold, your spouse is gone, the job is over, your role has played out who are you? When you simply are just you with no titles or attachments who are you?
Last week I was captivated with the celebrations of Billy Graham’s home going services. It is estimated that he reached more people with the gospel than any other human being in history. His message was so simple. There were no titles, no tag lines, no pretense. Billy Graham knew exactly who he was in Christ. The world was captivated by the Holy Spirit living inside of him.
My life has changed ten fold in these past 7 months. I’ve been trying to figure out who I am without titles. The reality is we all have a Royal Title and Royal Lineage if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior: Child of the Most High. I do love some good jewelry 🙂 and look forward to crowns in heaven! This title is THE most important one of all. We put all of these layers and titles on to cover up the One title that the whole world needs to see and hear the most: Child of God.
“Until I come, devote yourself to public reading of scripture, to preaching and to teaching Gods word”~1 Timothy 4:13
As I am writing this our neck of the woods is preparing for a stormy day. The schools announced last night that they would be dismissing early today. Many businesses downtown are closing early.
Living so close to the coast Eastern North Carolinians are well versed in early Spring storms. Tornados, hurricanes, floods of biblical proportions, and N’oreasters. For the most part life goes on as normal. Based on history people are usually well prepared.
I’m always amazed (and somewhat amused) by the people banging on the doors of the grocery store in the midst of a storm. We live in the rural farming coastal flatlands. Weather is a topic of discussion to everyone at some point in the day. It is second nature to keep a loaf of bread in the freezer and extra batteries, candles and bottled water on hand in a “prep kit”. Okay maybe we just do it because I’m married to an over achieving Eagle Scout. Storms are part of our landscape. Be prepared.
How about the storms in your life? Are you caught off guard? Do you panic? Or are you calmly prepared? When we aren’t grounded in Gods word? When we aren’t bonded in Godly friendships? When we are totally entrenched in the world? The storms come and we cry out “Lord, what in the world?! Where are you?”
When we are walking with God on a daily basis He prepares us for life’s storms. The storms are still going to come. With Jesus? The storms are easier to navigate.
One of my favorite Psalms is 89:8-9 “Lord God All-Powerful, there is no one like you. You are strong, Lord, and always faithful. You rule the stormy sea. You can calm its angry waves.” No matter how large my storm may be a great and mighty God is in charge. An all powerful Lord is there to calm my seas. Don’t you love that?!
The good news? Storms come in seasons. They don’t last forever. Some may blow through very quickly. Others may linger. But they all resolve. Some end with a peaceful calm. Others leave a path of destruction. If we are prepared with our prep kit ahead of the storm ? We just hang on and trust that He will guide us through. We have the absolute guarantee that God, forever faithful, will navigate for us.
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me. He drew me from deep waters”-Psalm 118:16