SPRING HAS SPRUNG

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Winter is finally over and according to the calendar spring is here!  I love this time of year and with its arrival I am reminded of the silly little rhyme my Grandmother would recite as she went about her daily chores.  She would make us grandkids giggle as she said,

“Spring has sprung, the grass is ris,

I wonder where the birdies is?”

For me spring is a season of new growth.  I so enjoy seeing the trees full of plump green buds with baby birds peeping in nests tucked away in their branches.  Daffodils and tulips popping through water-soaked soil add a brilliant splash of colour to their subdued surroundings.  The sight of green grass poking up through brown terrain calls out for my picnic basket and blanket.  I love to watch the woodland creatures wake up from their winter slumber to bask in the warm sun and scurry about looking for new food stuffs.

The air is crisp with the promise of summer warmth and filled with the sounds of life.  The sunny days begin to outweigh the cloudy ones and last a little longer each day.  The world just seems fresh and vibrant and new!  My spirit is lifted and it spurns me on to increased physical activity and outdoor adventure.  It just seems that everyone is a little happier, friendlier and spunkier!

As we move further into this beautiful season of new beginnings, and farther from the cold, desolate winter months, I am reminded yet again of God’s word.  Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” 

God, Himself, spoke these words to His beloved people, the Israelites; His very wayward children during a time when they were very far from Him.  He was imploring them to see that He was about to redeem them by doing something He had never done before; by sending His very own Son to be the sacrifice for their sin.  To free them from bondage and usher them into blessed release.  All so that He and they could be in closer communion with one another.  That they would have a new beginning with Him.  That they would walk from winter to spring!

I am so thankful that God spoke these words to His children thousands of years ago and that they are relevant to me today.  He sent His Son to be my sacrifice, so that I can have a new beginning in Christ and become a new creation.  I am grateful that I can walk in freedom and live my days in the perpetual season of His spring.

Because of Jesus I can step lightly with joy in my heart, growth in my spirit, sunniness in my disposition, energy in my bones and hope for my future.  With Him, I can face all things knowing that I am His and He is mine.  Jesus is alive in me and His work on the cross has made me new.

Daughters, I encourage you today, to remember what Christ has done for you.  Through His work on the cross He has made you a new creation and you can live in His spring daily.  No matter what you face, good or bad, He is with you and new things are in store for you!

Time To Go

Written by: Jody Mugford

“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”  Mark 5:18-20

This is the story of a man who was so heavily demon-possessed that he lived among the tombs of the dead.  He had supernatural strength, nobody could tame him, and he would spend all day and night crying out and cutting himself.  Jesus cast out the demons into a herd of about 2000 pigs and the pigs ran violently over a cliff and into the sea.  This is a scary scene to read.  The power of demon-possession is nothing to make light of…but that is another topic for another time.

What has impacted me lately is the short conversation between the man and Jesus after Jesus has made him well.  This man’s life has just been radically healed, both physically and spiritually.  He will no longer be living amongst the dead.  He will no longer be tormented in his mind and soul.  He had an encounter with Jesus and now he is FREE.  Can you imagine what he must be feeling?  The quietness of his inner thoughts, the calm in his spirit, the peace of knowing he is no longer a slave to those evil spirits.  Maybe he has a family to return to or friends to reconnect with, maybe even a lost love.  His whole future has just opened wide!  So what do we read is the first thing that he says?  He wants to go with Jesus.  He doesn’t ask to return home or to go find his family.  All he wants is to follow Jesus and just be with Him.  We can tell from the man’s request that he doesn’t want Jesus only for what He can do for him.  This man has become a follower of Jesus and his heart has been forever changed!  But Jesus tells him that he must return home.  My heart hurts for him a little because he simply wants to be with his Saviour.  Then Jesus gives him a great calling: he must go and tell his story, of how Jesus loved him and saved him and healed him.

This really spoke to me, partly because I have probably glossed over it in the past, not really applying it to myself.  But as I have walked hard journeys and waited on miracles from God, I find this command really resonating with me.  When God gives us a blessing, a long-awaited answer to prayer, a powerful encounter in His presence, the temptation can be to remain in that comfortable, refreshing place.  I love to sing and worship and many times I just want to sit in God’s presence, basking in His awesomeness.  I want to stay in that safe place, just me and God.  Don’t get me wrong…worship and waiting are vitally necessary, friends.  We must spend time in God’s presence to grow and to learn to hear His voice.  But there will come times in our lives when we must get up and go.  We cannot stay in the comfort of our worship space all the time.  We must go home and tell our story.  Our encounters with God, His miracles, and our lives are our testimony of His goodness, redemption and love.  If we sit in our comfortable routine and never step out, how will others know what He has done for us?  How will they know what He can do for them?

Jesus knew that this man would greatly impact all those around him.  They had witnessed his previous life of demon-possession and now they will get to see the change.  The stark contrast of the old life to the new can be a powerful testimony.  Nobody could tell this man’s story like he could himself and God would get all the glory for it.  Jesus didn’t give the man a script to follow, of what to say and what not to.  He simply said to go and tell your friends of all the Lord has done for you and how He had mercy on you.

The command hasn’t changed, friends.  If we’ve met Jesus, we have a testimony.  We have a story to tell that is as unique as our DNA and it will impact others around us.  There are people that need to hear about God’s love.  They need to hear our honest experiences so they can come to know God too.  Be encouraged!  God will guide your words, if you let Him.  He will bring people to you (or you to them), as I’m sure He did for the man in our story.  God wants to work with us to share His Good News and He will give us opportunity, if we offer ourselves to be used by Him.  A dear friend once told me that if we learn to “pray first, speak second” God can do amazing things through us.  It’s a discipline to put into practice but it will enable us to follow God’s direction and speak life into those around us that are hurting and need a touch from Jesus.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect…”  1 Peter 3:15

“…do not worry beforehand about what to say.  Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”  Mark 13:11

Love and blessings,

Jody

For What It Could Be

Written by: Christianne Williams

This past week I went to have coffee at a friend’s house.  As I was standing in her kitchen my eyes were drawn to piece of furniture in the corner.  It was a cabinet, old, but beautifully refinished.  It was made of real wood, not the pressed together kind so much is built from today, and it had been painted white, still keeping its antique charm.  I commented on how lovely it was.  She began to share with me how she found it.

It had been in an old shed on her father’s farm, a building that was to be torn down.  This beautiful shelf had been covered in dirt and oil, and the droppings from small creatures  that lived in the abandoned building, and it was scheduled to be burned.  She looked at it and saw not what it was at the time, but what it could be with some work.  She rescued it, and then she went to work.  It was no small job and it took many hours to give it a facelift and reveal what beauty laid beneath the surface.  Looking at it that day I would never have guessed how she had found it.

She shared with me how it reminded her how God sees us, He sees what He wants us to become, the potential we have, the person He created us to be.

My husband also visited and had coffee with someone, a new believer, re-entering his walk with God. He shared about his life, where he had been, and the struggles he had faced, and the bad choices he made along the way. He also shared of how when he was reading in the Book of Romans, the Lord was speaking to him about different things in his life that needed to change. He saw that we are all born as sinners, but that because of the righteousness of Christ, and what Jesus has done for us, it spoke to him that if God would do that for us, we must have some measure of value to Him.

Too many times we look at ourselves, and others, as being too messed up, too dirty, too old, to be beautiful or useful.  We see the mess, the enormity of the clean up job, and we become convinced that there’s no way we, or they, can be redeemed.  It would so much easier to just forget it, throw it all away. But the eyes that know us best see the beauty that lies beneath the surface.  He can clean up the worst situation.  He lovingly sands off the dirt and oil, revealing solid wood that can be refinished anyway He chooses, and no matter what he chooses it will be stunning.

Just like my friend didn’t just paint over the dirt and stains, she removed them carefully so that there would be a new finish, God doesn’t just cover over our sin, he removes it as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12).  He’s in the process of restoring us, creating a masterpiece of God (Ephesians 2:10), displaying His glory! God loves us more than we know. Like a craftsman, a painter, a sculptor; God is in the business of taking wood, old canvases, and even what others consider “junk”, and creating beautiful masterpieces! And the work He began, He will complete (Phil 1:6) so His glory will be revealed in us! (Romans 8:18)

Heaven Bound

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I don’t know remember when my thoughts of heaven began.  Perhaps the cartoons of chubby, cherubs strumming harps on fluffy, white clouds, was the beginning.  Then surely, Bible stories from Sunday school, with felt figures filled my mind.

It wasn’t until someone very dear to me passed away that my thoughts of heaven ran deeper.  My belief in God, running deeper still, was never questioned but was heaven a place I wanted to spend eternally?

Scriptures about heaven are found all throughout the Bible.  Revelations illustrates a hard to imagine place. “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Yes! I definitely longed for such a life!

Then questions about how can I be sure, I will live eternity in heaven arose?

By then I was learning that Scripture was my most reliable source.

Romans 10:9 held my answer, “’If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”’ 

There is a declaration—I testify, agree, affirm, proclaim and announce that Jesus is my Lord.  Lord over my life.  The way I live is in obedience to the Word of God.

There is a belief—I believe in Jesus, God’s only Son, our Lord. That He was crucified, died and was buried.  That on the third day He rose again!

There is a saving

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8 & 9

In this Truth, I realized that I could stop living to earn my salvation.  That I could stop striving in my own efforts to be ‘good enough.’

Accepting the gift, I look forward to living in such an eternal way.

A Second Chance

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

A couple days ago, another missionary friend of mine posted something on her Facebook status that made me cry. I have to say that first of all, before I share this story, that I have so much respect for her and her ministry. She is the real deal…nothing fake about her. She is involved in a ministry that I could never see myself doing. I think I would either be terrified or sick to my stomach. Yet it is where God has called her, and that is to the gangs of this city. I love her heart for these boys. Boys, that most would be afraid of and stay away from. She truly loves and cares for them like a mom. She is Jesus to them. His hands. His feet. His heart. There are times when she has brought food to them. And she has  always, always told them about Jesus.  She is making a difference in an area where most would be afraid to enter.  I think a lot of people would maybe think they are unreachable or a lost cause. But you know what? They still need Jesus even though they may have done terrible things. They still need to hear about his love for them. And that is what she does. She loves them. Not for what they do, but as they are. A lot like Jesus. Because Jesus accepts us as we are, because of who He is.

The other day though, something happened. She attended a wake for a young man she had known many years. One with whom she had shared Jesus with countless of times. There had been some sort of accident at the prison where he was and he was taken to the hospital for surgery. After this man woke up, his aunt called him on his phone. He told his aunt that God had given him another chance. His aunt asked him if he was ready to give his life to Christ. He responded that yes, he was. He also gave some cocaine from his pocket to the custodian because he did not need it anymore.

Within ten minutes this young man, a brand new follower of Jesus was shot to death in his bed with over one hundred bullets.

When I read this story, I cried. I don’t understand why things like that happen. I don’t know why he did not have a chance to live for the Lord, or a chance to grow in his new found faith. He received the free gift of salvation…and now I believe He is with the Lord in heaven. He may have done some evil things while on earth and he may have lived a rough life.   But, he had another opportunity to make things right with God, and he did. At just the right time, moments before he was so brutally murdered, God saved him. That is grace. That is mercy.

See that is how God is. He accepts us and loves us where we are at. Not because of anything we have done, or haven’t done. There is nothing we need to do for God to love us. We don’t need to change first. We don’t need to clean ourselves up before coming to Him. No matter the kind of life we live—He loves. We are loved by Him. He wants us to have his free gift of salvation, so that we can have eternal life with Him. He changes us. And he wants to have a relationship with us. It’s why he died. So we can be forgiven and free.

My friend is not afraid to go into the hard places. The dangerous places. The places to where God has called her. I think of the countless young men she has reached out to. Time after time after time. She may be the only “Jesus” they will ever meet.   I know that there are others, that because of her faithfulness that are in heaven today because of her planting the seeds, and not giving up, even though there may have been times where she felt like it. What if this young man I told you about had never been told about Jesus?

It kind of made me stop and think; who is God asking me to talk to that I have held back due to language barriers? What about the neighbours I see and talk to when I am walking every day? I’m getting to know a number of them in the conversations I have with them, but how many of them know my Jesus? Maybe it is more than just the kids in the schools that we are reaching. I have no problem talking to them. I’m not afraid or nervous.   I’ve been reflecting on this a lot. It’s challenged me to step out of my comfort zone . Because there are no guarantees in this life. You never know when time will run out.

1 Jn 1:9 —But, if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness.

Rom 3:27—Can we boast then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our aquital is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.

Rom 10:9—If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved.

Paving Hope Road

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

It was a rainy Tuesday evening. My hubby was working and I decided I would take a trip to the grocery story to pick up some groceries while he was gone- with our less-than-one-month-old baby boy.

Not my greatest choice.

As soon as I walked through the doors of the store my precious little one began to scream. Screams that communicated pain and discomfort. He shifted and wiggled in his carrier as he bellowed and my Mommy heart deflated quickly. Nothing I offered provided him any relief and before long I was nearly running through the aisles to get only the necessities on my long list, in order to promptly return to the comfort of our own home.

Once in the car the tears of defeat flowed freely. Why did I even bother?

As I started back home I recalled a lady who, just that previous Sunday, had offered a helping hand with the baby if I ever needed one. She encouraged me to just ask, that if she was able, she would love to help.

An answer to prayer, Renee came to our home that evening and held baby Ben while I unpacked my groceries. She never complained one time about me asking for help and before she left she encouraged me to ask her for help again! Her help that Tuesday evening brought incredible relief to my overwhelmed soul, but more than that, she became a trusted friend.

In the months and years that followed I learned Renee’s story. What I didn’t know that Tuesday night was that I would soon be entering a journey very similar to Renee’s. I learned so much from my conversations with her; her faith in God, and her ability to see His hope in all situations brought me hope.

When my daughter came along with a similar condition to Renee’s son, she offered genuine empathy. There were many- I mean many- who offered sympathy, but there is something precious about being encouraged by someone who truly knows how you feel. Renee did not always encourage me through her words, either. She also offered hope in the form of practical help; by lightening the load of our burdens which helped us focus on our priorities.

Your responses to your circumstances, both during those stormy seasons in life and after, is either paving hope road for someone who will cross your path in the future….or maybe you’re paving hope road for someone in your life right now. Will you choose to be a beacon of His light in all things (like my friend, Renee) or will you choose to drag your feet as you journey through those less-than-lovely circumstances?

The choice is yours.

Father God, thank You so much for sending people into our lives who shed light on Your hope simply in the way they walk through this life. You give bright hope for our futures and that is true even during our biggest moments of weakness and struggle. Thank You for never giving up on us, never leaving us, and never turning your back on us. Help us to live our lives, in all situations as a beacon of Your hope. We love You so much! Amen.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Written by: Conny Varga

It happened again! The day started out fine, and I was in my element. But then one thing added to another, things weren’t working out the way I had hoped, getting supper on the table was an afterthought, and at the end of the day, I was frazzled and worn out. My poor husband came home to a less-than-cheerful wife.

And then, a couple hours later, it hit me. I had forgotten the most basic, most common-sense thing! I forgot to pray my way through the day! I neglected to go to the only One who would have been able to help me get through the day and come out on top!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)

Why do we not follow that simple exhortation? We know better than that. But somehow, when times get hectic or tough, we forget to go to the Source of strength and peace. And unfortunately, it is not only we who end up suffering, but most often the people we love most are affected as well. When we are not communicating with our Father or operating in His strength, we are prone to sin. Little issues that would not normally bother us, have the potential to turn into full-blown arguments and points of contention.

The old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by Joseph M. Scriven comes to mind. Part of the first stanza states:

…Oh, what peace we often forfeit,

Oh, what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.

Jesus is such a perfect example for us. During his recorded years of ministry, He spent countless hours in communication with His Father, and lo and behold, He was never stressed or frazzled. The only time when He actually was in great distress – in the Garden of Gethsemane before His capture and crucifixion – He did not stop praying and pouring out His heart to God until He felt strengthened and ready to face whatever lay before Him.

The verse in Philippians promises that if we bring everything to God in prayer – the good, the bad, and the ugly – His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Jesus. I want that for myself, and I want that for every follower of His!

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30, emphasis added)

I pray that I would never again forget to follow Jesus’ example. May we all remember that God is the solution to our problems, and if we go to Him like children to their Daddy, He will gladly give good things to those who ask Him (Matt. 7:7-11). We will save ourselves a lot of headaches and pain, and our lives, homes, work places, churches, and families will be more peaceful, harmonious, efficient, and focused on what’s truly important. Lord, help us come to you and find rest for our souls!

Understanding God’s Will

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Recently I was asked by a young person, “How do I know what God’s will is for my life?”  I remember asking that same question in my teen and young adult years.  It always seemed such a mystery, something far off and unreachable.  So much emphasis was put on knowing God’s will for our lives that it became the more grown up version of the childhood question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  I remember spending hours at the altar seeking to know “His will” only to go home not much farther ahead than when I started.  It was a very frustrating and confusing time in my life.

It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I really began to UNDERSTAND God’s will for my life after hearing a couple of excellent messages on the subject and searching the scriptures in my quiet times with Jesus.  One scripture that spurned me on to really get to the bottom of this conundrum I found myself in was Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  If I was going to truly begin to UNDERSTAND God’s will for my life, and follow His direction, I had to immerse myself in His sacred writings.

As you read on Daughters, keep in mind that knowing and UNDERSTANDING are two very different things!  There lies a HUGE difference between these two concepts.  You see, I can know something as a fact and be able to rhyme that fact off over and over, but to UNDERSTAND is to comprehend what that fact is saying to me.  Comprehension is a much deeper process that burrows into the very center of my cognition and eventually takes root in my convictions.

To boil it down, I can know that 2+2=4.  That is a fact; one I learned very young by memorization; one I can recite over and over again without even thinking.  But, to UNDERSTAND what this equation really means is to break it into smaller parts to yield greater comprehension, learning and application.  Written like this, OO+OO=OOOO, the answer has far more meaning to me and I can stand on the fact with conviction.

So, began my journey into God’s Word to discover His will for me and to fully UNDERSTAND it.  I soon realized that God’s will for me was so much greater and richer than simply knowing who I was to marry or what I was to become as a professional or whether I should have children or not.  It really had less to do with the outcomes in my life and more to do with my spiritual wellbeing, character building and actions towards others.  I realized that God already knew every day of my life before each one was lived; therefore, He already knew how my life was to unfold.  I simply had to serve Him, cultivate the fruits of His Spirit within me and watch with great anticipation as to how it all played out.  This shift in my perspective made life so much more enjoyable to live with each day being a complete adventure!

Banner scriptures concerning God’s will for me began to fly off the pages of my Bible.  My excitement continued to blossom and grow!

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…”

1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

1 Peter 2:15, “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

These are just a few of many scriptures regarding God’s will found in His Word.  Ephesians 5:17 ties up perfectly this blog on UNDERSTANDING God’s will for us, “Therefore, do not be foolish, but UNDERSTAND what the will of the Lord is.”

No One Is You-er Than You!

By: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Can I share a confession of mine with you? I spend a lot of unnecessary time feeling inadequate! God has called me to do some very specific things in my lifetime; complete some very specific purposes. Sometimes He blesses me with the ability to ‘see’ the fruits of my labor; sometimes it’s not for me to see, just be a part.

It’s those times when I am ‘just a part’ that I begin to doubt myself. Did I really do all I could do? Should I have done more?! Should I have done less? What if I never know if what I’ve done was good enough?! I’m sure there was someone qualified to do a better job than me!

The bible says that each one of us is God’s handiwork. He made each of us individually, with intended purposes. He has prepared you in advance for each thing He will require you to do, along your journey here on this earth.

It is true you will begin to feel inadequate when you look around at others. I know this from experience. The most important thing to remember is that God has called YOU to be you. Looking around and trying to decide who might be better off doing what God has asked you to do is like you’re telling God He’s not good at being God. (Likewise, don’t look at something God has called someone else to, and think you’d be a better choice for their calling)

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” –Dr. Seuss

Be the masterpiece that God created you to be and set your mind to do whatever it is He asks of you with excellence. Don’t try to be anyone else; just be you! Resist the temptation to feel inadequate by measuring your capabilities to someone else’s. And remember that if God asked you to do something for Him, it’s because he wants YOU to do it.

Jesus, thank You for making us who we are. I pray that we will learn to be comfortable and appreciate ourselves because it is You that has made us. I pray that You will create in us a confidence to be that person You’ve made us to be, so that we can fulfill your purposes. Help us to learn to not worry about whether we are qualified or not for what You are asking us to do; that’s for You to decide. Instead, I pray that we will simply say yes to Your assignments. I pray this in Your name, Jesus, Amen.

EXCHANGING OLD FOR NEW

Written by: Christianne Williams

Have you ever had a piece of clothing that fits so well, is so very comfortable, it makes you want to wear it all the time?  I had sweatpants like that.  I wore them for a day, washed them at night, wore the next day, washed them while I slept, wore them again.  You get the picture.  I had to go buy a couple more pairs because first of all, they faded fast from all the washing,  and second, I wanted to be able to say I had more than one pair.  You know, people were looking at me like I was weird, wearing the same pants every single day, I wanted to say, “Hey I’m not wearing the same ones, I have a twin pair at home!”

My kids have all been like that.  They have a closet full of clothes but only  the green dinosaur sweater that’s two sizes too small and has a hole in the right sleeve will do.  Or the faded pair of jeans with the grass stain on the right knee and no left knee left at all.  My daughter would wear shirts that were so short they didn’t meet her pants anymore, I would go through her clothes while she was busy and dispose of all the garments I knew were getting too snug to avoid the haggling that would occur if she was involved.  Many times she would see another little girl wearing something that looked exactly like the item she once owned and would say, “Look, so and so has the same shirt I used to have!”  She’s never caught on that not only does it look it, it is it!

My son had a T-shirt that we brought home for him from a trip we had taken.  He loved that shirt so much, he wore it everyday.  It went through the wash dry cycle so often, but usually only after it had been wrestled from his clutches, that it was full of tiny holes.  My son also likes to make small holes bigger so it wasn’t long before the shirt was in an awful state.  One day as I was folding laundry I seized my opportunity and threw the shirt into a bag of odds and ends that were heading to the dumpster.  I thought that was the end of it.  Much to my surprise, I found him wearing it a few days later.  He said he found it on top of the bag of junk and knew it must be a mistake because his favorite shirt was not junk.  I hadn’t disposed of it fast enough.

It occurred to me, we have problems exchanging old for new sometimes.

I think it happens because things become comfortable, even if they aren’t the best fit, or if they may not be the best for us.

Think about the disciples.  They were doing well in life by their standards and they were called by Jesus to leave it and exchange it all to follow Him ! Seems like a simple decision, but that’s because we’re reading about, not actually being required to a make it.  And also, when can read the entire account, they were called to make the exchange having faith that it was profitable.

When God asks us to give up something it’s because His desire is to move us into something better for us. He wants to give us clothes that fit, so to speak, that aren’t ripped or dirty.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a speedy exchange, sometimes we have to let go without any glimpse of something better on the horizon, but we know that if God is in it, it will always be a better fit.  If we remain where we are because we’re comfortable we’ll never realize the fullness of life that awaits us. If the Israelites had remained in Egypt as slaves because they knew what was going to happen day after day, and hadn’t stepped out into the unknown, they never would have received the promise of God.

While they wandered in the desert they complained, it wasn’t easy, but in the end it was worth it.  They were free.  Sometimes we stay in the confines of our bonds because we know what to expect and the discomfort it easier than the fear of the unknown.  But even though it may be hard, it will be worth it.  Let go of the old so you can embrace the new.