My life changed direction recently. Before the change I was like a lot of people; complacent, dissatisfied and restless with the path I was on and the direction it was taking me. I’d been seeing an increase of negativity and cynicism in my core on a daily basis, and I didn’t like what I saw. I was harboring some resentments and I knew others were harboring them too. I wanted release. I was fed up with the darkness, and I wanted to find a way to mitigate its damage in my life. I could see that being this way was hurting me, but I didn’t know how to change without drastically shifting paradigms. The dam broke and the icy waters of Lake Misery burst forth when I finally decided to get brutally honest with myself. The flood of emotion that came with the dam break was both refreshing and disheartening. I won’t lie, I like life when it comes easy and requires little of me to stay positive and edifying. Regrettably, my life was neither prior to the dam’s breaking. Post burst, I realized it would take monumental efforts to repair the dam, but in the meantime I rejoiced in having finally been cleansed of indecision by its mighty rushing flow.
Rebuilding after a flood is hard work, requiring talent and determination. Damage downstream can take years to repair. A team effort is needed. Different aspects of the work call for varying abilities. Blessed is the woman who has the Lord Jesus on her side as this type of building project goes forward. It was time to let God determine where sidewalks would be placed, how high rooftops would rise and the method by which new bricks would be placed within the framework of the old. I ventured into the reconstruction confident that my Lord knew what needed to be done and would bring to my aide valuable workers who were master craftsmen in their own rite. The important thing to note is that I was ready for this transformation to take place and cooperative with regards to all aspects of the building. That decision alone, I knew, would take me more than half the way to my goal.
A new class on evangelism was beginning at my church. I made preparations to attend, asking for a substitute to teach my class for the time that I would be away. My son and daughter-in-law had given me a book for Christmas that would be the companion piece for this new study, Bill Hybel’s, Just Walk Across The Room. Within the pages of the book I found conviction; the realization that within two years of becoming a Christian believers eliminate almost all of the unsaved from their lives. Faced with this information I had to admit that I’d become ingrown and impotent regarding the unsaved, for I had long ago deserted them in their struggle to find what I had and enjoyed. If they were going to make it to the kingdom, I unwittingly reasoned, they had best have their own map, because it was pretty clear looking down from my present perch that I had done nothing in a long, long time to hasten their arrival. This practice needed to change, and it needed to change now.
As of this writing, my adventure in rebuilding has begun. My new class is underway. I’m half way through my new book, which as it so happens is wonderfully relevant to all that has transpired in my life over the last sixty days. Is this a coincident? I think not. The Prophet Jeremiah delivered this message to a people devoid of hope years before. I find it still relevant today.
“’I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you will search for me with all your heart. [then] I will be found by you…’” Jere 29:11
This truth is taking form in my life, at long last, because I committed myself to being honest and God honored that commitment. Already, I can tell that 2011 is going to be an adventure, and if it can happen for me, it can happen for you. The clarion call of our Savior is for us to make a difference in this place, but we can’t do it without our Jesus.
I recently shard with a friend that I was ready and eager to have the Lord take up a chisel and chip away anything in me that was not reflective of his Son. Today, I earnestly reiterate that desire—let the chipping begin!
In closing out this first post of the new year, I want to share a passage from 1 Peter 2 that is encouraging to my soul.
“When they hurled insults at Him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly. He, himself, bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Amen, may it be so, Lord Jesus.