It’s already but not yet.
We’ve been given the date and the declaration but we have not really experienced it quite fully yet…at least not in Missouri. Yes…we’ve had days…but they have been too short. Just today we had 75-80 degree weather. But the wind is howling outside my window right now as I write and I think it will be below freezing tonight.
If my surroundings could be closely compared to a wasteland at all during the year, now would be the time. This is the point in the year after winter has had it’s run and all is brown and tired, right before the buds on my pink dogwood burst open, that I have the most hope. We’re at the edge of darkness and just about to step into green.
Can you compare anything in your spiritual life to this? The edge of spring?
I know Christ has victory over death and sin… but I still have to deal with it in this life. In my life and in the lives of those around me. Sometimes it feels the “winter” will never end.
Maybe you’re in a dark time spiritually or maybe you know someone else who is. Are you tempted to think it is a hopeless situation?
Today I’d like to remind you that God is on the move. He is changing hearts. He is renewing the world around us. He is birthing spring from winter…life from death. The people and relationships in our lives. He is moving people from a wasteland to graceland. If you feel like you’re in a stagnant winter and you’ve given up hope. Or if you just don’t think change is possible for someone you love or for yourself, maybe this testimony will encourage you.
Following is the testimony of a good friend of mine. He is the husband of one of my best friends. She is a praying wife and they have been part of a strong community of believers who have loved them well. My friend has faithfully pleaded for God’s work and guidance in her family’s life. I have had the privilege of praying with her every week for years. I get to sit in the sidelines and watch God’s grace at work in the life of this woman and her family every week. She gets to do the same for me. What a blessing it was to read her husband’s testimony a few weeks ago:
“Seventeen years ago I had a born again experience that was amazing.
But over time I let myself fall into a worldly mindset even though I was in church and in community.
And over time my life started becoming more & more frustrating, more & more of a struggle, more & more unfulfilling. I had no peace.
I knew something was wrong. Deep down I knew it had to be me. And at one time I prayed: “God, do whatever you need to do to break me of this stronghold in my life.” I knew this could be a dangerous prayer but I was a desperate man.
Well I knew I was slow to change but I didn’t realize just how stubborn I truly was. And things got worse and I blamed God and got angry at Him for my struggles. At one point I was much like Captain Dan in the movie Forest Gump – up on the top mast screaming at God about my frustration.
And then surrender came: By God’s grace through church; Redemption Groups last fall; friends; my wife; and my community group I realized I was living a life contrary to the 1st commandment. I had made my life my idol – I was living for my own glory.
So today I want to publicly repent and renounce my idolatry to self and give my heart fully to Jesus.”
I share this today to encourage those who are praying and those who feel far from God. When life seems darkest, you might be on the edge of your own spring…new life…graceland.
It seems a great humbling, a death of sorts comes before the new life of spring. The once-beautiful trees stand naked, uncovered and weathered in winter’s cold. Just when it can’t get much worse, grace comes and brings forth beauty. It seems this is the pattern in our spiritual walk too. Perhaps, in our darkest most humbling times, we are closer to new life than we think.
Thanks to Julie at christianmommyblogger.com, for featuring this post this week!
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