Yesterday an old friend sent me a photo on facebook. It was something she came across in one of her old scrapbooks, and it is a picture of me ( many years ago) with my mother and father. It’s a candid shot, but the person that is fully seen in the photo is my Daddy.
He died when I was 26, and it was a very hard loss. I always loved him, even though growing up he was an alcoholic. He was kind and sweet, never knew a stranger and always told me he loved me. And, though he did love me, he wasn’t too available to love me because Beer was his first love.
But, shortly after I became a Christian and quit drinking and partying, my Dad was interested too. Soon, he quit drinking…never to lift a Beer can to his lips again, and for the last six or so years of his life, he was sober, available, and a believer in Jesus Christ. His marriage changed, and our relationship took on new levels of closeness. So, it was devastating when we heard he had stage 4 lung cancer and only had weeks to live! It seemed so unfair, and I was not ready to lose one of my closest friends.
One thing that is easy for me to lose sight of is the truth that God isn’t surprised by my circumstances. I don’t know about you, but when something happens to me that is upsetting I think I have to “inform” God of the details so that He can work. I am chuckling as I type this because it’s as if I am going to let the God of the Universe, the creator of my life, know what’s up and how to handle what’s up!
One of the most important things we can hold on to going into the New Year is that we are part of God’s plan, and that there is a plan. And, even when things are hard, people are unavailable, or we are going through broken hearts…God knows, He cares, and even though we can not see him at work, He is at work…always.
Take for instance, me growing up in an alcoholic home, becoming a perfection addict and people pleaser to try appease the empty spaces. Then having my world fall apart through divorce and depression. I felt like God had abandoned me. I was working so hard at being “together” and at “pleasing”, but God knew the deep dysfunction of my soul, and had something better for me than allowing me to have it all together on the outside surface. He was going, and continues to go, straight for my heart and for the ultimate healing of my soul, as I learn to walk in His strength and power and not my own.
You see, he has a destination for us. And, remember, our direction will either point us in that direction or take us away from it. You and I have free will, we get to choose. And, that is where the problems begin. Because we don’t understand the truth that there is a plan in place, we try to paint our own life picture. When things are not like we want them, we change brushes or colors, and keep painting.
What would it be like if we put the brush down. Stopped. Asked God to paint through our hands, choosing the colors, tools, and canvas for that day? The truth we must understand is that In Christ, we are different. We are NOT lacking, but have all we need. It’s just that we continue to try to paint the picture ourselves rather than surrendering it to God and operating from His power and gift source.
If you don’t believe me, look at this:
“For in him, you have been enriched in every way, in all your speaking and in all your knowledge….Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” 1 Cor 1:7-9
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is no subject to any man’s judgment: For who has know the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But, we have the mind of Christ.”
But our minds, as we experience them, are limited to what we know, what we’ve experienced or what we have read or heard from other’s experiences. The good news is, over the years, we DO learn many things. The better news is, we are NOT limited to our own learning, our own reasoning or the advice and reasoning of others. Why? Because we have the mind of Christ.
I know, I know what you are thinking….No, Debbie, my mind is not a pretty place right now. Yeah, I know, I know, but that is not the ‘mind’ I am talking about. I am speaking today of the “new mind” we are given over to as we are filled with His Spirit and as He begins to work IN and thrugh that mind to accomplish His will in our lives. It’s amazing.
If there is to be any resolution this year, let it be that we set our direction towards being renewed in our minds. This is where transformation begins ” be transformed, changed, by the renewing of your mind”
So, let me end today here….one area of transformation that is important, is acceptance. It is important to look back over your life and accept what was. Learn from the hard, harsh and bad things, and thank God that because you experienced them, you can help others. Continue to learn and grow as the affects of your past catch us with your actions and attitudes, and ask God to make you completely whole, and operating in His strength and wisdom, not in your own…a reasoning affected by your past.
Begin today by praising Him all day….thank Him that there is a plan in place for your individual life. And set your direction on his course for you, as you remember Him and His plan ( whatever that is) throughout the day by stopping to thank Him that HE IS IN CONTROL, and that HE LOVES YOU.
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16 NLB
He knew me and was with me when I was a child wondering where my daddy was. He answered prayer and led my daddy to salvation. I grew up in a home of dysfunction and pain, but it brought me to know Jesus. I have had hang ups that have lingered, and they have taught me how to go to God for healing.
What about you? Do you know that there is a plan? Do you believe that all of life can be redeemed for good by the God who created you? Do you want to see your dysfunctions healed so you can finally function in the fullness of His Spirit?
Good! God is here, powerful, all sufficient. In Christ, you have been made new, given his mind…it’s time to believe this, connect to our maker, and live the life that is no longer limited by SELF, With Christ, all things are possible!
embrace the day,
Thanks Laura Vasquez, for sending me the picture!