I just returned from a weekend filled with the beauty of the redwoods and a community of women who gathered to worship God. They came from many different churches in California, gathering at Mt. Hermon Christian Camp. The surroundings were stunning. Rains making way for spring is a beautiful thing after a few years of a California drought.
Winding my way back home I realized that our neighborhood seemed to come alive as well, with blossoms opening on plants that were once closed for winter and grass now resembling plush green carpet. I’m reminded how much I didn’t like the drought and the dead yards, but how over time I got used to the dry brown surroundings. Green now seems sort of strangely foreign.
Life is the same way. Sometimes we get used to living in the drab of a soul drought. We might not like it at first, but overtime it becomes our new normal. Empty and depleted we get through another day and then wake up to do it all over again.
To say we are tired is an understatement. To admit we are bored or restless might scare us, but it is a brave admission and authentic truth for many. What if our hearts could open up to the warmth of love and faith? Wasn’t it just yesterday, the start of a new year, a day filled with celebration, hope and resolutions? A day when we vowed to no longer settle for any dry barren area of our own lives. We would change, do what we needed to do, be who we needed to be. But, now April is pressing in on us and the zeal we once had for change might fizzling out. Worse yet, we might realize nothing has changed.
If we want something different in our spiritual lives, we can not keep doing the same thing. It makes sense that to experience something different we will need to try something different. So let’s get real here….I know we all like to portray ourselves as women who seek God with everything within us. But, truth be told, we might think about praying, seeking and finding, while just going through the motions of another day. What if, we really did the things we believed and actually lived the things we talked about?
What needs to come alive in your heart again?
Here’s the truth, you are loved by God in a way that can’t be fully grasped or taken in. This love never leaves you, has chosen you, provides for you and has filled you with the Spirit of love…God himself. This love, living in you, makes all things possible. But maybe, just maybe, you settle for the belief that you are not filled, not chosen, not enough to live loved.
Can I encourage you today to take in the freshness of the spring rains? Not the sprinkling outside that leaves the ground wet and the grass-green. The rain I am asking you to take in it the reign of God’s spirit at work in your life. You are enough because Christ makes you enough. You are loved because Christ gave his everything to make your life secure in love. You can have hope because though life looks drab God is at work, always faithfully at work. You are His woman, His treasured possession. Chosen. Loved. Held. What would change if you believed that and lived like the truth of love was real?
I know what its like to live full and I know what it’s like to live empty. I prefer full, but often am more comfortable with empty. I have had to get real about my attitudes and expectations. I have had to get real about how distant I really can be from God, though I talk about him like he is my best friend. Until I acknowledge the barriers, the busyness and the bad attitudes that keep me separated in heart from him…nothing will ever change. I have to get real with God, one day at a time.
It is a beautiful thing to come before him and express my thoughts and feelings, negatives and positives. Laying myself out before him each morning might only take 15 minutes of my time initially, but it creates a space in me that is then filled with the beauty of his presence. Jesus invites us all to journey with him every day. Connect. Abide. Remain. Find our source in Him, one day at a time. Change is not a snap of the finger or a seasonal resolution. Change is something you journey into, it’s sacred and should be treated as the holy endeavor it is. True change starts in the heart and mind. Change then shows in our actions.
“Remain in me and I will remain in you…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love…I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15, the words of Jesus to his disciples
If you are tired of dreaming of change rather than experiencing change, get real with God, he is waiting for you and has every answer you are looking for.
Try starting your day with a simple prayer:
Jesus, I come to you wanting connection and relationship with you today. I ask you to fill me with yourself and to rule and reign in my life in practical ways. Jesus I want to live loved, remain in your love and flourish because of your presence and power in me. Jesus, I invite you in again today, asking for your kingdom to come and your will to be done in me, in my life and in the lives I come in contact with. Amen.
Growing with you,