Welcome August, you month of new beginnings, marked with your ability to send children forward into another year of childhood while mama's hearts break and rejoice as their visions of those growing souls before them change in and out with the perfectly remembered picture of a different age and younger, rounder faces.
Ten months are upon us friends. Ten months of learning, growing, changing, following, leading. Ten months of figuring and planning and implementing. Ten months of some things staying the same while others are moving forward. Ten months of treasuring past and anticipating future, of remembering past Truths and opening your heart to the ones God so lovingly, continuously presses upon us because of the beautiful gift of Grace.
Oh the many Truths He has for us, age old to Him, but shiny and new to us as we walk in faith ever learning how Jesus's spirit seeps into every part of our being constantly changing our inner dispositions. Should we ever really feel the effect of aging when each day we our spirit is being renewed?
It's tempting to take on newness, change, in two different ways. Depending on personality or possible prior knowledge of the change that is to come, one way is to attempt it all at once. The other, is to attempt to hide from it completely. There is the typical battle of getting it all over with, getting it all completed and checked off, versus avoiding the need to begin with, doubting that any change is coming or even necessary. How often do we drift to an extreme when there is a middle ground of patient faithfulness where we should usually be treading. For me, it's often on the daily.
Living in this home, and in yours as well, are minds that, as Paul David Tripp puts it, "want to make life all about us, to want little more than our own way, and to live like little self-sovereigns." Try as I might, I cannot just believe that there are three young monarch wannabes walking the floors of our home. My heart desires my own way more often than it desires anyone else's. One major side effect of this most annoying product of the fall--fall of man, not the season--is that it causes us to make much harder than it needs to be.
There are literally dozens of scenarios that come to mind that could entertain you slash make you feel better about your own life. Just the amount of time wasted while arguing with a child about what socks to put on so that they can make it to baseball practice on time is shocking. You would think a pair of baseball socks was the simple answer, you would be wrong. And there is no pride in my head when I think about the attitudes I have illustrated and the time I have wasted being less than loving when that same pair of socks does not find their way back to my designated desired spot after said practice is over when a simple reminder would suffice. This is only a drop in the bucket. Only a small innocent example of the much more vile ones that have made their way into history.
Our innate being does not want the simple answer. It does not want the one held open before us. Sin has made us desire the complication this world brings, getting lost in the midst of a mess we make as we are bound and determined to find our own way instead of resting in the Peace given through Christ. The ever calming place in the center of any storm.
As we search for the biggest and the best, God uses the humble and contrite. Even Anne Shirley knew that "All things great are wound up with all things little"
While the end goal for this series is to encourage you to make intentional plans for your next ten months, it would be futile without starting first at the heart level. Clearing out ourselves so that someone else can fill its place. Sin clouds our vision. Our eyes are always looking at something, but where are they actually focusing?
The simple answer in the midst of the complicated world?
He is the alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (Rev. 22:13) He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For by him all things were created...all things were created through Him and for Him...in Him all things hold together. (Col. 15-17) All the things.
As we then seek our next steps, we can do so without succumbing to the complicated goals the world tells us we should be striving for because, "If you delight in the fact that you are God's, you cannot be disappointed in how He's using you." Ryan Johnson, pastor New City Church.
And if you are His, He promises He is using you.
If you have the opportunity right now, read Paul's words from Colossians 1. It is within this line up of prayers that I find not only encouragement for myself, but petition for you as well. Long ago this disciple wasn't just praying for those faithful saints in Colossae but also for me and you and every other child God calls to him. He did not cease to pray for these things, with Christ we can strive for that as well.
As you seek the simplicity of just resting in Christ in the midst of the complicated world, I pray that it will, not just over the next ten months, but for forever, change you to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. That you will bear fruit in every good work. That you will increase in the knowledge of God. That endurance will grow and there will be patience filled with joy. And that with each day you will be able to give thanks because you will see that He has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
I'm praying for you, pray for me.