Old and new


The stillness of a fresh, new morning as it peels back the layers of night’s cover welcomes me into a comforting embrace of promise for the day. I fondly reflect on the memory of yesterday, a warm imprint on the pillow of my mind. But I can’t dwell there. I can’t curl up with yesterday and remain, stagnant, frozen, forever locked in a motionless existence. So I shuffle off the sleep of yesterday and welcome the wakefulness of today. The newness of now.

This season’s front-page “cans” and “wills” hang in the closet of hope, laundered and pressed, beckoning me to wear them with confidence.

I can do anything. I can be anything.

I try on the outfit, sucking in all my bloated doubt, begging it to fit. I search for my haphazard companion, Courage, and she is late. As usual. So I approach the mirror without her. Society’s preference for emaciated reflections goads me into removing the too-small apparel and relegating it to the back of the closet with last season’s must-haves. My closet bursts at it seams with unused must-haves. And then God’s assurance of Philippians 4:13 flashes through my head. His words drown out the hollow proclamations of the morally thin. “Listen to me, Heather. Put your trust in me, my child. See my face in your ensemble of can.”

I wrap His voice around me as I slip into His timeless cloak of wills.

I will do better today than I did yesterday. I will listen to my Father’s voice.

I approach the mirror again. And smile. Because He is Who I see.

His will becomes my will.

Will is rooted in strength. That same strength that is part of God’s whole-being commandment to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Perhaps that’s why the word is willpower.  Because it requires the strength of God to do His will. It’s hard to love. Jesus had to command us to love others, because He knew how unlovable so many “others” can be.

Despite the difficulty in whole-being love (something we CAN do with the Holy Spirit!), there’s something truly and magnificently beautiful about the simplicity of the new covenant.

The old covenant has been on my mind lately. Especially the fact that God carved His commandments in stone. I thought about all the rules we have today. Our rules are written, rewritten, deleted, and amended with the ease of a keystroke or the seeming apathy of a “Yea/nay” vote among clock-obsessed officials. And we follow the rules. Mostly. We don’t really give them much thought or connect to them on a personal level. We simply do them by rote.

We follow paper-thin rules, teetering on the edge of Wite-Out extinction (depending on the mood of the rule writer), more readily, more easily than God’s people followed His stone-carved eternal commandments.

I believe that’s why He sent us Jesus. He engraved the new covenant on our hearts, so we would be whole-being connected to Him, His commandments, His will.

“I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me”. (Philippians 4:13)

I can, because He did.