Old and new

17 Comments

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.

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17 thoughts on “Old and new

  1. Reading this church’s blogs, I rarely pray. With this post I did. For me to stop trying to understand, and for you and Him to flow.

    And the picture of water, your face gently surfacing from below, a small breath in. Peaceful, connected, healing. An image of external stone commands there away from me. A rule book. An image of union within. The essence of all living within. Commands to read and obey superceded by a law of love. A dynamic living relationship of connected loving.
    A breathing in of understanding.
    A rising again.
    A rebirth.
    A re-union
    Fragile in belief
    Forged in faith.

    Hello Heather. Boy it is wonderful to be submerged, floating, swept away in your words again.

    • “Fragile in belief
      Forged in Faith”

      I only thought I was ready for the fiery trials. Then God began His work on me, chipping away large chunks of doubt, confusion, pain and pride to bring me to that fragile rawness of need. That malleable clay in capable hands. He’s still molding and shaping, but I’m learning to enjoy the process.

      You have extracted the marrow of my thoughts and breathed life into them with the sheer poetry of your words, Paul. Thank you for living out the new covenant in all you do and say. I am blessed to know you, my dirt brother.

    • Thank you so much, Denine. Your encouragement was a God-nudge to me to get back to writing. So thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. God has blessed me with a few months of quiet reflection and the conclusion is that He is very good and my life is for Him. Thanks again. Big hugs and blessings to you!

    • Thank you, Rebekah, so much! I have missed this online community and the rich feeding of words and insight. I felt God leading me into closer community with Him. And oh how we have bonded. And now, He is nudging me back to writing. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  2. There you are! What a blessing to have crossed paths with you, a brief respite from the routine though often anticipated Disney Channel banter with my children. You are of the line of storytellers before words were written, a language artist. See you on Sunday!

    • I can’t thank you enough for reading and commenting such thoughtful and reassuring words. Your encouragement two weeks ago in Bible study spurred me to answer God’s call to keep writing. Self-doubt and its pal self-deprecation can weigh heavily on the heart and mind, but God spoke to me through you and told me not to quit. So thank you for listening to Him and sharing with me. Our group inspires me and motivates me to explore God’s Word more deeply.

      Enjoy this evening’s ping pong battle of “Dog with a Blog” versus “Jessie”. 🙂

  3. Man had, (has), a sin problem. We needed a way for imperfect man to be reconciled with a perfect God. Jesus is that “bridge.” His death took the sins of an entire world and nailed them to the cross and gave us the redemption we needed to approach our God!

    Praise be to the love and glory of Jesus Christ the Savior!

    Steve

      • It is “finished,” Satan is defeated and the victory is ours in Christ Jesus! What a joy that is indeed!

        You are welcome for the visits, and I appreciate your support here as well…

        Steve 🙂

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