Friday, December 30, 2011

The Living Proof

I recently watched "The Help." It was so incredible. If you haven't seen it, see it! Since then, I've had Mary J. Blige's song "The Living Proof" on repeat. This song speaks to me and this journey we are on together as we anticipate Christ's return. Yes, I understand that Mary most likely didn't intend for her words to be used with this in mind but bear with me for a moment...
As members of the Body of Christ, we bear witness to the Living Truth that is Christ Jesus. Our lives, in their entirety, are the Living Proof that He exists. Our pain, our choices, our relationships, our failures, our missteps, our passion, and our faith... they matter. As believers in Jesus Christ, we follow a God that walked in our shoes, took our suffering on His shoulders, and gave us freedom that we cannot destroy. We move ahead and pick up our feet everyday because He first showed us how. Mary J. Blige is on to something here:
"It's gonna be a long long journey
It's gonna be an uphill climb
It's gonna be a tough fight
It's gonna be some lonely nights... but I'm ready to carry on
I'm so glad the worst is over
I can start living now
I feel like I can do anythin' ... and finally I'm not afraid to breathe
Anything you say to me
And everything you do
You can't deny the truth... Cause I'm the living proof
So many don't survive
They just don't make it through
But look at me...I'm the living proof
Thinkin' back life's been painful
Took a while to learn how to smile
So now I'm gonna talk to my people about the storm
So glad the worst is over
I can start flyin' now
My best days are right in front of me
And I'm almost there cause now I am free
I know where I'm goin'
Cause I know where I've been
I gotta few stars that showin'
I'm gonna stay strong keep goin'
Nothing about my life's been easy
But nothings gonna keep me down
Cause I know a lot more today
Than I knew yesterday
So I am ready to carry on
Oh Lordy..."
Thank you, Mary J. Blige, for reminding me that I'm a part of the living proof that Christ exists today.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nothing is impossible with God.

Tonight I am unable to sleep. Thoughts about Luke 1:35-38 have flooded my mind for the last few weeks. I have seen these words everywhere- on necklaces, on a notepad I got for Christmas, on the radio, in a sermon... and what a wonderful and difficult thing to ponder. What does this passage really mean? What does faith actually do when we are uncertain of our future? What does it mean when the answers we want so badly aren't coming the way we want or at the speed we're comfortable with? I have been disappointed in more ways than I can count this week...but in that disappointment, I remember what the angel spoke to Mary:
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:35-38 ESV)
Nothing is impossible with God. How can I give up hope when Jesus gave me a new and beautiful reason to live? I may cry or get nervous about what is next, but I love Jesus. And that is enough for me. Elisabeth once said, "Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling - feelings don't help much when you're in the lions' den or hanging on a wooden Cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ." I happen to agree with her tonight. God has given me little reminders all over town these past few weeks "Nothing is impossible with ME."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reflecting on the carpet...

I'm currently sitting in the middle of my (almost) empty room in St. Louis with a couple of books, a jar of paint brushes, and a box of old photographs on the floor. It is hard to believe that I have finally made it to December. I've packed up my life into boxes and am headed down South tomorrow to be with my family for Christmas and to put everything in storage. I've started support raising for my new adventure living in Africa and it feels a bit lonely this morning as I think about what that means. So many wonderful blessings these past few months...
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14