Sunday afternoon I had the chance to sit on the ground near some flowers in our yard. The kids joined me as we watched a butterfly sipping on some nectar. The kids were fascinated by it's little "straw."
It was such a satisfying moment, to simply sit and take in His creation, His beauty, His peace. It refreshed me to sit full of wonder and to gaze at something so simple yet so divinely complex and intricate. A butterfly on a flower.
It occurred to me that butterflies have purpose, and that they know and fulfill their purpose with quiet dignity and grace.
Something may come at them—a gust of wind for instance—but they reset
their course and keep on flying, seemingly unscathed by the blast of air
that tries to push them off course.
They seek out a patch of flowers and get back to their purpose.
So often we step from a peaceful garden into the rush hour of life, which can be busy,polluted, and loud.
We allow our joy and peace to slowly be stripped away, and our purpose becomes clouded. All sorts of voices work to deceive and lure us into believing lies about ourselves, about God, about life.
The voices work to distract us from worship, from community, from
The moment we make a poor choice, the voices begin highlighting our
failure, suggesting the improbability that His grace will cover us,
reminding us of our history of screw ups. Then, in shame, we run from
freedom and into prison cells.
Sometimes, it's someone else's mistake that pushes us into the prison; the vehicle delivering us there is called unforgiveness.
Either way, prison is not the place for children of God to dwell.
It is not the intended lifestyle we were created to have. No,we were created for freedom, for abundant life, for love, and for great purpose.
Nevertheless, we end up duped into a life of bondage and numb ourselves to the pain and grief we feel at our separation from our Father.
We imagine Him angry, thinking our mistakes are too much for Him to handle—again. But He hasn't changed—we have. Out of pride or disbelief or blindness or apathy, we often sit imprisoned in a web of lies and hopelessness, rather than planting our two feet firmly on His foundation and accepting His forgiveness and grace and promises.
Do we believe the Word of God or don't we?
He says that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our
transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). Let's take that to heart! He also
says "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be
able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
(Romans 8:39). When we experience separation or distance from God, don't
look at Him as the culprit. Look no further than a mirror. We have to be
responsible with what He's given us. 2 Tim 1:14 says, "Guard the good
deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit
who lives in us." He has given us grace, mercy, love, purpose, and an
inheritance. He has commissioned us to go out and share the Good News, make
disciples, and heal those who haven't received from Him yet. We have what
it takes and are equipped with all we need.
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…" (2 Tim 1:6)
I'm speaking to my own spirit, body, and soul as I write this. It's time to
wake up! To fully engage in what God has in front of me right now. It may
not be the final position or place He has me in, but it's where I am now.
It's where I have authority and influence right now. Not tomorrow when I
get it all together. Not tomorrow when this or that lines up. Not when I
have more time. No,now. Lives are at stake all around us, souls bent on
destruction rather than salvation that need to hear from the Lord. He
desires to partner with us in His work. His Spirit beckons us…let's respond
with a resounding, YES, Lord!
Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today”, so that none
of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in
Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very
end… “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in
the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:13-15)
Lord, give us strength to face our lives with determination and courage. Give us strength to embrace our season. Show us by Your Spirit what we need to see from Your perspective. Our help comes from You. You are mighty, and You are kind, and so our hearts rest in that. Thank You, God, for being our God!
Author: Kerri Barfield