Turning Around

texasFor those of you in cold climates, you might not understand the significance of what I’m about to write. This morning it was cold in Houston. And by cold… I mean BRRRRRR. Cold. Well, I am a Texan, so it may not have seemed that cold to some…but to me, it was cold. Arctic.  OK, well, maybe not that cold.

Anyway, I got dressed for work and was out the door on time. (Unlike yesterday.) Making a quick stop to get gas, I jumped out to fill up the tank and a gust of cold air blew through me. It.Was.Freezing. Had I dressed appropriately, it probably would not have seemed so cold. But when you decide to wear a lace top (um, did I mention I grew up in Texas?), it’s cold.  After getting the pump going, I got back into the warmth of my car. I sat there trying to decide whether or not I should risk being late to go home and actually dress for the weather.

At 47, you would think I could see the temperature on my phone and dress accordingly. You would think. But as a Texan,  in the back of my mind I’m always thinking it’s going to warm up, and then I’ll be hot. Even when the weather app says otherwise.

Isn’t that like my life, though? God gives me this amazing book that tells me exactly how to dress in Ephesians 6 –

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Yes, I’ve read that passage many times and have heard it even more. But do I really “dress for the weather”? The spiritual weather.

There are spiritual forces. Ones fighting for those who have asked Jesus into their hearts and ones fighting against those who have asked Jesus into their hearts. It may appear to be a person, a group, or a string of bad luck.

Satan wants Christians to believe that we’ve blown it. That we couldn’t possibly be used by God to do great things. Such a lie. But a lie I believe all the time. Because I do blow it. We all do, because we are human.

Fortunately this morning, I decided to go back.

Ten minutes later, I was wearing clothing that fit the cold weather, not something that would have been great for “cool” weather. And right now I’m thankful I did…because it’s still cold outside. Even with all the sunshine.

I need to remember to go back in the mornings and put on my spiritual armor, too.  It’s much easier to do, since I don’t actually have to turn around… except in my mind. But too often, I do not.

God would not have told us about armor if we didn’t need it. And without it we are left in the cold. Open for things and people to “blow through” us.  His laws are always to protect His people. Always.

Clearing out the webs

cobwebsAfter dropping my kids off at school, I decided to do a few things around the house before leaving for work. I knew if I left at 8 I would be sitting in traffic for an hour, but if I just waited 30 minutes at home it would only take me 30 minutes to get to work. Easy decision.

As I walked into the garage to go inside the house, I noticed all the spider webs that were in my garage…again. Over the past few months I’ve started noticing them, but never took the time to actually do something about them. Yeah, they kinda bothered me, but something else always took priority and months turned into…ahem…years. October is probably the only acceptable time to have so many, being Halloween and all, but I was determined to get them cleared out.

When I was done, I looked around and felt a kind of peace. Like somehow I had accomplished some great task. Not because there were really that many (and no, the picture is not my garage….but it makes me feel a bit better about mine;) ), but because I knew they were there and I wanted them gone. Every time I walked in, it was a reminder of something else that needed to be done. A little weight.

I’ve started doing the same thing in my life. The cobwebs being things I’ve said and/or done that went against what I believe. The not so good things. Times I’ve reacted out of my emotion, instead of out of maturity. Clearing those out has proven to be the same as the real things – peaceful. Free. Some were five years in the making, but they are slowly being cleared out. I do have a few that will probably stay awhile longer, but I’m praying about how to handle those. Each one adds a weight, albeit mental, that is noticeable once gone. It amazes me the energy it takes to keep those things around.

The Love of God

The Love of God
By: Rich Mullins

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

Now I’ve seen no band of angels
But I’ve heard the soldiers’ songs
Love hangs over them like a banner
Love within them leads them on
To the battle on the journey
And it’s never gonna stop
Ever widening their mercies
And the fury of His love

Oh the love of God
And oh the love of God
The love of God

Joy and sorrow are this ocean
And in their every ebb and flow
Now the Lord a door has opened
That all Hell could never close
Here I’m tested and made worthy
Tossed about but lifted up
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

My journey through life