This article was first published in the GATHER issue of The Joyful Life Magazine.
I opened the glossy conference brochure and flicked straight to the timetable, my eyes searching out the elective options. One of them was a panel discussion centered around finding the balance between life, motherhood, and faith. For this tired, empty, first-time mom who was struggling to adjust to the inevitable changes that becoming a parent brings about, this description felt like I was being offered a cool glass of refreshing water.
My girlfriend and I headed off to the elective, hopeful that these women, farther along the path of life than us, would offer us their wisdom. We were thirsty to glean from their lives some valuable truths that would enable us to experience a vibrant faith during a season where the demands on us felt overwhelming (and naps would have been a welcome reprieve).
Instead, we left that elective feeling more discouraged than when we walked in. When asked how they made time in their lives for God’s Word, every single woman on the panel had confessed that they just didn’t have time for it to be a daily priority. Between work, ferrying children to various activities, grocery shopping, meal prep, and volunteering in their churches and communities, not only days but sometimes weeks or months could go by without opening their Bibles.
Our hearts were longing for wisdom on how to carve out consistent time to be with God when so many other things required our attention. Yet, we left the conference that year wondering if we were asking an impossible question.
Fast forward nearly 13 years, additional children, and ever-increasing responsibilities both in and outside of the home, and I no longer think it’s an impossible question or a starry-eyed desire. Jeremiah’s words are my testimony: “Your words were found and I ate them. And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart…” Jeremiah 15:16 (NASB).
We expected to find nourishment from the wisdom and guidance of the older women on that panel, yet we were craving what only God could offer. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that we are too busy to be in the Word, but it’s the one thing we can’t afford to neglect. The wisdom we need to build our homes well; the joy our hearts long for; the strength we need to weather life’s storms; the truth, counsel, and comfort we’re looking for are all found within its pages. As we engage with the written Word of God, we ultimately encounter the Living Word. We find Jesus in every line.
And when we find Him, He becomes the joy and delight that fills and fully satisfies our hearts.
FROM INCONVENIENCE TO INVITATION
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I need is yet another thing added to my to-do list. I don’t need anything else to burden my time or weigh me down with guilt or feelings of inadequacy and failure. Sadly, this is how we often feel about our ‘quiet times,’ and it’s a feeling that the enemy seeks to reinforce with his lies. He lies that the Bible is too difficult to understand and that it’s outdated and no longer relevant to our lives, and he seeks to distract us with momentary pleasures that can never truly satisfy us.
God never intended His Word to be a burden on us, but rather an invitation. An invitation to gather around the table that He has lovingly prepared and to find the sustenance and nourishment that we need and long for as we feast on His goodness. He intended His Word to be a sweet blessing in a world that often leaves a bitter taste in our mouths.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth” Psalm 119:103 (NIV).
When we shift our perspective and cease to see His Word as yet another task and instead recognize it for the feast and treasure that it is, we begin to position ourselves to discover its riches.
DISCOVERING HIS WORDS
“When I discovered your words, I devoured them…” Jeremiah 15:16a (NLT).
My dad once wisely said, “We must steward our desires with discipline. Desire without discipline is fantasy.” Every invitation requires a response, and discovering God’s Word—unearthing its treasures—requires intentionality on our part. We need to deliberately create an environment for our hearts that cultivates a Word-rich lifestyle. Rather than relegating it to a single moment, we need to weave it into the rhythms of our everyday lives. Which means not waiting for the world to stop before we start!
The very term ‘quiet time’ can be a deterrent, causing us to think we need a perfect moment and environment to spend time with God in the Word. Nothing could be further from the truth. We simply need to make ourselves available. Many of my own ‘quiet times’ have involved children crawling over me or a Barney episode blaring in the background. They have simply been moments that I have chosen to stop and still myself—to cultivate what I call ‘quietness on the inside.’
Setting myself up for success has been key to the effectiveness of my time in the Word. This means being realistic about when I spend time in the Word and making it easier for me to do so by being prepared in advance.
It is important to recognize the season you’re in and to discern when is the optimum time for you to be in the Word each day, otherwise, you may find yourself becoming discouraged and giving up before you’ve even begun. In seasons that have seen me up and down tending to children throughout the night, I have found it’s not a good idea to set the alarm clock— King David may have gotten up early in the morning to lay his requests before God, but the best thing I can do in such seasons is to maximize the sleep I can get!
Over the years, my ‘when’ has varied from bright and early, to during my lunch breaks, to while the children napped, to the end of the day before I turn out the lights. The common thread throughout though has been the prioritizing and carving out of this time. However, like most of us, there have been seasons where my rhythms have been disrupted for one reason or another, and I have not been as consistent in setting aside this time as I would have liked. We need to receive grace for when life doesn’t go as planned but we also need to be careful that seasons don’t become lifestyles.
Once you have determined your ‘when,’ you may want to think about ‘where’ you will spend your time in the Word and what you need to have ready to help maximize this time.
On my bedside, I keep a quiet time basket. In it I keep my Bible, an assortment of notebooks and journals and any other resources I am currently using, as well as pens and coloring pencils—because honestly, if I have to go on a hunt for a pen, I will end up distracted by any number of things!
While I do have a restful study nook in our bedroom, my youngest is what I like to call my ‘Velcro baby’ and so, more often than not, my quiet time has to be wherever he is. The beauty of having this basket is that I can take it anywhere in the house and know that I have what I need to not only keep focused but also to enjoy my time with God. Keeping a range of resources on hand gives me flexibility and allows me to weave Spirit-led spontaneity into my rhythms and routines in the Word.
FEASTING ON HIS WORD
“…I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty” Jeremiah 15:16 (NIV).
Now, you need to know this about me: I am not the kind of girl you need to remind to eat. In fact, you’re more likely to find me daydreaming about what I should eat next. I enjoy good food and like most, my body is fueled daily by a mix of snacks and meals that invite you to sit down at the table and take your time.
We are incredibly blessed to live in an age where there are countless materials available to help us stay connected to the Word: calendars, daily reading apps, audio Bibles, podcasts, online sermons, blogs, Instagram feeds, homewares emblazoned with the Scriptures, and the list could go on.
We could snack all day every day on this wide array of resources—and snacks are great! They keep us going when we’re on the run. But alone, they are not enough to sustain us and keep us growing. We also need to sit down and eat a proper meal—to take our time and savor the taste, the company, and the ensuing conversations.
Hebrews 5 tells us that the immature in Christ can only drink milk, but the mature are those who have learned to eat the meat through constantly being in the Word. Both are fed from God’s Word, but the infant only feeds on what other people have feasted on, never maturing enough to chew things for themselves. Because of this, they lack the ability to discern what is truly good and what is evil.
A girlfriend recently shared this analogy with me: You’re standing at the mouth of a goldmine, and the people down in the mine are passing you the nuggets they have found. As you take these nuggets you become very wealthy, but if you would go down into the mine and learn to dig for them yourself, not only would you become wealthy, you would also become strong.
God’s heart for us as His daughters is not only for us to be blessed, but for us to be strong. In His Word, He has prepared for us a feast of truth and revelation, of wisdom and comfort, of love and affirmation, of correction and instruction. As we learn to mine His Word for these nuggets—as we learn to chew it over and to eat from it for ourselves—our lives will be filled with His beauty and His strength.
Don’t be tempted to skip meals. Don’t be deterred if it takes time for your taste buds to adjust from milk to meat. As Moses reminded the Israelites at the end of his life, God’s Words are not just idle words, they are our life (Deuteronomy 32:47). They sustain us and breathe life into all that we are and all that we do as they continually point us to Jesus. But for their power to be realized in our lives, we need to pull up a chair and eat them, savoring every bite.
Throughout my life, the meals I have eaten at the family table have not only sustained me, they have also shaped my identity and given me a sense of belonging. As we learn to gather at God's table and to eat what He has prepared for us, our identity as His daughters—as ones who bear His name—becomes indelibly stamped upon our hearts. It is my prayer that as you discover His Word for yourself and feast from it daily, that it would become a source of joy and delight, as well as a continual reminder of Who you belong to.
2020. “The year the world stopped” is perhaps how it will be described in the history books. Part of me has relished the slowing down—evenings usually spent ferrying my daughters to all their dance classes, working from my ‘office’ in the car, have been replaced with unrushed family dinners, happy hours and movie nights. Slow Sundays have enabled us to pay greater attention to the spiritual health of our family—and to drag all the kids down to the beach for a walk whether they want to come with us or not (anyone else have teenagers who prefer the four walls of their room?). But while isolation has ushered in gifts of togetherness, it’s also exposed all the things that I was too busy to pay attention to—the things I kept telling myself I’d deal with tomorrow.
Well, tomorrow has come, forcing me to face the places that have not been healthy in our life as a family—that have not been healthy in my own heart. And with this exposing, has come a fresh realisation of just how much I need to hear the voice of God. How desperately I need His wisdom and perspective on the things I find myself navigating; His vision for my family, my marriage, my work and my ministry; His truth to help me stand firm in a world that is being shaken. Because otherwise, the voice I find dominating my heart is the voice of fear. And fear never leads us well.
As I’ve sought to quieten the voice of fear and lean into what God is saying, I’ve found myself repeatedly drawn to an episode in Elijah’s life, recorded in 1 Kings 17-19. Israel had been in drought for three years—not a single drop of rain had touched her land in all that time. Famine had ensued, and I don’t doubt that fear’s voice could be heard loud and clear. Yet Elijah heard something different—he heard the voice of God. Throughout those three years, we are repeatedly told that “the word of the Lord came to Elijah,” and each time it came to him, it either directed Elijah to a place where he could personally receive the provision that he needed, or where he could release the provision that others needed.
I long to be like Elijah, listening above all to the voice of the Father. I want to draw on His provision and carry the truth of who He is with me in this season, and in doing so, shine a light for those who feel overcome by darkness. But how do we do this? How do we quiet our fears long enough to hear the Father's voice? Elijah's story offers us some keys that can help us be intentional about the sounds that fill our hearts and minds and strengthen our ability to hear "the word of the Lord" for ourselves.
THE POWER OF GOD
It was the late 2000’s and I found myself with three preschoolers, an unemployed husband and a mountain of debt. We struggled constantly just to keep our heads above water. Yet in those lean years, we also stood witness to Jeremiah’s words, “Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You” (Jeremiah 32:17, NIV). People loved on us in ways that went far beyond just making sure our basic needs were met, grocery vouchers showed up in our letterbox every month for a year and debts were miraculously forgiven—by the tax department even! Friends helped keep a roof over our heads, and whenever we would think we couldn’t possibly make it through one more day, by His grace we would. God demonstrated to us time and time again that He is outside of our economy and unconstrained by the things that constrain us.
Elijah’s story reminds me of this same truth: God ordered the ravens to feed him (1 Kings 17:4), commanded a penniless widow to feed him, extending to her a miraculous supply of resources to carry out this task (1 Kings 17:9), and sent angels to serve him bread and water (1 Kings 19:5-7). In the midst of drought and famine, God made provision for Elijah and those connected to him. Elijah is not alone in experiencing God’s supernatural provision—from the manna that fell from heaven (Exodus 16), to the widow’s oil (2 Kings 4:1-7), to the multiplication of two fish and five loaves to feed thousands, Scripture continually reminds us of God’s ability to provide for His children.
As we face these uncertain times, we must recount the testimonies of God’s faithfulness—both our own and those recorded for us in the pages of Scripture—allowing them to fuel a continued expectation for more of the same. God is not hemmed in by COVID-19; it has not stripped Him of His power. He is still able to speak to us; still able to tend to the needs of His people; still able to heal and restore. He has done it before, and He will do it again.
Reflect: Recall God’s faithfulness. What testimonies of your own, and of the saints, encourage you in this season? Carry them with you and draw on them for strength.
THE POWER OF PRAYER
I wish I could tell you that recalling the many and miraculous ways God has provided for and worked within our family over the years is enough to quiet the fears of today. But I’ve learned that while the past does provide fuel for the present, I must also be proactively leaning into what God is saying and doing now; learning to look beyond what the naked eye can see to perceive the Father’s activity and purpose so I can partner with Him in it.
After demonstrating God’s power to the people and exposing the futility of their worship of Baal, Elijah turned to King Ahab and declared, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain” (1 Kings 18:41). There was not a cloud in the sky at the time Elijah spoke these words. He heard the answer—the promise of God in relation to their need--before it was a visible reality. But it’s what he did next that caused the sound of rain to become the release of rain. Elijah climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees (18:42)—he chose to align himself with what God was saying and to then persevere in prayer.
In Hebrew, Carmel means a garden land, a place of fruitfulness and fertility. In a time of need and lack, Elijah chose to retreat to a place of fruitfulness, and he did not move from that place until he saw the clouds of rain beginning to rise from the sea; until what he had ‘heard’ was made manifest. Prayer—our intimate communion with the Father—is our place of fruitfulness. Just like Elijah, we must learn to climb—climb above the shouts of fear, above the obstacles and lack that surround us, to see as the Father does. We must cultivate time in His presence, time spent in a posture of worshipful surrender, allowing the hope of Christ to inspire perseverance within us while we wait for what God has spoken to also become our experience (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
Reflect: What is the Father saying to you in this season? What does it look like practically for you to align yourself with His purposes?
THE POWER OF REST
In my own life, I’ve found that fear screams loudest when I’m weary. Uncertainty is tiring, suffering is exhausting, and even though the hope of Christ shines bright, standing firm and contending in the spirit, takes its toll. Just ask Elijah.
On the heels of his success, Jezebel made a threat against his life. And though you’d think that after demonstrating God’s power, putting the prophets of Baal to shame, and calling forth rain to end Israel’s drought that Elijah would have been steadfast, instead we read that he was afraid and ran for his life, telling God he’d had enough and praying that he might die (1 Kings 19:3).
It encourages me no end that even the heroes of our faith got tired and worn down, but it’s God’s response to Elijah that encourages me even more. God did not berate Elijah or give him a pep talk, but instead sent an angel to minister to him. He tended to his physical needs, providing food and water and time to sleep so that he could gain the strength he needed to continue his journey.
We are both spiritual and physical beings, and strength flows when we tend to both these aspects. Our spirits are strengthened as we commune with God, listening to His voice and recalling His past faithfulness, and our bodies are strengthened when we care for them well. In the midst of all the demands and pressures we face, we need to be aware of the cues and warning signals our bodies send us and honour them. We need to view nourishing our bodies as holy work. Rest, fuel your body with good food, run a relaxing bath, exercise, get outside and breathe in the fresh air, and allow God to minister to the fullness of who you are.
Reflect: What does it look like for you to enjoy rest and tend to your physical well-being today?
* * *
As the people of God, we are not immune from the challenges of this season—but how we walk through those challenges should look different. We have not been given a spirit of fear, but the Spirit of God Himself, who enables us to walk with love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV). He delights to give us the wisdom and counsel that we need; to direct us to the provision that is needed at this time.
Elijah’s willingness to hear and respond to the voice of God, caused the people of Israel to fall prostrate and cry out, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (1 Kings 18:39). If we, too, will turn from the lies of fear and allow our hearts to hear the voice of the Father, we will be equipped to navigate life in such a way that not only are we reminded of who God is, but the world is too.
What will you hear?
This piece was first published in the SURRENDER issue of The Joyful Life Magazine.
My childhood summers were synonymous with lazy days by the beach, getting lost in the pages of a good book and jigsaw puzzles. Not just any jigsaw puzzles, mind you, but giant jigsaw puzzles with hundreds of pieces that required hours, if not days, to sort and deliberate over which section of the puzzle they belonged to. I constantly referred back to the image on the box for clues. Once complete, I was reluctant to ever return the pieces back to the box, wanting to somehow enshrine the puzzle and my achievement.
The feelings of frustration when I couldn’t get a piece to fit where I was convinced it belonged, remain vividly etched in my mind. I would turn them and then turn them again, trying over and over to make them fit, until eventually, I would walk away or work on a different section before attempting to place the piece again. Positioning just one piece wrongly could skew the whole picture, affecting all the surrounding pieces.
I’ve spent much of the past few years trying to figure out where various pieces of my own life ‘puzzle’ belong, wrestling with the tension of old and new, of past and present. With how to "forget the former things and not dwell on the past" (Isaiah 43:18), no matter how precious or painful that past might be, in order to have the capacity to fully and freely hold the new things God has for me. At times, I’ve found myself getting stuck holding on to pieces I’ve desperately wanted to make fit in my current season, even if they weren’t meant to—pieces God asked me to surrender and trust Him to rightly position.
A NEW BEGINNING
“You’ve been holding your father’s dream in your hands for a really long time and perhaps it’s time for you to hold some dreams of your own.”
The words of my mentor arrested me, inviting me, forcing me even, to evaluate the life I was living.
In my late teens, my now-husband and I helped my parents plant a church. It was a labor of love that we poured our hearts into for nearly eighteen years, nine of which I served on staff, eventually becoming a credentialed minister and associate pastor to my father, a role that truly felt like a desire fulfilled. Those years abounded with rich vibrant community and deep disappointments simultaneously.
Ten years into the church plant, this small faithful congregation had sacrificially sown of their time and finances to enable us to lease and renovate a building we could call home. Our days of setting up and packing down every week appeared to be over and we were going to put down roots in our community. At first, the church flourished and grew. All felt right and promising. But then, abruptly, we started hitting roadblock after roadblock, and entered a season marked by financial challenges, sickness, loss, and death. These challenges culminated in us deciding to return to renting a community facility to help relieve the financial pressures. We made the painful decision to assign our building lease to another local church and move on. But the reality was I could not simply leave my grief behind. Many of the losses in this period had touched me personally—I was amongst the women in our congregation who lost babies that year; it was my father who had suffered a series of strokes, and my dear friend that we had buried too soon.
In the latter years of this journey, lingering health issues made it necessary for my parents to step aside from being the Lead Pastors. They relocated an hour’s drive away to live by the beach and recover. Their absence, as well as the birth of our youngest child, caused me to question the various hats I had been wearing. I couldn’t shake the feeling God was calling me to something new, that He was asking me to let go of how I thought my life and ministry should look in order to allow Him to reshape and redefine my dreams.
At the suggestion of our leadership, I took a few weeks leave to pray and determine what I felt God was saying. I returned from my leave and offered my resignation, fully intending to remain a committed member of our church community. Yet only ten months later, it became apparent that to remain was not what God had planned for us. After a period of prayer and fasting and seeking counsel from trusted advisors, my husband and I sensed that God was inviting us to a new beginning and asking us to release the Church we had poured our lives into to a new beginning of their own.
It was hard to believe that after eighteen years of community, we were starting over. The picture that God was forming looked nothing like the ‘box’ I had been referring to, and I no longer knew where all the pieces belonged.
STRAINING TOWARD WHAT IS AHEAD
The old and the new are often indelibly entwined. I couldn’t amputate my past—it had formed me. But I also couldn’t keep grasping at what had been or even what I had hoped would be for the future. I needed to loosen my grip and shift my focus. In the words of the apostle Paul, it was time for me to "forget what was behind and strain towards what is ahead" (Philippians 3:13).
The motif in this and the surrounding verses is of an athlete running a race and all the time keeping the finish line firmly in sight. Paul knew well that we cannot take hold of all that Christ has for us if we are continually looking in the rearview mirror. Like the athlete he envisioned, we have to choose to press forward—to stop tilling the ground of our past and put our energy and focus into straining towards what is ahead. In the Greek, the word ‘strain’ is an athletic word depicting a runner using every muscle to stretch forwards. And that’s the truth. Sometimes it is a strain and a stretch to look toward the future and believe that something new is possible. It can take every fiber of our being to change our narrative and accept God’s perspective—to believe His truth, His promises, and His Word over and above our circumstances or past experiences.
As I began to press on and look ahead, I found the past to be a hurdle not only because of its disappointments, but also because of its highlights. As my disappointment whispered that it would never get better, my treasured memories spoke the same lie—that my future could never be better than my past, could never live up to what I had previously known.
I couldn’t bypass these hurdles. In order to keep running my race, I needed to clear them. I needed to allow God to show me how He saw these pieces that I could no longer place.
REVISITING THE PAST
In His infinite grace and wisdom, God took me back to a place of past disappointment to remind me that He wasn’t finished with my story yet; that if I could trust Him, there was still more to come.
As we hesitantly stepped away from the old and began to look towards the future, we decided to join the congregation led by my spiritual director and her husband. Her gentle and insightful wisdom had been invaluable in helping me work through all of the change and loss we had experienced, and they and their congregation felt like a safe place to sit while we continued to process our journey and build new community. The great irony of this decision was that they were the same church who had taken over our former church’s lease and premises. I found myself worshiping again in the same building that once embodied my dreams, yet now symbolized loss and failure.
At times, it felt overwhelming to be in this familiar place. I kept expecting to see my father pop out of his old office or to be greeted by someone I knew at the door. I knew every inch of the building—its history, its quirks and smells, the stories the walls could tell—and yet everything about it had changed. The old and new collided in my mind and grief would well up within me as I remembered the faces of people I had once stood shoulder to shoulder with in this very space. I felt the sting of disappointment afresh. Why had our old church not been able to enjoy the fruit of our sacrifices? Why had our story not had the ending we had believed and prayed for, and labored toward? Why did we have to start over? Why could I not have continued doing life and ministry with the people I had come to love so completely? If I was to be in this space again, why couldn’t it be with them?
Ever so gently and slowly, God gave me a different perspective, His perspective.
I had been viewing my life with a somewhat finite lens, so focused on the current part of the puzzle that was forming that I had lost sight of the big picture, the eternal picture.
In the scheme of eternity, our labors had not been futile. God did not see wasted efforts, He saw faithfulness. We had partnered with him to establish something in our community that was still extending His love and truth, even if we no longer inhabited it.
Where I saw a scattered people, He saw a people sent out. He planted these mature seeds of disciples in new ground to keep building and strengthening His wider church.
Where I saw barrenness, He saw pruning—areas of my life and heart that He was preparing and cultivating for greater fruitfulness.
This new perspective didn’t completely undo my disappointment, but it did help me to stop dwelling on it. I realized God wasn’t asking me to forget the past as much as He was asking me to reposition it. To frame it with His Kingdom purposes and then allow it to fade into the background so He could bring a new section of my ‘puzzle’ to the forefront. Ironically, the only way I could regain my focus on His faithfulness was by looking at my past. The very things I needed to no longer dwell on also held the key to my being able to press on.
In the same way, when Isaiah called the Israelites to forget the former and see the new thing God was doing, he first recounted the ways in which God had previously worked on their behalf, reminding them that He had made a way for them out of slavery and through the Red Sea, into a new beginning. If He had done it then, He could do it now. He encouraged the Israelites to allow God’s prior acts of faithful provision to fuel in them an expectation for something new again—no matter how impossible that might have seemed.
THERE IS ALWAYS MORE AHEAD
I have often contemplated the stark contrasts found in the life of Paul. He was a man who miraculously and dramatically encountered God. He planted churches and wrote much of what we now call the New Testament, witnessing healings and countless conversions. And yet, he was also a man who prior to his conversion, persecuted believers and had to live with their blood on his hands. He was shipwrecked, rejected, imprisoned, and beaten. This man, who had much to celebrate and much to wrestle with, tells us not only that he presses on to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him, but that he does not consider himself yet to have taken hold of it (Philippians 3:12-13). Paul understood that no matter how much of God’s grace and favor he had already experienced, there was still more for him to lay hold of and live out. His past had convinced him of it.
So he pressed on. Not out of obligation, nor of drudgery, but fuelled by his passion for Jesus.
“I run with passion into His abundance so that I may reach the destiny that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfil and wants me to discover” (Philippians 3:12, TPT).
We sat in our old building with a new congregation for just over twelve months. In that time, God not only used the precious people there to minister to our weary hearts, but even allowed us the tender grace of witnessing some of the fruit that was growing out of the seed we had planted in that space. He showed us the truth of Isaiah’s words—that He provides water in the desert and streams in the wasteland so that we might be released to proclaim His praise (43:20-21). As we allowed ourselves to process our past, to voice our questions and grieve our losses, entrusting them to Him, He turned a place of disappointment into an oasis of delight demonstrating to us the depth of His redemptive power.
Like Paul, I’ve come to realize I will never exhaust the riches, the abundance that is found in Jesus. Jesus is my finish line. He is the picture on the box that I look upon to determine where the pieces of my life rightly belong. He is the One who brings perspective, beauty, truth, hope, redemption, and the promise of something more, something new. In Jesus, I find the grace to honor my past, to acknowledge both its beauty and its pain without getting stuck. My past is redeemed, and my hope for the future revived. In Jesus, all my ‘pieces’ find their meaning.
Even as I write this, I still hold pieces in my hand that are yet to be placed. Perhaps they will be positioned imminently, perhaps it will be some time before I know where they belong. When frustration begins to rise, I take a step back, I look at how much of the ‘picture’ God has already formed, and I allow His faithfulness to frame my ‘pieces.’
“But our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious one” (Philippians 3:20-21, NIV).