When I started this 30-Day Challenge of Finding Life, it was directly related to making an intentional effort to tangibly shift my focus from death and loss to life and hope. The process has been reshaping me as each day turns into an all-out challenge to find any remote piece of life-giving evidence to the wonder and glory of God at work …especially in the middle of the already enormous evidence of suffering and loss so easily found in life on planet earth.
Since the month of June is the anniversary of one of my biggest losses, the Holy Spirit prompted me to press the reset button– starting June 1st– and begin to look for life instead of wallowing in my woes. Life transforms. God is the God of resurrection and life and truth. He takes a heart of stone and melts it into a heart of living flesh…alive and beating with new life …renewed hope …unexplainable joy.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
In the process, I’ve found joy in the simple moments of everyday life. God has revealed His glory all around us.
Yesterday, He reminded me of our daughter, Rachel, and the wonderful celebration of her marriage to her husband, Bryan, four years ago this month. Our entire little family gathered in the middle of God’s beautiful creation in New England for a bare-foot wedding with shades of Ethiopian food and dress . We celebrated the beginning of their new life together as husband and wife and the new life of another wonderful member being added to our family. Family. Moments. Memories. Life!
God promised me He always gives life after death and He continues to live up to that promise.
June also brings another beautiful family moment into focus …the birth of our first granddaughter, Charlotte. Eight years ago that little baby girl gave us the most incredible gift — the gift of being her Nana and Papa…our lives forever changed.
These grands of our’s have grown my heart seven times over…a grace beyond my wildest imaginations. The love they bring is hard to even describe. Nobody seems to be able to adequately describe what happens to your heart when you have grandchildren. My words still fall short as to the joy they bring.
Family. Moments. Life!
God has turned my sorrow into joy …my mourning into laughter. He has opened my eyes to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. He’s a good, good Father. Family. Moments. Life!
Maybe these words in Isaiah are for you today as well…
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
Today’s Challenge: Is there a date on the calendar that has become a reminder of sorrow or suffering for you? Ask God to redeem that date and bring life into the moment. He loves to do that for His children.
#Day24 ~ Finding Life :: A 30-Day Challenge