Monday, January 14, 2013

When We Are Falling Apart, Jesus Holds Us Together

“In Him all things are held together”
 (Colossians 1:17).

We all know the phrase, “falling apart at the seams” – those moments when life seems too overwhelming and we don’t know how we will survive.

We may feel that way for many reasons.  Our pain and suffering is enough to face, but other difficulties in our lives or those we love bring added pressures.  The world in general is in chaos as well, and it may seem that everywhere we turn things are falling apart.

I am experiencing that now.  My father was just diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Praise God he knows the Lord and has had a full life, but that doesn’t remove the pain and suffering we must watch him endure now. 

With my own health problems I can’t be as much of a help to my mother as I would like.  Many people are praying and we are seeing signs of that in the way things have logistically fallen into place as well as what I have been able to do physically, but there are moments when I feel I’m falling apart.

A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook of this cracked ceramic bowl pieced together with gold filling.  Underneath the photo was the word “kintsukuroi”, meaning to repair pottery with gold or silver lacquer, understanding that the piece is more beautiful having been broken.

I thought about our bodies being jars of clay and trials being the fire that God uses to burn away all that is not of Him, leaving only the pure gold of faith in Him.  No matter what chaos is going on in and around us, there is no moment when Christ is not holding it all together.  The golden faith and strength that comes as a result of our trials is one means He uses to do this, and with each line of gold filling we are becoming more beautiful to Him.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you that You are continually holding the greatness of the universe as well as the smallness of my own world together.  Thank you for piecing me together when I fall apart, and may I allow my brokenness to be the very thing You use to strengthen and beautify me.  Amen.





Friday, January 4, 2013

With God, Newness Never Fades

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life”
(Romans 6:4 NKJV).

I like new things. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the old but there is something special about the new. Wearing a new outfit, visiting a new place, or watching a new movie are all enjoyable experiences, but the newness wears off with time.  Once it does, I may cast it aside for something newer.

With a new year, people have new goals and hopes that this year will be brighter and better than the last one.  Living with chronic health conditions I am not so optimistic however, and with each new year my longings increase for my new eternal life.

Our new physical bodies are yet to come, but our spirits have already been made new by our faith in Christ.  We can now see our current earthly lives with new perspectives.  God is a God of newness.  He instituted the new covenant with Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice for our sin.  A new heaven and earth is yet to come.  And right now we are being made new in our minds and spirits as we walk this life of pain with Him.  Just as God’s mercies are new every morning, His Spirit is continually pouring new strength, hope, and grace into our lives, and these blessings will not lose their newness.

Earthly hopes and dreams go unfilled and the newness of earthly pleasures will fade with time, but God is continuing a new work in me that will not fade.  He will bring it to completion, and each day now is filled with the powerful new life the risen Christ gives my spirit.  It’s not just a new year – it’s a new life.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, while I wait for the newness of eternity, remind me that I am a new creation in you spiritually, regardless of how my body is feeling.  In this new year, may my goal be to continually renew my mind in your truths, knowing that the wonder of them will never fade.  Amen.