Yesterday, our 25+ year-old arm chair returned from the upholsterer. Take one look at this chair and you would have no idea…absolutely none…that it left our home a torn-up, saggy mess. The faded blue fabric has been replaced by colors of brown, tan, and red. It is stunning.
Sometimes, and thankfully, it’s not all that often, I turn to Scripture feeling like a faded, torn-up, used-up, saggy mess.
In all honesty, that is a bit of what I felt this morning when I turned to my bible.
I hit a bump this week.
For the past year, since my cancer, since our furlough, since our homeschooling, since our day to day ministry life, since my graduate work, I have been going and going and going.
There literally was no opportunity to rest or find a good spiritual rhythm this past year. I just did what I had to do to get everything done.
Now that every task is completed for the year, I was surprised by feelings of homesickness and loneliness which descended like a heavy blanket over my soul. Sometimes when I stop after a very full season of life, I come to a place where I must allow the feelings that I didn’t have time for…to surface. When they did, all of a sudden I felt like our old arm chair…a used up, tired, old mess.
A while back, I confessed that there are still layers related to my cancer journey that need to be lifted away. I literally put part of my life on hold while I completed my graduate program on autism. It was a phenomenal experience but I find my relational reserves depleted and in need of replenishment.
Gratefully, my God gave me a verse that touched my aching, homesick heart today and I found myself transformed like our old arm chair, by the loving words of my God. Seriously. Here is what I read today…
Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:21 NIV
Matthew Henry wrote in response:
Keep up the grace of love to God in its lively vigorous actings and exercises in your souls. Take heed of throwing yourselves out of the love of God to you, or its delightful, cheering, strengthening manifestations; keep yourselves in the way of God, and continue in his love.
We could have thrown our chair outside our gates for some one to come by to claim. We could have even thrown the poor old chair away. It was a sad sight, let me tell you. Instead, we chose to keep it. We chose to give it a new life.
I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t what my God is doing with me. He wants me to stick with Him and allow Him to breathe His Spirit and Life into me so that I am renewed, replenished and restored. In order for that to happen, Jude exhorts me to keep near my God and keep myself enfolded in His love….and then wait for Jesus Himself to come.
Wait in this verse comes from the Greek transliterated word prosedechomai. Prosedechomai has a dual meaning. First it means to take hold of something. The second meaning is to expect the fulfillment of a promise. Put them together and prosedechomai means to take hold of and expect the fulfillment of a promise.
As I keep near my God and His love, in time I will be mercifully blessed and transformed just like our old arm chair into something altogether new and purposeful. I just need to wait and take hold of that promise and its fulfillment.
My body has been torn by cancer and burned by radiation.
My life has faded a bit under the strain of so much school work.
My body sags with weariness.
My heart is homesick.
My soul yearns for replenishment.
In a few days’ time, I will celebrate my Savior and Lord’s birth. Jesus, my Emmanuel, has come to make my torn up, faded, sagging life into something new, something stronger, something joyful, something special. I don’t know what to do with all of my feelings and emotions that are coming out like the stuffing of our arm chair, but my God does. All He asks of me is to settle into the care and comfort of His loving arms.
He’ll do the re-uphostering of my heart, soul, and body in His time.