I am trying to visit with friends I know I will hardly get to see during the course of the year. I had lunch with one dear lady on Sunday and with another, today. Their work or school schedule, plus my own, equals time flying by without fellowship. Boo! I want them (and everyone in my life) to know how truly precious they are to me. Further, on a COMPLETELY different note, I cannot help but stress over my weight. Ridiculous, I know! But I have experienced the “Freshman 15” (well, actually, for me it is 10) and gained ten pounds seemingly overnight…last semester! What is worse, I cannot get it to GO AWAY! I eat healthy AND I work out so I guess I am just going to have to really “trim the fat”, start counting calories, and eliminate any lingering bit of “naughty” indulgence I allow from time to time. Empty calories from alcoholic beverages, the soda here and there, and the occasional dessert. There are Oreos and potato chips in the pantry. The Oreos do not tempt me but those stinking chips do! Not to mention eating dinner late (after 7 pm) and some snacking while studying in the evenings.
But, isn’t our relationship with God kind of like that? The Holy Spirit guides us and burns when we "indulge" in sin but sometimes, it is hard to let certain things go. Especially, right before we are saved by grace. Did you encounter that at all? For me, it was like a tug of war between myself and God…a back and forth. I needed to “die to myself”, take off the old and put on the new. But, the old just wanted to stick to me. My favorite scene in a movie is from “Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. (The book by C.S. Lewis is MUCH better, of course.) In this particular part, a little boy has been turned into a dragon and no matter how hard he tries, he cannot change himself back into a human. Aslan has to come and slash the dragon skin away leaving a forever changed little boy.
I could not save myself. I sure did try diligently, as a child, to apply God’s word to my life and follow His commandments. I promise, I worked really hard at it. But it was impossible for me to do for myself. The bible did not completely make sense and I prayed often to be able to make it my lifestyle. But it was not until GRACE, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that the old was ripped away and I was infinitely a transformed person! Only Jesus and the Holy Spirit can do that. This is something my children and I discuss more frequently, now. I am reading the book Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and it has reminded me of how terribly important it is to make sure my children understand Jesus died for the sins of ALL of us and the Holy Spirit guides us.
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10. ESV.)