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We celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday Sunday afternoon with most of the out of town family and friends in attendance. I look at my dad and mom, and I see a lot of wisdom. I can distinctly remember when my grandparents died, and I told Mom and Dad that they were now the wise ones of the family. How does one get wise? I do realize that not everyone gains wisdom as they age, but most do. How do they get wise?
Here is what I think. Life does that to them. The sorrows in life carve out such a big part that they come to the realization that most things in life are really not that important. I remember my ex-grandmother-in-law telling me that life was too short to be mad. I totally agree with her. Wise folks realize that love is the important thing. Love is the only thing that changes anything. Love. Love. Love.
When we are dealing with deep sorrow or disappointment, when doubt if God even knows we are here, when we feel like a failure, or when we are fearful, God wants to whisper our name and tell us that the story isn’t over yet. A few chapters have yet to be written. What feels like a never-ending nightmare can turn into a beautiful dream if we allow God to step into it.
God wants to fill us with hope where there is disappointment. He wants to strengthen our faith when we are filled with doubt. He wants to help us succeed when we think that we have failed. He wants to bathe us in peace where fear once tried to suffocate us. God just wants to breathe into us LIFE. The breath of God washes away all of the junk that is trying to destroy us.
We may feel that God cannot use us because we are not perfect. Well, who is? Who is, indeed? Only God is, and He chooses to use imperfect folks like you and me to share His perfect love with a world that is crying out for a solution. Jesus is all about healing, forgiveness, restoration, love, redemption, joy, and peace.
God wants you and me to step into who we are in Him and be filled with faith. He wants to breathe into us life. He wants us to walk into our destiny.
In John 1:6, it talks about John the Baptist. During Pastor Andy’s sermon, he took that Scripture, and he told us to plug in our name.
That resonated in my spirit, and so we are going to read this Scripture aloud and plug in our name, okay?
“There came a man/woman who was sent from God, his/her name was ______ (Plug in your name.) He/she came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him/her all men might believe. He himself/she herself was not the light, he/she came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”
I have been saying for forever that we are to be a light to the world, a light on a hill that cannot hide its light. We are to die to ourselves. We are to die to our pride, our greed, our fear, our whatever that is holding us back, and Jesus will resurrect Himself in us. We will be dead men and women walking, and we will be walking in the love.
Jesus is my Savior and my Hero. Next to Him, Heidi Baker is my heroine. She truly walks in love in Mozambique, and she really lives what she believes. Her book, “Compelled by Love,” has stirred me in a way that I want to be used more and more by God in whatever way He chooses.
If you can, read her book. It may well wreck you, and that is a really good thing indeed. To be wrecked by God for God. May you never be the same.
Jan Allbritton is a Diboll resident who teaches at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.