“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
I love beginnings. The overture of musicals, the first bite of a doughnut, the first inhale breath when you open a new can of Folgers, the first game of the season, the first flowers of Spring… I could go on and on and on…
I was upset about a month ago because I felt like all my beginnings were over. Silly right? I’m only 21… But that’s how I was feeling. I’m already married, I’ve got an established household, (well sort of, it’s in the chaos of transition now) my puppies are no longer considered puppies by scientific standards. I wasn’t feeling like I had nothing for which to look forward. But that was so foolish! Now we’re buying our first house, and in a few months, we’ll be facing our first deployment. There is a lot of newness going on right now. It just wasn’t the kind of newness that I thought I should be experiencing. And that’s what got me thinking… I’m so far from being in control of my life, it’s laughable. I don’t get to choose what crazy unexpected things pop up in my life; thus the definition of unexpected. But those challenges are what make life great. Those trials we face which force us to turn to God and to our families; to re-evaluate what we’re really striving for in life… Those things are what build our faith and our relationships. I’ve found that the more time I spend reading the Bible and praying, the less those little surprises overcome me, and the more I am able to overcome them.
The devotion I read this morning was thought-provoking on this subject. I’ll let you in on its message:
“In order to fully and faithfully understand the cross, we need to begin where it all began…literally. We need to go back to the Garden of Eden, where God brought His creation into being and pronounced it “very good.”
Why do we have to start there? Because it’s there where we see God’s perfect will in play. It’s there where we see things the way He intended them to be. It’s there where we witness the standard of life that all of us were supposed to experience and enjoy.
God did something. Something very good, something that was perfect and required absolutely no revision or improvement whatsoever. Everything was in balance and harmony. Creation was perfectly in tune- from the birds of the air to the creatures of the sea, from the canvas of constellations to the grass-gilded hills and valleys. Every animal, every insect, every single thing was just as it should be. Nothing was out-of-place or less than perfect, including man.
Imagine it: an existence without fear, without illness, without pain, without guilt, without frustration or angst. man had a conscience that was completely clear, without spot or stain. No evil or impure thoughts, no harsh or hurtful words. Everything about man and everywhere he went was “very good.”
Again, this is where we need to begin, because it’s the essence of this, “very good” existence that the cross is founded on. It speaks of a reality that every human heart longs for- a return to Paradise, a restoration to a former glory that we’re instinctively and curiously aware of. The cross plays a pivotal part in getting us back to that place, to the place where we belong. (Gen. 1:31)” –Active Word Daily Devotional, Day 60
With today being the first day of Spring, I’m always reminded at this time of year about the goodness and beauty of God. I look at the budding trees and flowers and I catch a glimpse of what He intended our lives to be in the beginning. In the season of Lent, I’m reminded of the sacrifice made when God took out his wrath for the whole world on his son; his perfect, sinless, precious son. Everyone thought that day on the cross was the end. But three days later, Christ rose again, and gave us all a new beginning. I know that sometimes it feels like it’s too late to start over; like you’re not capable of any more new beginnings in your life. But you are! You are because of Christ. It’s not too late ’till you’re dead, really… I mean, that may sound morbid, but it’s true.
It’s always while I’m wrapped up in the middle of something that I forget to notice the new opportunities and challenges that God has given me. I challenge you all to evaluate your “middles” and “ends” and see if God hasn’t managed to sneak a few “beginnings” in there while you weren’t looking.
Oh, and happy 47th wedding anniversary to my G’ma and G’pa Gayer 🙂