2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech. (The Message)
I decided to read the Bible from back to front to see if I could get some fresh perspectives on the scriptures. I decided to start with the last chapter in the Bible, Revelations 22, and move forward one chapter at a time until I hit Genesis 1. It has been amazing! I ended up writing down something from each chapter that caught my eye. Some chapters have more than one something.
When I decided to add these thoughts to my blog, I pulled out some of my notes to talk about and this was the first scripture I pulled out. Isn’t it a nice opening scripture?
Have you ever been in the middle of a big mess, feeling like you’re drowning, and knowing that there is nowhere to turn? A small voice inside your head says, “You got yourself into this mess, you can get yourself out!” but somehow it seems like the only way out is to go through it!
Lots of cartoons show a hero crossing a lake, avoiding sharks, snapping jaws, punching bags, and a ring of fire before he must rescue the beautiful young maiden! Or there’s the bit about the lady tied to the railroad tracks with a speeding train coming! Sometimes we feel like the lady – tied up and helpless, screaming our lungs out for someone to help! Sometimes we feel like the hero trying to rescue the lady, only someone has tied weights to our feet, and we feel like we’re running through jelly! Keeping house can feel like this sometimes. It seems like there is always laundry to do or dishes to wash or bills to pay or people to feed. We feel like we’re walking five miles through the snow, uphill both going and coming home!
How many times have we paused for a minute in our frantic running around or in our panicked cries for help and taken a deep breath? How many times, after that breath, have we discovered hidden depths of strength? How many times do we see a hidden path through our wilderness that could lead to safety? How many times do we realize that this is God’s help?
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and she said something interesting. She said that we have always heard that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle; but she said that God always gives us more than we can handle – by ourselves! “How else can we learn and grow? How else can we help others through the same crap? How else do we learn to trust God?”
I think she has a good point! I go walking my merry way along life’s path and suddenly find myself teetering on the brink of a canyon, looking down into the gaping jaws of hell and wondering how, in heaven’s name, am I going to get over to the other side? God reaches out in love and surprises me with gifts of unending help and confidence (to paraphrase this scripture)!
Wherever you are in life’s journey, may God “put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech!” May you hear His voice in your ear, telling you to ignore those depressing voices and to listen to Him!