Don't you love it when a daily devotional feels like a direct lightning bolt from God?
I often wish I knew exactly what God wanted for me. And I want that clear direction. Sometimes He sends it. When you don't expect it.
A devotion I read this week did that to me. The scripture was 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13. (Haven't spent time in the word today? Go now. Read this. Spend some time.)
Often a section of this chapter is referred to in weddings... "Love is patient, love is kind..." But the devotion I read went beyond that specific reference. It focused on our tendancy to achieve great things but that our focus should instead be on the simple (yet complex) act of LOVE.
Here's a snippet of what I read:
Love can heal what pride has injured. It can bind up the places where we’ve been wounded and where trust has eroded. In a commentary on 1 Corinthians, one New Testament scholar says, “Love requires the formation of character.” He means to highlight that what Paul has described in this chapter isn’t necessarily how we feel love for others but how we show love. To love is to need a radical inner transformation. To love is to depend on Christ, whose example defines for us what love is (1 John 3:16).
See? Nothing groundbreaking. Or new. But it came to me at just the right time. I love that. Thanks, God!
This city path brings back memories. It's only yards away from our old neighborhood. I remember walking that path as a newlywed w/ my husband and sharing dreams for our life together. I walked down that path cradling my first child just days after her birth. And walked with my second daughter in a stroller and my oldest on her first tricycle ride.
This week I ran on that path. Just me. For enjoyment. :) I needed to get in a run to train for my upcoming 5K. So I ran. And I remembered. Remembered how it used to be 7-13 years ago on that same stretch of path.
Some of the path looks just about the same. Other aspects of it have changed. The trees are taller. The shrubs and ivy that were newly planted years ago have filled in their space to give privacy to homeowners who planted them. In some spots, the asphalt has cracked and heaved from pressure of tree roots.
And I realized that I'm a bit like that path. Over the past 13 years, some parts of me have stayed the same (likely a few bad habits that I've tried to kick but just don't seem to let go). Other parts of me have grown. I've let time grow walls of privacy around me--closing off parts of my past. But also like a tall tree or a filled out shrub, I've matured (done a lot of learning about myself and who I am in the last 13 years). And I even have some cracks (wrinkles) and heaves (life bumps and bruises) from the pressures put on me over time. I do admit, those cracks and heaves were required to allow me to grow (just as tree roots pushing through soil and asphalt allows a tree to grow).
God has worked in me during those 13 years. At the hard times when I was being stretched beyond what I liked or wanted, He was teaching me. And I sometimes didn't think He knew what was best for me, but I was wrong. I've done a lot of learning and growing since the first time I walked down that path. Thanks be to God for what I've learned!
I love that path. And have really enjoyed travelling it again this week on my visit to Lynden. It has brought back great memories and has helped me move ahead toward the life I'm living today. And that 5K that I'm running tomorrow.
(And, by the way, on my run down the path I lost track of time as I ran. Once I checked my watch, I'd run 35 minutes. That was probably the length of a 5K. For tomorrow I think I am ready.)
What will that path look like and what will it have endured in another 13 years?
Tonight I ran. (walked 5 min, then ran 15 min., walked 5 min., ran 7 min., walked 4 min., ran 3 min, and cooled off by walking for about 10 minutes.) Whew! Feeling good, but a bit clumsy and "jello-y" here at home.
Was reminded why I'm doing this by my sister's post on FB tonite... here to share w/ you below:
"One year ago today our daughter went into cardiac arrest while being prepared for an open heart surgery and was hooked up to a life support system for the next 3 days. On the 7th, she went into surgery and arrested again. After a very last resort test, her true heart issue was finally revealed and a 2nd open heart su...rgery was performed on the 14th. Twenty two days after we went into the hospital, we were able to go home and nurse her back to health. Amazing how this week has been a very emotional time of rehashing many memories. Thank God that our little miracle girl recovered from it all. There is no doubt that the many prayers and skilled hands of the cardiac team at Children's Hospital saved her life- twice! Please help us support them by donating to our fundraising site: http://www.firstgiving.com/julietiegs"
Running and remembering a year ago today. Wow. Amazing.