This week as our family put away all of the remnants of the Christmas and New Years Celebrations, I notice a new thing stirring inside of my heart.
There is a huge RELIEF that our tree made it through this season without one of our precious pets knocking it over, and there is a CALMING over the kitchen that only a few weeks ago was used to bless 76 of our residents with fresh baked cookies and brownies on Christmas Eve. There is PAIN from gatherings that no longer happen for one reason or another, and there was JOY in new friendships that were formed over the past year. Best of all, there is HOPE for the reason behind the glorious time of year, Jesus.
The stirring in my heart created a time of reflection this morning as I sip my coffee and snuggle with my sweet Italian Greyhound , Chloe. This whimsical little dog had a horrible past filled with the pain of being bait for a dog fighting ring. We rescued her with the intention of fostering, but the moment we met, Chloe CLUNG to me with her long legs wrapped around my neck and our hearts touching. It is a moment I will never forget and 5 years later, this little 11 pounds of love has given me a few lessons of what I need to be clinging to.
Chloe CLINGS to me, even today, with a new faith in her future and her joy expressed when she meets other people. At first she was so frightened of everyone and after about a year, her faith found her joy. Now she is brave as long as I am near. She willingly shows her love to me everyday . She is very obedient, patient, and is content in simply my presence in her life. At first, she did not even realize that her tail could wag! Ill never forget the first time and her reaction!
Chloe has also lived a life filled with RELIEF, CALMING, PAIN, and HOPE, and has complete FAITH in me which has given her a life of JOY! She has demonstrated in dog life what I must be in my own life with Christ.
While I’m not much of a one word gal, I do believe God has given me a word to unleash for 2019….
Simply, it is the word FAITH.
While I most definitely HAVE faith , God has revealed that having it is only a small piece of living it out. The stirring is to put my FAITH in motion. Stop clinging to the things that stop my faith in its tracks ,and start CLINGING to my FAITH in Christ. ( 1 Tim 1:19)
God is so faithful, and He is the foundation of my faith, so why is it so easy to live as though faith is something stagnant? I think it is because if we don’t cling to Jesus, our faith gets watered down into something that isn’t anchored. Faith is multidimensional and the very essence of how we can live life now and forevermore, even if it is the size of a mustard seed!
So how do we cling to Jesus? For me, it starts daily in God’s Word and in prayer. Without this, living in faith becomes a weakness, not a strength. Putting faith and clinging to anything besides Christ gives me a life that is pointless. Fear, doubt, shame, and all of those faith robbers start to creep in, but seeking God’s Word daily gives me the truth of what I need to strengthen my faith each and every day. I CLING to it. For those of you that know me well, I LITERALLY cling to it.
I have started to study the book of Romans this year and although I have read it many times, today it is fresh to me as I am digging deep.
“This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish BY FAITH. As the Scriptures say, ” It is through FAITH that a righteous person has life” Romans 1:17 NLT
The stirring in my heart is the Spirit of God prompting me to take the faith I HAVE and put it into MOTION without overthinking it. Please bear with me when I say that Chloe my dog has this attitude every single day! (I believe God speaks to us ways that we can personally understand, and for me, sometimes it is through my dog.)
Chloe recognized that I saved and rescued her from her pain and now she lives an abundant life of joy because if this!
Christ DIED for me and for you! He rescued us from our pain, our past, our shame! This makes me want to wag my tail if I had one!!!! But instead, I will worship HIM. This is GOOD news!! This is GREAT news! We are privileged to access an abundant life of JOY because of Jesus!
” We are made right with God by placing our FAITH in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, NO MATTER WHO WE ARE!. Romans 3: 22 NLT
Praise His name for giving me a reason to CLING to HIM and to LIVE an abundant life in FAITH because of WHO HE is!
Of course, my love of Acronyms has overflowed into the word FAITH:
I n God’s
Truth, even when it’s
May we seek and find Jesus to be the anchor of our soul through clinging to faith in HIM this year and forever!