”Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19
What an intense weekend we all just walked through! From the reminder of the horrific death Christ chose on our behalf, to the day where the tomb remained sealed, and then the celebration of our risen Savior yesterday, it has been quite a weekend. Because of our current quarantine, time seemed to slow down. Maybe we were given the gift of awareness, perhaps like never before. I know that was true of me. Our family participated in other church services and learned a lot from our own church too. So much was available to us because of technology. As much as it can frustrate me at times, I was very thankful for it.
We had another reason to celebrate yesterday and that was due to our 8 year old deciding it was time for him to be baptized. He accepted Christ a year ago, but had not yet followed Jesus’ example in baptism. It was the perfect picture for our family to summarize the weekend; buried to our old life of sin, made new in the resurrection of our Lord. All possible because of the sacrifice made on our behalf. How can we say thank you the day after and the days that follow?
One of the services we watched was from Oak Hill Church in San Antonio, Texas. They even included a segment for kids and it was perfect. Max Lucado read one of his children’s books, You Are Special. The story was simple and told about how all of us have a Creator. Over the course of living, we collect “stickers”, as he called them, that shape who we believe ourselves to be. The main character had collected a lot of negative stickers and becomes quite downcast. He meets a girl who doesn’t have any stickers and he wants to know why. She is different than anyone else and she tells him what makes her different by taking him to meet the Creator. She also tells him that she spends time with her Creator every morning and lets Him tell her who He has made her to be. Then, when stickers come throughout the day, they just slide right off. Could this be how we live out a life of returning thanks?
One of the boys and I talked about this famous pastor/author last night. He said how much he liked him because he didn’t try to be funny. I thought that was an interesting observation, but there is more. This particular child struggles to be funny to be accepted, but it is not at all necessary. He does have a great sense of humor, but can try too hard at times. Seeing someone with such a calmness and ease was a sermon in itself for this boy. Another unexpected gift from this weekend.
Maybe just maybe we can all begin to see new things springing up during this closed door season. There will come a day when our doors will open again and I pray we do not walk out the same. I pray we walk out sticker free and with a heart that knows our Creator more. May we take time to meet with Him each morning and read His words to us. May we remember when stickers do come, that we get to see if they line up with the truth spoken over us. There is also a chance that they are not meant to be stickers at all, but confront us with sin. It is uncomfortable, but done in love, can lead us to repentance. Again, another gift we are being given during this time. We can quiet our hearts and realign ourselves with our Creator. His way is perfect and He alone can straighten us out too. What a way to live in response to what we have been given, don’t you think?