Monday Morning Devotion-June 15, 2020
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. James 4:8
Today I would like to share a devotion that Mark Batterson placed on-line recently. Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in our nation's capital, Washington D.C. He is the New York Times best-selling author of 17 books. The first one of those, "The Circle Maker," made me a Batterson fan and I have read most of his works. I hope, that you will, just as I did, receive a blessing from this devotion.
May 11, 2020 www.markbatterson.com
"It's not our experiences that make us or break us. It's our interpretation of and explanation for those experiences that ultimately determines who we become. Your explanations are more important than your experiences.
There are lots of different explanations for the same experience. The tough part is choosing the right one. And that's where we need the holy hindsight to see the purposes of God in our pasts.
One of my heroes is Corrie ten Boom. During the Nazi occupation of Holland in World War II, the Ten Boom family risked their own safety by hiding Jews in their house. Then on February 28, 1944, their home was raided, and Corrie and her family were sent to a concentration camp. Her father and sister died in the camps, but through a miraculous series of circumstances, Corrie survived. In 1975, her life story was made into a movie called The Hiding Place. And it was after watching that movie that I put my faith in Christ for the first time. For what it's worth, one of my life symbols is an old movie poster that I purchased. That framed poster of The Hiding Place frames my life. Every time I see it, I'm reminded of the night I asked Jesus into my heart.
For many years, Corrie ten Boom traveled the world sharing her experiences. Or maybe I should say, sharing her explanations for her experiences. Corrie would often speak with her head down. It looked like she was reading her notes, but she was working on a piece of needlepoint. Then, after telling her story of the atrocities she experienced at the hands of the Nazis, Corrie would reveal the needlepoint she'd been working on. She'd hold up the backside, which was just a jumble of colors and threads with no discernible pattern. And she'd say, "That's how we see our lives. Sometimes it makes no sense." Then she'd turn the needlepoint over to reveal the finished side. And Corrie would conclude by saying, 'This is how God views your life, and someday we will have the privilege of seeing it from His point of view.'
One of the great joys of heaven will be postimagining the past in light of eternity. The past will come into perfect perspective. Everything will make sense. And we'll no longer remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember. Our glorified bodies will include glorified minds. And our glorified minds will include glorified imaginations and post imaginations. What a moment that will be for those whose memories have been stolen by disease or injury! In a moment, they will remember who they are and who their loved ones are. And most significant, the faithfulness of God will be revealed in all its glory.
As Corrie concluded her talks, she would often recite a poem by an unknown author that explained the needlepoint in poetic terms. That poem doubled as Corrie's explanatory style.
My life is but a weaving between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors, He works so steadily,
Oft times He weaves in sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
Your soleprint is two-dimensional. Identity is the underside, and destiny is the upperside. Lifesymbols? They are the warp and woof. They are the threads that connect identity and destiny. They are the colors that mark defining moments. They are the frames that help us explain our experiences. They are the shuttles that refine us and define us. And if you will simply put yourself on the loom, God will weave a masterpiece."
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) writes; "You are as close to God as you choose to be."
The closer we get to Him, through the inner working of The Holy Spirit. the more we will see the front of that needlepoint---the story of our lives that God is weaving. Sometimes it looks like the back of that needlepoint with all kinds of colorful, but confusing experiential threads are going off in different directions. It can look like a confusing mess. The harder we try to understand what God's will is and what it is not, the more He will reveal to us.
Have a great week. Once again, my thanks to Mark Batterson. By the way his new book looks interesting. It is called: Soulprint. It is about the "joy of discovering who you are°and the freedom of discovering who you're not. The wonderful fact is that your uniqueness is God's gift to you, and it's also your gift to God."
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we want to make sense of all those colorful threads of experience that You are weaving into our lives. Help us to grow closer to you each day. Amen!