Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Wouldn't it be great if life had a reset button?  I'm not talking about starting over from the beginning- diapers, drool and all that, but we all have moments, days and even larger chunks of time that we wished had gone differently when we look back.  The good news is that it does, as Paul Tripp says here "The beautiful thing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the Lord offers grace for each of these little moments. The Bible doesn't say, 'His mercies are new once a year.' No, 'His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.'(Lamentations 3:22-23)." 

The challenge to this is that we actually have to stop, reflect and seek this grace from God and ourselves, a practice that in my experience can be easily overshadowed in tough seasons of life.  As I mentioned in my lastpost, the end of 2017 was one of those times.  I pushed hard, ignoring the signs of fatigue and quite frankly got ragged out.  I think most people can relate to the words of this song by NF:
Oh, these hands are tired
Oh, this heart is tired
Oh, this soul is tired
But I'll keep on
I'll keep on
I'll keep on

We keep on, pushing, striving, and ignoring the signs of our hearts and souls crying out for rest.  Like most people I know myself fairly well and am well aware of the signs of my soul crying out for relief and as Andy Stanley says in Choosing to Cheat:  "The gauges on your dashboard are not there to tip you off to the fact that your car is in need of repair. They are there to keep you from getting to that point." but I just kept rolling, blinders on, until the check engine light came on and I came chugging to a stop. 

Another quote I read by Francis de Sales captures this in a way that may not translate to future generations but felt very tangible to me: "there is no clock, no matter how good it may be, that doesn't need resetting and rewinding twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  In addition, at least once a year it must be taken apart to remove dirt clogging it, straighten out bent parts, and repair those worn out.  In like manner, every morning and evening a man who really takes care of his heart must rewind it for God's service…. More-over, he must often reflect on his condition in order to reform and improve it.  Finally, at least once a year he must take it apart and examine every piece in detail, that is every affection and passion, in order to repair whatever defects there may be."

When things get off track in life the first step is to stop and ask the question "why?"  So often we just charge ahead, knowing something is off yet not wanting to slow down or acknowledge and address what is going on.  As Gary Keller says in The One Thing "Life is a question and how we live it is our answer.  How we phrase the questions we ask ourselves determines the answers that eventually become our life."

When we were in school and didn't understand something we asked questions, when something comes up in a conversation these days and we don't know the answer we hit Google, so why is it that when things get off track in life we don't take the same approach?  God is right there waiting for us to seek him, to seek healing, restoration, and rest!  As Matthew 11:29-30 says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This is my goal for 2017, to be watchful of my soul, to acknowledge the warning signs, to seek God for renewal and restoration daily.  I plan to start with a process of looking back at what broke and setting goals for the year to help me keep things on track, day by day, minute by minute and will share both the process and the output here. 

In closing, another quote from Paul Tripp that really hit home and was a great reminder of where my heart and mind need to be in this coming year (and all those that follow!):
"Yes, you and I need to be committed to change in 2017, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation. Instead, find joy in, and be faithful to, a day-by-day and step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith."

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