Friday, 4 January 2013

Swallowed up by Life

"While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it is not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies, so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life." 
(2 Corinthians 5: 4,5)

Back in cool breezy Hogsback. Renewed and refreshed from a few days of breathing air in a different space, uninhabited by the dust of the year's burdens. Now, our cabin is once again a haven, small though it may be, it has a vast capacity for warmth, generous space for grace and endless room for forgiveness. We have experienced so much in this place, each inch is infused with another memory. The wide deck that runs the length and sides of our home is a highway, a playground,
A place for feasting or dreaming.

At the end of the day it becomes a perfect perch to rest on, take in the vast wonder of mountain and forest around you.

There was a large portion of the year past when it felt like the dark noxious cloud that hung over our home would never lift. At the end of the previous year (2011) God gave me this promise: For I know the plans I have for you... They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11). When I doubted it, He sent it to me via a previous neighbour, that I had not had contact with for years, in Afrikaans! She knew nothing of our situation at the time. I held onto that promise as if dangling over a precipice from a rope that never frayed or faltered. Later that year we were finally pulled back over the top, scraped and bruised but elated and so, so thankful.

Earlier this week, on the first day of this auspicious year, I sat down in the cool of the morning to have a time with God. Looking out over the Kaga mountain that forms the backdrop to our friend's lush garden, I closed my eyes. I asked once again for a verse that I could call my own in the year to come. Imagine my joy when my eyes came to rest on 2 Co 5:17: Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! The exclamation mark is not mine, but God's...
So I start this year with an ! New seems to be the theme. I know the foxes will still nudge at the gate, the dragons will sniff around our doors and the vipers will attempt to nest in the rafters. But my sword is sharpened and there is a Rock under my feet to steady my stance. Armed and dangerous? You bet. But also renewed in the knowledge that the loving Father that sustains and strengthens will also soften if I allow. He will stop me from charging when I should embrace, help me to surrender when I find myself in a battle that is not mine.

I hear a new song on the wind. Little voices float in an out of earshot, their exuberant bodies never tiring of the adventure that is life. Be encouraged. Your exclamation may be one of despair or pain. But know that God wants to give you a future and a hope. He has written a book of poetry about you. Love songs that have your name in it. Promises that will be your rope and Rock in the year to come.

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