Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Book, A Donkey, And His Voice

While reading blog posts a few weeks ago I came cross Galatians 5:26 in The Message translation.  It left an imprint on my heart, stepping right in with the truth of it and finding a place to rest within the beating. Even though, or because of the weariness I carried at the time, I was unable to put it aside, so we read all of Galatians 5 as part of our morning devotions, grateful as more of the Word's words squeezed into my heart and found room to stay.  Powerful. Impacting. God's 2000 year old writings bound in leather always say what we need to hear so well.

"Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, 
the life of the Spirit, 
let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads
 or a sentiment in our hearts,
 but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.  
That means we will not compare ourselves with each other
 as if one of us were better and another worse.  
We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. 
 Each of us is an original.
Galatians 5:26

Each of us is an original.  One of a kind. We have heard it before, a repetitive song, off key at best. We are all unique.  Can we grasp it, or do we put it aside while making endless effort to belong or fit in somewhere.  Falling short in our own eyes, wounding the soul.   Living as Spirit filled people we are not to compare ourselves with each other.  Here is what vibrates with truth ~ a truth that is shouted from the mountain tops if we only listen for it.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives  Each of us is an original..  How much time do we spend in the cesspool of comparison, looking down on or feeling put down upon?  To compare is to despair.  How can we compare one unique creation by the Creator to another unique one?

We know from God's Word that our uniqueness is from Him.  So is our identity.  The who we are and the Whose we are.  They are linked together.  Have you heard the quote..."You are only as strong as your weakest link?"  Christ in us, us living in the Spirit is what makes our links so strong.  Each equipped with God's gifts for His purpose.

I wrote the paragraphs above a few weeks ago, but evidently God had more to say on this topic!  The past few days Joel and I have been reading aloud a Christmas gift from me to my hubby....a book titled "Flash" by author Rachel Ridge. Described as charming, funny and written about an animal~~ what was not to like!   It is a true story about how a stray donkey came into the lives of one family and changed them all, including the four legged stubborn one they named Flash. The donkey just showed up one dark night.  Scared, beat-up, hungry.  His mysterious past made him skittish and super stubborn, but over time their patience and love brought him back to life.  

Early in the book Rachel shared about how she felt she failed in all she tried to do as a mom, wife, artist.  She just never felt she was enough and as she compared herself to others, like the people they rented their home from.....she fell short.  When the landlords told her they had named the Ridge family donkey themselves ( a different name)......and were often found feeding and talking to him from their home on the acreage, Rachel's insecurities reached a high point.

 But God......

Then through Flash she began to see herself in God's eyes.  God whispered to her one morning as she was scolding herself, " I have called you by name and you are mine."  She searched for the scripture connected to these words and read them again in Isaiah 43.  Remembering that Flash was restored through the family's love, and seeing his true self emerge again after the identity crisis he had experienced, it brought her to an awareness of her own identity crisis.  With prayer and scriptures she came to understand deep within that her identity came from her Creator.  Instead of repeating in her mind the long list of negative things she believed about who she was, she started remembering who God said she was.  Her identity was as His beloved.  Her value came not from what she did but from who she was, Whose she is.  Precious in His eyes.  This knowledge changed everything.
All because a "quirky animal with big ears" needed a home.  She stated, "God can us anything at anytime in any way to speak to us".

Sometimes God repeats the re-sounding song....and sometimes we think it is off key, so He persists in Love.  He reminds us of our identity through a donkey or a book about a donkey.  God can and does use anything at anytime in any way to speak to us.  Yes He does.  And one of the most important things He wants us to know?  Who. we. are.  The scriptures tells us, "Don't hold an idea in your head or a sentiment in your heart" ~~that does not line up with what God says about us(my words).

Each of us is unique.....created by God with a variety of gifts individual to our calling.  There is only one of us.  Our uniqueness is connected by Christ in us, our identity rooted within when we choose to live a life in the Spirit as kids of the King.  We are urged to embrace our uniqueness and step into our full identity. Remember He has called you by name.  

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