Many people (myself included) love the show "What not to wear". For those of you that aren't familiar with it, the hosts, Stacey and Clinton, provide advice on makeovers for those that definitely need a little or a large amount of direction with regard to fashion and style. They work with an individual to completely upgrade their appearance (dress, make up/grooming, and haircut). It really is amazing to watch these folks before and after. Mostly all of the after images are amazing. But, there is a part of me that can't help, but wonder... what happens to these individuals 2 or 3 years down the road?
Why have I taken the time in the opening paragraph today to talk about this? Well, quite simply its because I believe we can draw many parallels with our faith walk. Can you think of a moment when you were so close to Jesus that you literally thought you could reach out and touch him? Do you remember how you felt? Do you remember the strength, the confidence? Well, I do and still get that sense over and over as I watch life transpire before me. I usually feel like the "after" person on What Not To Wear. But, sadly I will tell you that Satan doesn't discriminate and he doesn't always attack the "easy" targets. I found that out the hard way last week. I won't go into details, but will tell you that I had a very rough time last week coming to terms with the fact that no matter how hard you try to preach, teach, and live as Christ would want you to the evil one has ways to beat you down and make you doubt yourself. He can crush your confidence through false accusation, hate, despair, and hardship. But, the good news is that can only happen if you let it.
To help you understand a little more I will tell you that in the past three years I've went through many peaks and valleys. Most of the time I've been able to discern the path I need to take or at least pray through them. During all of this, however, I fell into a little bit of a trap. The trap of believing that as the "After" person in this parallel, I would never waiver in my ability to share the good news of our Risen Savior even in the face of adversity.
Well last week I had the displeasure and pain of looking this adversity right in the face and and am a little embarrassed to admit my first reaction was to shut down and shut up. The whispers told me that if you are quiet you can't get hurt. Two questions immediately entered my mind... "Why should I open myself and my life up to people if at the end of it all I will face heartache for it?" and "Why would I be foolish enough to care so much that the haters could bend it to be something other than God's way?".
I guess since I'm typing this you know that I didn't shut down or shut up, but only because I married one of the strongest Christian women I've ever met. I've learned so much from Michelle through the years, but last week she gave me a gem that I will share with you. She basically said that I needed to step back and assess situations for what they are and that often times when you are doing good things in Christ's name Satan will attack you and try to stop you from being bold. I've got to admit I was ready to throw in the towel, but Coach Ruckman (Mrs. Ruckman) talked me off the ledge and helped me regain center. After digesting her words and pouring myself into my Bible, I'm now able to be there for my friends and all those I love in the capacity that I need to be again. Thanks to Chelle for helping me see love (Christian Agape Love) again and encouraging me to be bold yet again for our Risen Savior.
I want to close today by asking you a couple questions. "Where is Satan attacking you?" and "Why is he keeping you from doing your work for God?" Jesus reminded us we are ALL Children of God and we cannot be touched when doing his work. Stand Strong, Be Bold, and You Will Not Fail!
Time for an old favorite of mine that so fits today:
"However I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying the Gospel of God's Grace." Acts 20:24
Love in Christ,