Things have been a little hectic around here. International moves, parties for seventeen, toddlers and pregnancy - they will kind of do that do a household.
This morning my elderly neighbor spotted me on the walking track and told me I was looking "pale." She instructed me to go home and eat something nutritious. I laughed and told her I wasn't feeling that "pale" but thanks. (Not the most appropriate cultural response, but that's what came out.)
The truth is though, my soul has been feeling a little "pale." There have been disciplines that have been shoved aside in the busyness of these days. Disciplines that don't seem very monumental, but that will wear away in slow neglect of a soul. Singing a hymn in the morning isn't necessarily a scriptural mandate, but it certainly can impact a day. Opening up the Word is difficult in any season, but the neglect of it can be detrimental. A quiet walk doesn't seem like much, until it's no longer a part of the routine. Spiritual and physical disciplines are like a wall of protection. Right now, my walls have some cracks and when I step back, I see lies slithering in through the holes.
One of the attitudes that I am finding is very prevalent in me starts with a simple line. "I'm not…"
Fill in the blank.
I'm not…. teaching Silas the colors. And the kid confuses yellow and red.
I'm not…. sure how to discipline this bad attitude in Jude. I'm no good at this.
I'm not…. cooking brown rice for my family, just plain un-nutritious white.
I'm not…. sure I can handle 3 kids. I'm really not.
I'm not…. confident I can navigate all the adjustments this year will bring.
I'm not, I'm not, I'm not.
That make a soul pale.
So I set aside my list of all that is undone this morning. I sent those boys (who didn't particularly want to go) off to school. And I opened up to the book of Philippians. I could write a few pages on the impact of that tiny book on my life. But this morning one line jumped off the page at me. It was found tucked in the 3rd chapter, verse 12:
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me his own."
Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Paul has just given a lengthy argument about all that he was by outward standards. And it was a pretty compelling list in those days. He then writes…I counted it as loss for the sake of Christ…for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. He remembers the glory of the gospel. In receiving Christ, all the things that did matter, don't. And that one who bore shame and suffering, who was despised and rejected….the One whose life, to many, many people, looked for the time to be full of sorrow and even failure…He reigns now victoriously. It is a kingdom that is and that is not yet. It is a hope though that is as sure as the sun, as certain as the tide of the mighty waters. It is this Jesus who has made me his own.
But He is.
And I am in Him.
Good news, friends. It is good, good news to this pale soul.