31.7.16

Resurrection days

Coming back to Penang has been a transition for us.  It's been a bit lonely, I think for Ellis, without his beloved playmates around the house, and routines needed re-forming and re-thought as Ellis has grown up so much in the past few months.  We've had to find our way back into the flow of life and pick up the momentum of work, some of which was lost when we left.  Three months is a long time to be gone.  In times like these, whether we are here or there, and whether we want to be here or there, I have to remind myself of the things that are true both here and there. His unconditional graces do not depend on time or place or circumstances. A short list of these graces for today: His mercies are new every morning. He watches over my coming out and my coming in. God is my refuge and my help comes from Him.  This hope is an anchor for my soul.  

No matter where I am, no matter what my limitations or current attitude, this one thing I can do: practice resurrection. Resurrection happens at all times and in all places.  The sun rises. Flowers bud.  There are a thousand little ways I can choose life through out my day. I can choose to speak words of life or death; to let something ruin my day or learn from it, to forgive or be bitter.   I participate in resurrection when I exercise creativity and choose to forgive.  I can take note of beauty when I see it and invite Jesus into my day.  

We visited Penang's newly reopened and remodeled Butterfly Farm last week. It was amazing. You know what the dullest, most uninteresting part for a 2-year old is? Cocoons. So boring.  If I recall correctly, Ellis ran into the room, army-crawled under the giant caterpillar sculpture, and ran out the other door. But in that little room, behind the glass, hanging from those ordinary branches, life was happening.  We saw something shaking and stopped to watch a butterfly being born.  The most boring part was the most important part.  The boring part preceded the transformation. 

There's nothing boring about resurrection. Days may seem dull and momentum-less, but every moment that we choose life is a miracle. We get to extend grace because it was extended to us. We love because he first loved us. This is the most important work I'll do today: to receive God's love and pass it on to others.

There are growing pains and there are not-growing pains, because lets be honest, plans and outcomes don't always work out like we hope.  Life might seem quiet or ordinary on the outside front, but inside these resurrection days are renewing us and shaping us into the likeness of Christ. Resurrection happens when, as Emily Freeman writes, I release my obsession with building a life and embrace the life Christ is building in me.  These are ordinary and exciting days.
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