Well, it’s that time of year when people start talking about whether Christmas sales are up or down, whether Wall Street is up or down, & even if they are feeling “up” or “down.” How are you? Up or down?
As the Christmas stories began to unfold on television this season, I am reminded of the many stories told to our children about the broken bodies that God uses. Whether it’s the lamb with a bad leg, or a donkey with big ears, God uses those of us who are far from perfect.
Even the secular stories explain how Santa was just boy who didn’t feel that he fit in, quite like Rudolph who felt different & ashamed until his weakness was recognized as a gift. You may not be aware that the story of Rudolph was written by a man, Bob May, who “made Rudolph up” to answer his four-year daughter’s question, “Daddy, why isn’t my mommy just like everybody else’s mommy?” as her mom was desperately ill with cancer.
As I venture in to my eigth year of motherhood in January, I can relate with the feelings of inadequacy that Mary must have had (surely Jesus’ teething was painful for her to watch), or even a little bit of the joy that God must possess when we do something that makes Him smile.
This is also a time of year where we are reminded to reflect on our journey & what areas of our life we may wish to change or improve upon. But instead of thinking it’s a journey you are about to “go on” think it as “going out.” Regardless of our illness, regardless of all the weaknesses, doubts or inexperience we may have, God tells us to “go out!”
Jeremiah 31:4 reminds us, “I will build you up again & you will be rebuilt . . again you will take up your tambourines & go out to dance with the joyful.” Hear that? Grab those tambourines for 2004. You never know when the Lord might tell you to go out & starting dancing!
We all feel that nagging feeling of, “But what if I fail?” I feel this every day, & the leap we are making to transform this newsletter into a magazine is scary indeed, but Malachi 4:2 says, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out & leap like calves released from the stall.”
We’ll receive some form of healing & be given that burst of energy & joy, either physically or maybe just spiritually, but it will be as if we are calves being released from a stall. If you’ve ever been to an amusement park on a major holiday, it may not be hard to imagine. Simply being a child of Christ promises us pasture, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in & go out, & find pasture,” (John 10:9).
In this New Year, it’s time to go out! Jesus comm&s it, especially since we underst& first-h& just how important it is to be welcomed when you are hurting. Luke 14: 21-24, says, “. . .the owner of the house. . . ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets & alleys of the town & bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind & the lame.’ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads & country lanes & make them come in, so that my house will be full.'”
Go out. Invite them into your heart. Whether it’s sharing about Rest Ministries or loaning a sermon tape to a hurting friend who doesn’t know God, get out of the comfort zone. Jesus will provide those tambourines.
We don’t need to think about the ups & downs of the season. Istead, think of going out!
God Bless you,
Rest Ministries Founder