My friend, may I ask you a question? Is Christ bidding you to a spiritual holiday at the sea beyond the thresholds of life’s slums and into a personal witness of his ever abiding love? Are you waiting because of your doubt or fear? He’s waiting, why not keep walking?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
When Holly and I first visited our future home here at Beech Springs it was an exciting day for us. I can still remember walking through the threshold into the old kitchen, now remodeled and completely changed, into a rather small and dingy cooking space without a dining area. We stood in that threshold and wondered, “This is way too small?” But, as we passed through the threshold into the spacious Great Room just off the kitchen we looked at each other and said, “Wow, we need to buy this house.” Had we stopped in that kitchen threshold and gone no further, there would be no Beech Springs today. One of the things that Holly was looking for was a bigger and better appointed cooking and food preparation area than her space at the moment in our old home. This certainly didn’t fit the bill, and we could have easily turned around and ended the tour right there. We are so thankful today that we didn’t try to work out the issue of the kitchen prior to visiting the Great Room. The magnificence of that room enabled us to think consequently of what might be done with the kitchen, instead of the kitchen determining how we envisioned the house altogether. Now 30 years later we couldn’t be happier that we kept on walking through the kitchen into the soul of that house, the Great Room.
John 15:11 states this poignant and riveting message from Jesus. “I have told you that so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Jesus had just told his disciples that he was going to die, but that they should not be discouraged since their future joy lay beyond the threshold of the moment. Joy lay beyond the suffering, if only they remained faithful in their search for a faith that overcomes and a believing heart that lives in hope.
Here’s a thought from C.S. Lewis. “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (C.S. Lewis.)
Life is full of many thresholds, some of which may be opposed to us moving beyond them for fear of how we might cope or where we might end up. Holly and I stood at threshold of that small kitchen. For the moment we were overwhelmed by an expectation that seemed beyond our momentary grasp. That kitchen would not suit us. Nevertheless, the house called us to keep going, look more closely, discover the soul of that home: its Great Room. Our lives in Christ are no different. We need to understand that being satisfied with just what is safe and tangible spiritually is really a false premise, a mud pie not a sand castle. Our joy, true spiritual joy, is found only IN Christ. It lies beyond the thresholds of material joy, even the joys of Christian stewardship and service. Christ calls us to a special joy, a place that can only be reached when we’re willing to keep walking spiritually, a place IN him and not waiting doubtfully without, always in a threshold and never in the Great Room of his presence. Christ is bidding us to a spiritual holiday at the sea beyond the thresholds of mundane living and into a personal witness of his ever abiding love. Keep walking, ignore your doubts and fears. He’s waiting.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for providing a joy beyond all understanding, the joy of abiding in Christ and, thereby, abiding also in you, the God of the universe. May we always retain a willingness to follow in the footsteps of Christ, even when they lead to suffering and persecution. Forgive us, Lord, when we pause and become discouraged because of the sorrows of the day. Help us to walk in the spirit and never look back. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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