At Home with God

It doesn’t feel like Easter is this coming Sunday…. anyone else feel the same? It’s so surreal isn’t it? We’re not running around finding gifts for our kids’ Easter baskets, grocery shopping for a big Sunday gathering, picking which friends or family we’ll hunt Easter eggs with, packing for a long weekend out of town or making reservations for a special Easter brunch. 

We’ve been stripped of so much … our independence, our plans, our routines, our work, our… (fill in the blank). We’ve been forced to stop and surrender. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really built for surrender. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. I like to make a plan, to execute plans, to lead, to strategize and implement….lots of active involvement in everything. But surrender means letting go, yielding and giving up my possession of All.The.Things.

Is it ironic then (or perfect timing) that this is Holy Week, and I’m confronted with Christ’s surrender for me? When you’re given His ultimate gift of life, you can’t NOT take it. It’s a humbling gift… one that reminds us, 

we are not alone,
surrender is possible,
sin and death have been conquered, 
and giving up our plans isn’t the signal of the end. 
It’s simply the beginning of something else.

We’ve already given up so much because of the circumstances around us. But have we given what’s most important in our lives to God … our priorities, our time, our hopes, our family…? Perhaps you might think it’s a weird time to consider more surrendering, but I was reading something in Joshua this week that brought to my attention to the juxtaposing positions of fear and a wholeheartedness towards God.  

Joshua had accompanied scouts to check out the promised land for the Israelites, however when they returned, the scouts came back fearful and spread intimidating news of the promised land, which ultimately caused the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. He shares, 

I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. Joshua 14:8-9

Every day I am confronted with anxiety. I can not control it and I don’t know when it will hit. I just feel it in my heart. So while surrender seems to be the last thing I want to do, it is the only thing I can do to settle my fears. When I start seeking God wholeheartedly and place my trust in Him, peace follows. In the New Testament, Jesus reiterates this again and speaks about fear and a wholeheartedness towards God.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

Will you join me this week in yielding, letting go and surrendering to God? God has something in mind for you and me. It’s OK that our days aren’t unfolding in the ways we had imagined. Remember, in the “unlikeliest” circumstances, God shows up. In the midst of a plague, He passes over with protection. During the enemy’s pursuit into deep waters, He parts the sea to walk through. In the despairing wilderness, He provides manna to eat. After a moment of complete darkness and abandonment, He shows up to bring life and light. We can’t control our circumstances, but we can follow His leading. He will roll away the stone. 

Remember, the Lord is our God.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Let’s get creative

We’re going to make a mixed media home (or many individual homes) as a marker of where we are now… surrendered with Christ at home. Together let’s celebrate the Passover and God’s ultimate deliverance, Christ’s life given for us. Pull out your scrapbook paper, old books or hymnal pages. Cut your special papers into geometric shapes… a triangle for the roof and a square or rectangle for the base of the house.

It’s fun to use the patterns of your decorative paper to find ways to enhance your mixed media house collage. Perhaps there are flowers on your paper… use that for a garden scene around your house or as flower vines crawling up your home. Perhaps there is a scroll design on your decorative paper… use that as a door knob. Perhaps there are circles on your decorative paper… use that for your house windows. Cut out the wordsInspiration and decoration can be found anywhere.

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