Thursday, March 2, 2017

Two Testaments & Grace

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 61: Today, I am grateful for 2 Testaments and the testimony of a life lived with grace.

I started somewhere else this morning, but... here is where the Spirit led. 

My Jill (my best girlfriend and Sister-in-Christ for 28 years)... and I served the Jr. High together as our last duet before her death. 

We walked the Jr High teens for two years through "The Story" and I must confess, I have fallen a little in love with the old Testament.(Gasp.) I loved Dr. Ellwanger but I did not ever have my "ah ha" moment in Old Testament survey. I did the homework and did well, but I missed something. The puzzle of the way the Old and the New Testaments come together through the work of Jesus birth, death, resurrection and return leave me... speechless. How the Hebrew traditions and Jewish faith is rolled into it... only a mighty God could make it all come together. 

Jill served on Wednesday nights, no matter how bad she felt. I think she only missed one night when she was too sick to put her shoes on and get there. 

She was determined to be present and engaged until she couldn't with our Jr. High youth. She chose to LIVE with cancer. Perhaps, our previous year in the Old Testament bore fruit in both of us and beyond. 

She did not... outside of the most private moments and places of suffering... complain... ever. She could have. She spoke quietly of the hurt but would smile anyway. She struggled with the nausea of treatments.  It was tough... but I think visions of complaining Israelites danced in her head. She would not be of that spirit. She would seek His face and His grace. I thank God for her rich legacy of faithfulness.

I was off to grab a favorite scripture: "When you seek me, you will find me, when you seek me with your whole heart.", but this is what appeared when I opened Biblegateway this morning. My verse of the day:

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. -Job 23:10-11

What? "I will come forth as gold." Go, God! Your win. Your choice is far better than mind. He always wins... but it still amazes me every time he throws in a twist into this morning routine of ours. 

Remember my earlier post in the month... "no one names their kid Job". Perhaps, someone should. Talk about a rich legacy. No one wants to sign up for Job's trials.  What ever makes us think we do? 

The enemy sends trouble and God, sometimes, allows it... that the struggle may do a tremendous work and bear fruit in our spiritual lives.  Not always in the moment, but echoes into eternity from those who serve... suffer and keep the faith. "She has no fear of the future." She will not be moved, except to her knees to be comforted and held.  

"The Story" made it all so simple and chronological that it finally made sense. "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament in the Old Testament revealed.  One without the other is missing half of the story.

Mary and Joseph grew up with the Old Testament scriptures. They never dreamed they would be part of the bigger story. But, when angels showed up... things could change. Trust, belief and a God who has not changed. He keeps his promises. 

Both testaments... together... tell the greatest love story ever.  One that would not give up on souls that felt empty and lost. There is such joy in saying yes to his grace. There is an epiphany when we see that the Old and the New are ONE STORY. 

Today, I am grateful for 2 Testaments and the testimony of a life lived with grace.

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