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It is Time

The new year is finally here. I can't say it feels much different from the end of the last one. When I was growing up, I used to stay up to midnight and count down waiting to see if something "happened" at midnight. This is much like waking up on my sixteenth birthday thinking I would be "magically" different. Of course, being older and wiser, I now know it is just a passing of time marked by human tradition. Yet, the childlike wonder is something I sometimes miss.

The past few days, I have had a bit of a "cleaning bug." Don't worry, it isn't contagious. I do not think it is a side effect of any current virus strains circulating about. I am sure, as is the case with most "bugs" it will pass soon enough. I have straightened and tossed things out. I am starting to believe my husband is right; I am a closet hoarder. One huge difference between this "cleaning bug" and a normal "cleaning spree" for me, at least, is my willingness to throw things away. When I get a bug, I am compelled to throw away. When I am cleaning, I merely clean and cram.

In my cleaning, I have had ample time to think. I didn't put on music. I was left alone. I actually spent it talking to myself and God. Do you ever take the time to have serious conversations with God? As with any conversation you have, a key component is listening. The Bible tells us in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (ESV) In John 10:2-4, "But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice." (ESV) It is also very important to understand 1 Corinthians 2:14 which tells us, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (ESV)

Before I move on, let's take a moment to digest the above. Maybe we are not receiving a burning bush but as Christians and those who walk in the Spirit, we need to be mindful of what we are being told by the Spirit, thus God. If we do not cultivate this relationship, take the time to listen and actively seek Him, we are failing to live out an important part of our spiritual lives. Without this, we are hard pressed to be able to discern the difference between the enemy, the world and what is the Truth. God speaks. He answers. He directs. He comforts. He listens. The question is are we listening? Can we distinguish His voice from all the other noise around us? As deaf as I am, I assure you, I know His voice.

I love my relationship with the Lord. There is nothing and I do mean nothing I hide from Him. He knows it any way so I am foolish if I try to hide it but I take comfort in going to Him. I know on more than one occasion He has had to remind me of something. I have cried more than once because I know I have let Him down. He loves me still. There are times, I can say He has no problem giving me a, how can I put this, "stern but fair" talking to. I accept those as well. As of late, He has been very much a comforter.

As I was cleaning, I was mulling over things to write in this blog. I have a nice "list" as it were and the reasons why. The conversation shifted. While I was avoiding the "outright" confession, He already knew. My heart was and had been overwhelmingly heavy. I was reminded of one of if not my favorite Bible verses. "What is it?" He asked. I told Him He already knew what it was and I knew we should not take Scripture out of context.

I was then reminded of the importance of the verse. It was at the end of the Last Supper. Jesus has spoken plainly to His disciples and told them many things. As you read leading up to it, your eyes are open to many, many things. He speaks of peace, the Holy Spirit, His time ending, the vine and the branches, His betrayal, entering heaven, warning of the world's hatred, love, asking in His name.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) John 16:33

In these words, Jesus summed up all He had told them that night. He told them to take courage. In spite of the inevitable struggles they would face, they would NOT be alone. If we remember the promises of Jesus, we can cling to the peace that can ONLY be found in Christ NO MATTER WHAT we face, what we are going through, what we went through and no matter what stands before us.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) John 16:33

Was there a single thing troubling me, weighing on my heart, that I was worried about, overthinking on, going through, upset about, etc. that Jesus had not been through, healed, addressed, experienced, overcome or died for? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Had He not taken MY place? YES HE HAD! Has He not promised to be with me? YES HE HAS! Has He ever failed me? NO HE HAS NOT! Is He not the Prince of Peace? YES HE IS!

I was reminded why that verse was so important to me - to me personally - and why He has never failed me yet. While I was cleaning, I was asked a simple question that I will ask you - is it time? Is it time to get rid of all the worry and anxiety you are hoarding? Isn't it time to throw it out? Isn't it time to fill it with the peace only He can fill it with? Why is it that I can quote the verse, love the verse, share the verse, shoot, I have a ring I wear with it to remind myself of it every day but yet I still harbor it... isn't it time?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) John 16:33

If you are like me, it is time.

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