A New Spirit
The first thing Jesus says after resurrection don’t hang on to me, then he says to spread the news about what has happened. Spread the news that a new day has come, God has begun a new thing a new way to come unto God has been made and through it all of creation will be reconciled to God. The good news that grace embodied in Jesus is offered to all no matter who they are God loves them.
It has not been long that I have committed to Jesus fully, that I have taken up the Jesus way. I am a Christian, a Jesus follower. I can see how my life is irreparably different. Things are not the same. For better or worse, my life is different is in the process of being transformed into new life into eternal life. I believe and the New Testament tells me that life after Jesus is different and this different life is good. That God is good and all are called to come and see. I would like to reflect briefly, on how my life now is different, better different. I have grown and while I still have further, much further to go with the grace of God I will become the person God intends me to be. I am not the person I ought to be. I am no longer who I was. I am on the way.
I affirm here and elsewhere that this life, the life we are living here and now matters. That our life, this life will stretch on beyond the grave that through Jesus we have been gifted with eternal life beginning now and going forward. The Later God will handle. The now is where we need to be. We should live our lives with one foot in this world and the other in the Kingdom. We should live this eye with one eye on our needy brothers and sisters and the other eye on Jesus.
Things are not the same. Things aren’t as they were. Life is not static. I cannot change the past. I must move into the future, the future that God has for me. I do not believe that my best years are behind me, but ahead of me. I am done wishing I could change the past to change the things I did wrong. I am at peace with my past—the good, bad, and indifferent.
I had a friend. A friend I still love, but no longer is in my life. I was partly responsible for this busted friendship and I admit I did things I regret and wish I could change things I want to take back, yet I cannot and must accept what happened and learn from it. I miss this person and wish I could reconcile with her, but I know I cannot. For the first time, I feel I can celebrate the past, accept the failure, and move into the future. I want to use this collapse to bless my future. I pray she is well and happy. I hope she can do the same and if not that one day, she will be able to smile at the past and pray for the best for me.
If you have suffered a break up, a broken heart, a lost a loved one know that these things happen to everyone and God can and will use these relational crashes to bless our future. I believe the bad things, even the worst when we don’t know or if we can go on will make us more compassionate and able to experience the good that comes our way too. I don’t know why we suffer. I do know that we can and I intend to allow my suffering to serve my future as a blessing.
I believe in the God who doesn’t waste anything. I can choose to let my hurts and wounds cripple and deform me or I can let it transform me into my best self, into the new person offered freely in Christ Jesus. Each of us has a choice when heartbreak tears all our plans apart to shrivel and become bitter or to let it shape us to let it make us better than we used to be. When we choose to let it make us better than we will truly see what God’s grace really, really means. In our worst moments God is there beckoning us to a new day.
Jesus is telling me to release the past to drop it and to receive a new spirit for today that He wants to give me. He may be telling you the same. I pray that I can (and you) accept this new spirit Jesus is offering.
Rob Bell says that at the heart of the Christian story has been the insistence that it’s in the mess, in the blood, in the heartache when we are standing there totally disorientated with all the fragments of the tomorrow we were planning on laying at our feet and we cannot get them back together it’s in those moments it’s in a cross in the worst suffering you can imagine that God is most present. And not just present, but this God does this Gods best work. In those moments bringing out of that old creation a new creation bringing out of that Friday a Sunday bringing out of that death a resurrection.