Healing Spring

By Guest Writter: Alicia Hayes (Speaker for niNe. magazine)

Healing SpringToday’s the first day of spring! Your winter jacket hasn’t been picked up as often. Scarves are fashion accessories, not necessities. Floral prints are emerging in stores. Iced coffee and Frappacinos are being ordered again. You have to wear sunglasses while driving your car. Snow is melting – leaving puddles everywhere. Spring is finally, finally here!

Oswald Chambers said,

“If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.”

 

There are beautiful aspects of every season that reflect the goodness of God:

  • Summer shows us the beauty of freedom.
  • Fall shows us peace in change.
  • Winter shows us that there’s redemption in hard times.

So what does spring show us?

When I look around at people in spring, I see joy. Even though we all know that winter will come to an end, we don’t act like it. Spring comes and we act like we have never seen the sun or felt warmth in the air. It’s humorous, but refreshing. There’s hope in spring.

To me, spring represents that all dark times come to end. This time last year, I was not in a good place. I was in a bad work environment, I was lonely, I deeply missed my mentor who had passed away and I was recovering from a bad break-up. Things did not become immediately better; it took time. It took honesty with God and a willingness to be patient in His healing. A year later, I’m in a much better place. For me, when I see spring this year, it reminds me that God will always bring life to us again.

How do you see God in spring? Tweet us your thoughts to @niNeMag.

Save

Great Expectations

Are You Expecting Enough From The Church?

In a recent sermon, my pastor said, “The world often times has greater expectations of the church than the church has for itself.” If this is the case, then the church body (the body of believers) is failing the world. Not because we’re hypocrites, conservative or split on the topic of homosexuality, but because the world is looking for a Savior and we’re not giving Him to them. As the Church, we know the only Savior is Jesus – not Emma Swan on Once Upon A Time or President Obama or the tech guy at Best Buy who fixed our computer for the umpteenth time. The world wants a Savior, they’re being drawn to the Savior, they need a Savior and we’re hiding Him from them.

The world also expects the church to heal, mend, care for, teach and enlighten. In addition, the world expects the church to overcome evil, to instill peace, to help the poor and needy – the world expects change to occur from Christians. The world expects everything that God called us to do, but we’re too caught up in our own lives, our own fear and our own agenda, to give the world what it wants and needs.

Cross on wall over benchWe’ve convinced ourselves that other people don’t want to hear about Jesus. We’ve made ourselves believe that in order to respect other people, we need to not discuss religion, politics and a woman’s weight. But, in reality, it’s pretty disrespectful to hear the suffering and confusion of another person without sharing with them the solution to their problem. You see, Jesus is the solution to all human problems.

We’ve become too scared to talk about Christ because we feel like every conversation is going to turn into a debate and we need to know the bible in and out before we can carry on a conversation about Jesus with anyone. We’re scared that talking about Him will ruin our reputation. We’re scared that we’re going to fail the other person, or worse, we’ll fail God. How can we fail when God has our back?

The world needs to believe in a Savior, the church needs to believe in itself. The Spirit of the Lord lives in us and it’s that Spirit that the world longs for. So, it’s about time we give them what they’ve been looking for. It’s about time we believe in our ability to make a difference, to create change, to impact the lives of others. It’s about time that we trust the Lord and place ourselves in a position where He can work through us to bring other people closer to Himself. It’s about time that we have expectations for ourselves. We must stop looking at what we THINK the world wants from us and start asking the Lord what HE wants from us. We CAN go out and be like Christ to the people who crave Him, are searching for Him and long for Him.

Start your day by praying, “What would you like me to do today, Lord? My life is in your hands. Guide me into your purpose. Use me to help heal and mend a broken and hurting world. A world that desires You over all else. That is my goal for today and everyday – to satisfy You Lord by doing Your will.” Let’s stand and be the church that the world wants and more importantly, let’s do it together so we can encourage one another when we feel down, embarrassed or discouraged.