Week 3: Spring in the City

Early spring

nature’s light

brilliant sky

and heaven’s light

 

Red breast

a bleeding heart

does not mask

a work of art

 

You return

to greet the dawn

you call

dance up on the lawn

 

Dew drops settle

one little jig

becomes a

spur of the moment thing

 

You flutter away

branches that sway

the young await

crying, awake

hungry for feeding

your joyous meeting

“The Red-breasted Robin”

~ AJB

I finally saw my first robin today, rather late, if I may say. There’s still snow on the ground and I think the pile in the old K’Mart parking lot by Penn Ave will take at least until July to melt completely. Ah, the beauty of an upper Midwest winter.

I say upper Midwest because it’s not just a Minnesota thing or a South Dakota thing (etc.). Granted, each state has its higher plains and lower plains (such as the Twin Cities…we’re at a higher elevation) so its location gets affected differently, but all in all, the general weather is the same. You never know when it’s going to snow or blow. It has even been known to
skip seasons entirely in this area. And yet…I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I love the change in seasons, with its extremes and non-extremes.

Spring brings to my mind thoughts of light, vibrant color, fresh air and purity. It’s a new start. A new beginning. Life.

A life of purity is only part of God’s calling on our lives and it is something we strive for and cannot attain on our own.  There are so many books on the market today speaking in regards to this topic. In spite of all that, I still find myself returning to God’s Word primarily, followed by a few of my favorites from authors I’ve come to respect and can turn to when I’m needing words of wisdom from someone who’s been there.

I recently finished reading And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh and still find myself digesting that book. She starts by bringing the reader to the attention of the truth in Titus 2:12-13: [God’s grace] teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God’s grace does not mean we are automatically omitted from worldly temptations. We can’t even begin to know how to protect ourselves if we don’t take the time each day to kneel in His presence and learn from the One who created us. We cannot attain purity on our own. There is no secret formula. We aren’t born innocent.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5) All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We weren’t born pure. Only God can take us there.

The enemy likes to make us think that we cannot possibly wait for God’s wonderful gift and that if we were really intelligent about it, we shouldn’t have to wait. Take Eve for example. God had commanded that both Adam and she not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We have to believe that this was for a purpose. If only Eve had waited for God to
reveal His purpose to her in His time.

Or David, perhaps. Recall the story of his love for Bathsheba and the consequences that followed his adultery and murder. The consequences of sin can last a long time and be very painful, but that does not mean that God no longer wanted David to be in a loving lasting relationship with Him. When David came to Him, there was no hesitance, no delay. God
immediately took him back. We must be ready for Satan. Know that saying no to him is what pushes us in the direction towards purity.

In Sex 180, the authors (Chip Ingram and Tim Walker) write, “God’s saying, ‘These boundaries are all about my love for you. I’ve got a great plan…You can have a normal life that’s whole and real. You can have real excitement without all the baggage, shame, or guilt. I want to bless you…I want you to enjoy life like you’ve never imagined. That’s always been my plan. It’s why I put up guardrails. I gave a few commands. Why? Because I don’t just want the best for you—I want the very best.’”

And yes, the wait is difficult. We live in a world that seeks instant gratification. This is the 21st century and with the technology boom, we have instant gratification at our fingertips. We’re also surrounded by a physically sexual culture on a daily basis. It’s hard.

But we won’t go through it alone. You can rest in that. God will walk you through and make it possible.  Accountability goes a long way.

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