Sunday, April 15, 2012

Try It the OTHER Way!

I have always believed myself to be ambidextrous.  I came by it honest.  My right-handed parents gave birth to a left-handed child and so I learned how to do most things backwards.  Well, backwards to me...correctly to most of you.  My parents taught me to fish, bowl, tie my shoes, bat and many other tasks right-handed because that is the only way they knew how.  

Yesterday while playing ball with my boys I learned something amazing!  When it came my turn to bat my husband told me to "try it the other way" know, just for fun.  So I did.  Guess what?!  I am a LEFT-handed batter.  I couldn't believe how much better I did just by swapping hitting sides.  It was unbelievable!  I hit the ball almost every pitch and it went a LOT farther.  I was (am still) astounded!!

Then I got to thinking about how that lesson can be applied to my spiritual walk.  You see, I've had sort of a regeneration of my faith in the past month.  I have discovered that I had not been giving God or Jesus enough credit.  Somehow I thought that Jesus' blood and sacrifice covered my sins BEFORE my conversion and profession of faith, but I was still trying to work my way to "getting better" by my own efforts.  

Thank the good Lord I got that straight!

I had put so much pressure on myself that I was ready to call it quits. I was just done.  I was overwhelmed, frustrated, aggravated, angry and most of all just tired!  I couldn't do it anymore.  That's when the grace of God was redefined for me.  

To think all these years I had been trusting God to save me from my past but still trying to work my way to heaven!  I'll keep this truth short and sweet with a couple of verses:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new."  2 Corinthians 5:17

" ...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ...being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."  Philippians 1:6,11

I am a new creation that has been started by God Himself and the fruit that is in me has been placed there by Jesus.  God is going to finish what He started.  There is no work that I can DO to add to what has already been done.  As the hymn says, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." 

Does this mean I stop serving the Lord?  Absolutely not!  But now, I do it for Him to get the glory; not because I'm trying to make up for my mistakes.  His grace covers me when I mess up.  He is not surprised by my blunders or screw-ups, He is not looking down on me shaking His head wondering what He's going to do with me.  He knows exactly what He's going to do with me!  I just need to let Him!!

All this time, I had been trying to pave the way to heaven MY way instead of relying on the way that had already been paved for me!  All this time, I had been batting the wrong way!  When I finally got turned around the right way, things went much better.  

It still feels a little weird when I bat left-handed.  But I know, now, that it works MUCH better that way!  It is the same in my spiritual walk.  Sometimes it stills feels strange to accept God's grace when I mess up and keep going.  It feels odd to trust God to do all the work while I simply spend my time being His instrument and getting to know Him better.  But I'm discovering that things just don't work MY way; instead, I need to turn around and try it the OTHER way!

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