When all you have are broken pieces, how do you start the new year by faith?
One of my favorite comfort foods is fried rice.
If you’ve never made this Asian fave, think of it as pasta for Chinese people. It’s versatile. You can whip it up in a skillet, pan, wok, or whatever. The key is sauteing each ingredient separately and then combining it all at the end.
One advantage that fried rice has over it’s Italian cousin may be this — the ingredients that make up the best fried rice are leftovers: day old rice, frozen veges and diced sausage.
In other words, nothing is wasted. Stuff usually considered second class citizens in your fridge are thrown together to conduct a symphony that makes your taste buds sing.
At a time when everyone is busy cooking up their new year resolutions, I’m opening up my soul and I find left-overs.
I’m excited about this new chapter in my life, but those fragments of failed attempts, insecurities and old thought patterns seem to clutter up the pages.
What can I do?
I don’t have a 10 step plan to share with you, but I can offer you a story that somehow answered my heart’s query.
A little boy who had only two fish and five loaves of bread handed his lunch over to Jesus.
Jesus gave thanks for them, broke them into tiny pieces, and served 5,000 hungry people with them. There were left overs that day too.
As I look down at the broken pieces that I’ve carried into the new year, I have to be honest.
It’s hard for me to imagine Jesus giving thanks for the scattering of efforts and my lack of consistency. It’s even harder for me to picture anyone being fed by my words.
But I also have to say, whenever I dare to lift my head and look into Jesus’ eyes, I see Him steadily looking at me with kindness. I feel His hands placed around mine and I hear Him say,
“Bonnie. I love you. Give all these things to me.”
I gather my mustard-seed-sized faith — so tiny, it’s only whisper thin — and offer up what I have.
Here it is, Lord. Help me believe.
Don’t Hold Yourself Back
If you’re feeling hesitant to go for the blessings God’s put on your heart this year, don’t hold yourself back because of history or shortcomings in your view.
Jesus isn’t looking for perfect people. He’s eager to show us that He can make something beautiful out of our lives this year.
Give God your broken pieces.
Dare to share your journey through the hard places, along with the good.
In Jesus’ hands, we can place ourselves as is. He accepts us, gives thanks for us, and blesses what is broken to feed the people around us: friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers.
~ If God is for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31
~ Nothing can keep us from the love of God ~ Romans 8:35
“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture..” The Message Romans 8:35
~ We have an Advocate, Jesus, who prays for us all the time. ~ Romans 8:33-34
“Who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. The Message Romans 8:33-34
I’m throwing these promises into the mix of doubts, and I’m stepping out with just one word. I’m focused on who I’m becoming, to give me confidence in the doing.
As for fried rice, I wish I could invite you all over and serve you a bowl.
Then, you’d be totally convinced I’m not spinning a tale, when I tell you this dish is the best.
How is God encouraging you today?
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Thinking of You
A quote from today’s post is featured in DaySpring’s new DayBrightener Home For The Hearts of Women for a page in January. So, I thought I’d refresh it from the archives and share it with you.
I wrote this two years ago, when I was battling to complete my book proposal — that eventually got contracted to be published. Little did I know, while writing the manuscript, I’d be hijacked into this season of healing with post-traumatic stress.
How much this post encourages and strengthens my heart today!
May it touch your heart right where you are, as we enter into the last week of January. The words He’s spoken to you years ago are still alive, speaking new in you again. Jesus has not forgotten and His love and faithfulness will not leave you stranded in the middle of your journey.
Don’t hold back, friends. Trust Him with what He wants you to do next. We can do so together, knowing we’re not alone. Even as we move forward with fear and trembling.
With much love and affection, Bonnie
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