My wife and I just completed Whole 30. She first declared the commitment. No way I was going to sit on the sidelines. (Yes, God can use pride!) From the very beginning it was an unlikely gift. My pangs. So many times at the end of the day I wanted to split a beer (as my wife and I do) or glass of wine. Or through the day go for cheese. I'm from Wisconsin. I love cheese.
Awakened me to my "creature comfort" dependencies on food and beverages. False promises. Spaces in need of being Filled.
In the past 30 days I've more deeply discovered the power of prayer-filled poverty. Turning pangs into prayers. For family. Friends. You. The World. I felt more intimately connected to His Power. The Power of the cross. God's sovereign Will holding up my weakened will. I am surprised, and amazed.
I've never felt healthier in mind, soul and body.
All the more has He convicted me of His Power alive in community that shares a mission. The purpose of family. So inspired by older children who accepted similar challenges. Experiencing God's plan of resurrection by way of death. Our oldest son just two years ago grumped as we headed to the final cross country meet. He vowed to never run again. Now his eyes are fixed on a marathon. He's up to 20 miles, unrelenting training even in sleet and snow. Role reversal. So inspired and challenged.
So moved by connection of discipline to discipleship. Hearing God's voice. Taking steps of deeper surrender. Recognizing his sustaining power in family.
We are hardly perfect. We have four teenagers. They have me. Intense. Focused. Sometimes stressed and relationally disconnected. Often missing the Mary for the Martha. With our respectively turning to Jesus Christ, picking up our respective crosses, it truly is amazing how certain relational tensions prior to 30 days ago are gone. Gone.
Of course, we know the Enemy is always there. He's not happy. Our ever-awakening awareness that God is present in all His power. In spite of our weakness. To conquer the gates of hell. In our lives and others.
Sharing all this now because I want to remember. I want to proclaim. I want to be held accountable. I want you to know of our prayers and ask for yours for the same.
Lord, may your victories in our lives be for more than a moment! May they forge in us the character of your Son, Jesus Christ! In our thinking, feeling, believing and living. Thank you for your mercy when we fall. And we will fall! Help us remember that you have appointed, and what you have appointed you have anointed! Help us to keep getting back up. And each time, to "turn and strengthen" the others. Keep our eyes fixed on the Finish.
May all come to recognize there is really nothing so special about the victorious, except the audacity to receive your Gift... the same Gift offered to them. Increasingly may your accomplishment through our weakness give testimony to your real, present power to the world! We are your families. We are yours!
And by the way, thank You for the cigar and scotch I look forward to having in celebration of your Holy Resurrection.