August 12, 2009
The other day I was hanging out downtown Seattle with some friends. We took a day to spend along the waterfront, eating fantastic food and doing all the fun touristy things. We had a great time! Such a great time, in fact, that while we were enjoying the fresh sun and cool pacific breeze, I didn’t stop to think that I needed some SPF coverage. So I didn’t apply any- even thought I had sunblock with me.
The result was a sunburn in the exact shape of my neckline, (a trendy oblong shape- so trendy for shirts, so not trendy for sunburns.) Oh- and we’re talking tomato red. Painful, weird shaped, and quite maroon in color. Desperate to save my skin, and keep from peeling, I turned to a secret weapon: my trusty bottle of Aquaphor. A friend had told me about it, and it saved my sunburned skin a time or two, so for the next week or so I slathered it on. I worked hard to transform that sunburn into a tan! I didn’t not want all that sunburned pain to be in vain! Day after day I put on lotion, oil, and the trusty Aquaphor to keep my skin hydrated and soothed, in hopes that it wouldn’t peel, leaving me white and dry, and instead cool into a beautiful golden tan. Hey, it’s worked before!
So, here I am one morning putting on Aquaphor when I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me. (Yes. While attending to my sunburn.) I had seen some skin start to peel, and I was trying, TRYING, to keep the rest from following suit. As I was desperately putting lotion on my neck, the thought came “Why are you holding onto dead skin”?
Whoa. Wait a minute. Dead skin? This is my TAN, this is vindication for a SUNBURN, this is…. oh my goodness, it’s dead skin…. Gross!!!
I then felt prompted in my spirit a little further- what other dead things am I desperately holding onto?
What dead things in your life are you holding on to?
What are things that you have gone through the fire over, things that God is trying to burn out of you, that you keep holding on to? Are you holding onto dead friendships? Dead dreams (hey, I wanted to be an Olympic ice skater)? Dead paths? Are you working in vain, like I did? Doing everything you can do to rescue that part of your life, to keep it from leaving? And I’m not talking about losing faith. I’m talking about the things that deep down you KNOW that God has been dealing with you on- are you letting them go into His hands? Or are you desperately working to keep them- even if it’s just (like me and my tan) for appearance sake?
We all have dreams, we all want relationships, and we all want friendships- but take a look at your life. Is God leading you in a new area, or onto new people? Is He closing doors on old relationships to make room for new ones? Yes, it’s painful- it’s never easy going through the fire. But maybe you’ve learned all you can from that friend of yours. Maybe you need to go in a new direction now, and God is revealing more of His plan to you. Anything new is never easy- it’s challenging and uncomfortable, but that’s when we grow most. So take a look at what’s going on in your life. Let go of the old and dead, and embrace the new life that God has for you! When it hurts, let Him comfort you. It’s a blessing of God. His word says it, and God himself will prove it: “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4