Tuesday, April 28, 2009


ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES (a weekly devotional column)

What an Exchange! The gray, winter fur that deer shed becomes spring nesting material for birds. Faded, fragile leaves of autumn fall and then decompose, adding nutrients to the soil so other plants can grow. Dead trees become havens for bugs and birds. When the trees fall they become refuges for many critters.

God has planned it so nothing in nature is wasted. Years ago people wasted nothing also. When I was young, my mother transformed cast-off clothing and hand-me-downs into pretty, new outfits. We reused glass containers. We fixed our broken bicycles and cars and radios. We mulched our gardens with grass cuttings. We conserved our water. We mended our socks. There was no such thing as waste in our family. In fact, many families considered waste to be extravagant—even sinful.

Today we live in a throwaway society. But because of economic hardships, many people are learning how to recycle and conserve.

God’s ability to make something new out of the old is amazing. He’s in the make-over business not only in nature but in humankind. As He causes nature to revitalize itself, He teaches us through His Word how to make sure that process continues. And He shows us how to revitalize our bodies and minds.

It’s our souls He’s most concerned about, however, and there is no greater miracle than the transformation of a person’s soul. Such a miracle happens because God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Only through the shedding of His blood could we be reborn … renewed … transformed.

“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)

Becoming new doesn’t require us to mend the rips and tears of our souls or recycle our nasty, destructive habits that steal our peace and joy. What it does require is to allow those bad habits to die, like a decayed, fallen tree, so God can transform us into a new, spiritual house—a habitat that will draw others to His protection and sustenance and love just like the critters are drawn to His natural homes of refuge.

Lord, thank You for Jesus’ promise given in Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Amen.

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