I couldn't dance well if it was to save my life. I am clumsy and am not at all graceful, but I so wish that I could dance. One of my favorite shows is 'So You Think You Can Dance'. I watch those young people dancing and am just in awe of their talent. Doesn't matter what style; ballroom, latin, modern or even the newest styles of animation or popping and locking. In my heart there is a dancer, in my feet there is not. Maybe some day in heaven I will have the grace and the freedom from my self-consciousness to express what I feel inside. Until that day I will just live vicariously through those I can watch on tv.
Jim and I were talking with friends during a home group discussion and the verse in Psalm 37:23, "The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord" was brought up. When we surrender our lives to Christ and accept His righteousness, we are seen as righteous by God. We are washed and made anew by the blood of the One who gave His life for us. Our ways are to become His ways, our will is to do His will. In our discussion one friend was sharing about talking with someone years earlier about what happens if we find ourselves outside of God's will. And the answer was, if that happens then it is God's will for us to return to His will. Sounds confusing but it's not.
As we continued our discussion I saw a picture in my mind of those cutouts of footsteps from many years ago that you would lay out according to a diagram to learn a new dance step. All you had to do was follow those footprints that were laid out for you and you would be the next Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.
In our lives as Christians we have something so much better. We have the One who went before us to follow. That is so much better than paper silhouettes. He left a plan for us to walk after, the Bible. And He left Another to lead us in our steps, the Holy Spirit. And God, before we were even born selected the music that we were to dance to in this life. He is the great arranger, orchestrator and choreographer. If we are willing to dance in the pattern that He left for us we will see a beautiful art form emerge. The dictionary has one definition of dance being an artistic form of nonverbal communication. What a beautiful way to describe it. I know there are dances that I watch where I start to cry because the 'story' being told through those movements is so poignant and elegant that I cannot hold it in. That is how our lives are to be. Without even a word, as we dance this dance with our Father leading us, we will be showing the world His grace and beauty.
I love the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, 'Lord of the Dance'. I fear my singing is like my dancing, better in my heart than out of my lips, but I got to sing this once in church with a friend. The song talks about how from birth we are in a dance. And how God orchestrates it all.
That is how I want to live out my life. To be held in the arms of my father and have Him lead me in that dance of my life. I remember as a child my dad taking my hands, my putting my feet on top of his and 'dancing' with him. I cry as I write this. I don't have a lot of great memories as a child, but this one I cherish. My dad leading me in steps that were foreign to me, but I was never lost because he always made sure that his feet were beneath mine, guiding me in something joyous.
How much more our heavenly Father leads and guides us in this dance. He has set it all in motion, from the music to the choreography to the performance. And when we have the great Creator moving us to the rhythm of His grand plan, there is no way we cannot be the dancer He created us to be.
So, do I think I can dance? In this instance, held in His arms...yes I can!
You know the old cliche'...
Only time will tell. As clever as a fox. A diamond in the rough. All of these are examples of a cliche'. A phrase or expression that has been overused to the extent that it loses it's original meaning or power. We have all used them. How about 'that meeting lasted an eternity'. Or 'that scary movie frightened me to death'!
We hear them all the time. I think those of us who have been in the church have heard a few too. 'Trust and pray, there's no other way'. 'Keep your eyes on Jesus'. 'God is good all the time, all the time God is good'.
I was putting away all of my Christmas decorations yesterday and putting all of the decor that is normally up back in place. Thinking of prayers that have not been answered...yet. Trying to stay encouraged even when all I can see is the list of unanswered prayers and heartfelt cries that seem to have gone unheard.
On a table by our door are two little knick knacks with phrases on them. I bought them about a year ago. Two little reminders of what I have built my relationship with Jesus on. 'Believe: Believe when it's beyond reason to believe.' 'Faith: Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes see.'
Two statements, that when I bought them resounded in my spirit. Reminders of the truth of the God I love and serve.
But over time, as dust built up on those little tchotchkes, dust also seemed to build up on my hopes. Those little phrases of encouragement became mere cliches.
I had forgotten that although mere sayings can lose their power over time, the Word of God NEVER loses it's power. No matter how many times we hear a scripture, it is potent. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is alive and powerful. John 1:1 says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Hebrews 13:8 quotes that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. So no matter how many times we read a scripture, how many times we quote it, it never loses it's strength. No matter how many times we grab on to a verse and cling to it like a life preserver, it never becomes a cliche'.
God never lies; He never changes His mind. So if His Word says HIs plans for you are for your good, He means it. If His Word says to ask according to His will and it will be given to you, it is a promise. If His Word says that the promise is for you and your children, it is a sure thing.
Remember, a cliche' is a man made saying that has some truth to it. Scripture is God-breathed and inspired truth that never changes.
God is true and sure and loving. His promises always come to pass and even if it seems like it is taking too long, His timing is perfect.
And remember, it's always the darkest before the dawn.
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