“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
I John 3: 1a,b
Recently I was invited to join a group of women for an overnight getaway to celebrate a milestone birthday of a wonderful woman. I was very excited to get the invitation but I was also surprised.
During the time that it took me to be able to determine if I would be able to attend, I was also flooded with those dreaded thoughts that have too often caused me to send my regrets to the sender.
- Why me?
- Why was I invited?
- Do they really want me to come?
- Am I any fun to be around?
- And just what will I wear?
- What will I say…sometimes I feel like a social misfit?
- Will I feel awkward?
- Do I really fit in?
Carl gave me his blessings and said to have a good time that he could handle the homefront just fine. So on the day that all the rsvp’s needed to be received by email, I sent off my email saying that I would love to come and to count me in on all the fun.
I neglected one important detail…the getaway was completely paid for by the birthday gal’s generous husband.
So…getaway I did and I had an incredibly fun time…great conversations, late night frolicking, encouragement by the bushels and celebration to the nth degree and way too much indulging to divulge.
As I returned home, I found myself reflecting on the weekend that I had nearly said “no” to because of my insecurities and doubts. Saying “yes” required a bit of courage on my part as well as letting go of not knowing every detail and not being “in control”. But it also required me to believe that I was wanted and needed by the birthday girl and the other celebrants.
The party invitation just said…Come…let’s party…come and celebrate with me!
Jesus too says, Come…dust off your shoes and dance with me…sing with me and celebrate the new life that you have in Me.
All those years ago, if I had said…No Jesus, I am way too busy… I am not good enough for you, wait until I get my act together… I don’t know what to say…I doubt you really want me, certainly you must be mistaken, gotten the wrong address. What would I have missed out on, had I said no?!
And once again, I left out that important detail….HE PAID FOR IT ALL….I just had to show up and reap the benefits! I just had to be me and that was enough.
I want to celebrate everyday, I want to live big and not be so easily sucked into living small, I want to take Jesus’ hand and let Him take me for a twirl around my world. I want to say “YES” with abandon, not looking behind me or to the left or the right but straight into His eyes, without blinking or flinching!
Second Corinthians 3:18 reminds us that:
” And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Because of Christ, the dividing wall, the veil has been lifted and we have the opportunity to live a life that will reflect His expressed image to the world not in a static way but in a dynamic way!
Psalm 34:5 proclaims that “those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
Lord, help us to always remember that when others look at us that our faces are radiant and we can thrust off the past shame of our lives because we have been cleansed, redeemed and renewed. We don’t have to continue to rehearse the past but look brightly at the present and future.
During school days, two people were chosen as captains and one by one the remaining children were picked to comprise the teams. It was discouraging and a bit embarrassing if you were among the last to be picked. But in Christ, we are all picked first…read the invitations He has given us:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
I Peter 2: 9, 10
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”
Isaiah 55: 1-3
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3: 20
“The Holy Spirit and the bride ( the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty, who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened; and whoever earnestly desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost.”
Revelation 22: 17 (Amplified)
Lord, thank You for inviting all of us to this party called life, for that, we can truly celebrate. Help us to learn to stop the knee jerk response that tells us that we are not enough, not special, not valued, not worthy to be loved or to be included. Thank You that You have asked us just to come and be Your children, You will do the rest if we let You. Help us to kick up our heels more often and celebrate with You and others with reckless abandon and without regret. Thank You that somehow, and it remains a profound mystery to me, that You bring about perfection in our weaknesses. Give us eyes to see the invitations that come our way each day and give us courage to say a resounding “YES!”
In Jesus’ name,