Happy New Day!

Isn’t the title wrong?  Shouldn’t it be Happy New Year?  Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who doesn’t think so.  It’s not that I don’t want people to have a happy 2012.  But I think there is something people forget as they leave 2011 behind as a good riddance, while welcoming 2012 with declarations of how much better it will be.  Wasn’t it the same last year, and the year before that, and the year before that?  This 2011 we are so glad to leave is the very one we were so anxious to welcome only a year ago.

What we fail to consider in the midst of the excitement of a new year beginning is life continuing to happen in the new year, much as it did in the old.  Maybe not the exact same things, but we can be sure there will be challenges of many different kinds over the course of a year.  We tend to let those difficulties and challenges color our recollection of the old year.  We miss so much living this way, but we don’t have to.  While Jesus assured us we would have troubles in this world, He also gave us a different way to live in the midst of those troubles.  Take heart, I have overcome the world!1

It’s called a new mindset, with a focus not of this world.  It’s called living in God’s daily grace.  Many years ago, while caring for my aging father, I began to learn the only way to stay above being overwhelmed with all I had to do, for however many days upon days, months upon months, or years upon years it would continue.  Though my self-pitying prayer always concerned how much longer I would have to live this way, He guided me lovingly back to living in His grace for me . . . today.  That was all I needed for the situation and the day – His daily grace.

You see, our Jesus is always with us – present tense – and His grace is always with us in the present, not the future.  So, regarding this calendar year, listen to the prophetic voices if you want.  Let Holy Spirit stir your hope and give you direction in the midst of it.  Just remember, He won’t show you everything you will face this year because He knows it’s more than you can handle.2  But He will walk with you through every hour of every day, and His grace will be sufficient.

It’s amazing how much less power the negative stuff of life has over you when you choose to live with this daily grace mindset.  You will find yourself looking up to Jesus and His grace in that peace that passes all natural understanding, even in the midst of unforeseen and severe troubles.

Because of the daily grace of our God in Christ Jesus, we can daily declare Psalm 118:24, regardless of what we face:  This is the day the Lord has made; that’s why I will rejoice and be glad in it. (KPV – Kay’s personal version)

Happy New Day! 

1 John 16:33 
2 John 16:12

Of Caterpillars, Moths, and Butterflies

As I listened to the sermon during a Sunday service, Holy Spirit did what He does with me from time to time.  He took me down a slightly different path than the one the preacher was traveling, though it still concerned the same subject.  He was talking about metamorphosis, the root word for transformed, and likened it to a caterpillar caterpillarbeing transformed into a butterfly.  That’s all it took for my mind to “flit” away for a few minutes!

Romans 12:2, the main verse in his message, refers to being conformed to the world and its ways, or being transformed to reflect Christ to the world by showing a completely different way of living.  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I started thinking about caterpillars and how they become either moths or butterflies through metamorphosis.  One comes through the process so pretty that people enjoy watching it both in flight and resting, while the other is not so pleasing to look at and is considered a pest no matter what it does.  For those of you who are science enthusiasts, or at least have more than a passing interest in butterflies, moths, and the whole cocoon / chrysalis thing, I did research before writing this.  I understand moths and butterflies don’t go through exactly the same process in their transformation, and that some moths are not pests.  For the sake of this post, however, I will lump all moths into the dull-looking pest category, while lumping all butterflies into the pretty and harmless group.  One difference between the two I found particularly interesting is that moths are basically night creatures – creatures of the dark – while butterflies are awake and active in the light of day.moth

Neither moths nor butterflies are born to remain caterpillars.  Their destiny is discovered through the process of metamorphosis, in the hidden place, after which their true nature is revealed to the world.  Likewise, we are not born to remain the same.  From the verse in Romans, we see that our mind is the hidden place where our metamorphosis occurs.  What we become is a direct result of what we put in our minds.  If we pour the world’s thoughts, attitudes, and images into our minds, we’ll keep fluttering around in the darkness.  We’ll be just like the world, blending right in.  If, instead, we pour the Word of God into our minds, complete with its attitudes and images, we are actually transformed.  We won’t look, act, or sound like the world, but there will be those in the world who will be drawn to the Light of Christ now visible in us, the transformed ones.  We can remain in His Light, even in the midst of the darkness of the world, when we continue to renew our minds in Christ.

Caterpillars don’t have a choice about whether they will become moths or butterflies.  Therein lies the key difference between human and caterpillar metamorphosis.  We butterflycan choose whether we will be conformed or transformed, and it is done simply by what we put into our minds.  One thing is certain, however.  We will not remain as we were.  So, do we choose the world or the Word?  Do we become a moth or a butterfly?

James 4:4 “. . . Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.”  (AMP)