Our Legacy

2-Corinthians-4-16-18-webGod has really laid on my heart lately about how short our lives are from his eternal perspective.  Sometime they are shorter than we can ever imagine……25, 3, 2 or yet to be born.  But what He has shown me is that our life doesn’t necessarily end when this life is over and we are called home.  How we live our lives, live out our faith, face the big things, the bad things and the small things are threads that God is weaving in a giant masterpiece and we are not aware how our lives impact that story.

The Bible is full of stories that jump off the pages to exclaim that our lives are much more than the short span between our birth and death.  Our life is a legacy that has the opportunity to carry it forward and for God to use for generations to come.  This realization has changed how I want to view the here and now.

For example, there is the story of Rahab.  As you recall Rahab became a spy and helped Joshua as they entered Jericho.  For her help, she was spared.   Who would have thought at the time, surely not Rahab, that she was being singled out to aid the God she had a growing conception of. It was such a call that made her willing to sacrifice her own nation—an act which would have been otherwise treasonable.  And her legacy?  She would have a son, whose name was Boaz.

I hope you have heard of the story of Boaz and how he met Ruth.  Boaz becomes Ruth’s kinsmen redeemer, much like Jesus is our Redeemer.  If you aren’t familiar with their story, please go read the book of Ruth.  It is only 4 Chapters long, but worth the read when you learn their significance of their legacies!

You see, Boaz and Ruth are in the lineage of Christ. So are his great-​​great-​​great-​​great-​​grandmother Tamar, his mother Rahab, their future great-grandson’s wife, Bathsheba, and, centuries later, Mary — all the women listed in Matthew Chapter 1.   What a great lesson in how we live out our lives doesn’t end when this life ends.  Our legacy casts a much longer shadow….centuries!

And how about Joseph?  Joseph was sold into slavery at age 17 and died in Egypt at age 110. That’s a long time to wonder when God’s plan would start to make sense or when he would get to go home for good. But in all that time I don’t find a single place where he ever cried, ” God, how long will I have to live like this?” Or, “Lord, when will it all work out?” His life speaks to me across the centuries reminding me I am not promised the next step or the next breath, so I should trust my times to God’s schedule. His timing is always right on time. (Quote by Dr. Kie Bowman)

Lastly there is the life of John the Baptist.  Jesus said of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11:    Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.  Wow.  It doesn’t get much better than that and yet John the Baptist was beheaded.   Beheaded!  Below is an excerpt from a sermon from John Piper about John the Baptist:

“And as he sits alone in jail, wondering, is this how the kingdom is supposed to come, Herod throws a birthday party for himself. And for a little sexual bonus for the guests he has his step daughter dance. She was so pleasing that Herod promised whatever she wanted as a gift. She consults with Herodias her mother, who hates John the Baptist, and says, “The gift I want is the head of John the Baptist on a platter” (Matthew 14:8).

And in two simple verses, it is done. And how many times have I put myself in John’s position. He is sitting there in prison hoping for release to continue his ministry and his life. The door swings open, and there are two men, one with a sword. A moment of silence. Then the executioner says, “Come over here and kneel. If you struggle, we will bind you.” “Why? What’s going on? What happened?” “They liked the king’s daughter’s dance, and she asked for your head.” And the last thing John is left thinking as his short life ends is: “A dance? A dance? My life for dance?”  And everything in us wants to cry out: Meaningless! Meaningless — except for one thing. We have looked to the unseen. And I have heard God say in 2 Corinthians 4:17: This too, this seemingly irrational, pointless, meaningless murder of a great man is preparing (producing!) for him an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.  It was not meaningless. At that moment eternity changed. A special, particular weight of glory was forged for John the Baptist forever.  And so it will be for you. Therefore, do not lose heart. Look at this unseen, eternal weight of glory day by day, and be renewed.”

God has shown me in His word that my grief is not meaningless.  There is beauty from the ashes.  I have already witnessed some of that.  But, there are many generations to come that will weave more events from my life for the purpose and glory of God.  My prayer is to be faithful and open as God continues to write that story and one day in heaven I will witness how God used it for his purpose!

And until that day, I will claim the promise of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I close this posting with a song from Shane and Shane “Thou you slay Me”.  This has been one of the most meaningful and healing songs for me in this second year of grief.   As you recall, Job lost his family, his belongings, and his health.  In Job 13:15 it says:  Though you slay me, I will trust you……

Which brings me back to what started this blog posting……our pain and suffering isn’t meaningless…our story is much more than just our life.  When you begin to filter your life through this truth it is life changing!  Therefore, be encouraged that our life casts a much longer shadow, over generations and centuries!  May that view, change how we approach life day by day.  So, everyday I will fix my eyes on what is unseen because it is eternal…..and God I give you my life to help write that story…..Amen.

Blessings!

Julie

I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still more than I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.

I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen.

When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at 40, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.

Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.

WWW.TWENTYCOATS.COM

IMG_2083After six months of re-branding and a new Facebook page I am so excited to announce that the website http://www.twentycoats.com is finally ready!  As you will see, I have re-purposed Elizabeth’s Twentycoats logo, utilized sunflowers (her fave!), and the  blue skies always asking me to look toward the heavens.

The site is complete with an ordering capability that provides order and shipping confirmation emails, allows me to track the orders more effectively, and has the capability to let you “pin” to your Pinterest board!  There is also a quick link on http://www.twentycoats.com to this blog site!  You will also find a cross reference link to the Twentycoats website on the menu at the top of this blog site.

I’m still loading more wreath pictures and adding individual descriptions, but couldn’t wait to roll it out!

I hope you take a peak and someday consider ordering a wreath to be a part of building scholarships for Elizabeth and the boys and watch beauty rise from the ashes!

Blessings!

Julie