Still feeling a little puny after the flu, I snuggled up with a cup of tea and my puppy to listen to our church service online. I always look forward to messages at the beginning of January. The new year promises such a fresh bundle of newness: new hopes, new dreams, new ideas, new possibilities. Nothing is impossible in January! And the eternal optimist, I always hope to hear that “certain something” which will make everything come together for me—finally.
And I heard something today. Something very good.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a couple of hard years. Major life stuff back-to-back. I felt like I’d barely catch my breath, and something else would come up. Between some nagging physical issues, emotional family matters, a huge, disorienting move, a joyful, yet stressful wedding, an overseas trip, a death in the family, unexpected care-giving decisions (not to mention my husband suddenly switching my computer from Microsoft to Apple!) all combined to create such upheaval on several different levels, that I thought I might just go over the edge at some point.
So the title of the message this morning, “Called to Defy Gravity,” intrigued me. Our new Legacy/Senior Adult Pastor who spoke today (Don’t you love the word “legacy” for a senior adult pastor? I do!) talked about life being so heavy at points that it can hold us down. He compared it to having weights around our ankles like a deep-sea diver, keeping us underwater. I felt like that. But then he quoted Hebrews 12:1.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” ESV
But that sounds so easy. Just lay the hard stuff aside. The stuff that sticks to us like glue, and we can’t seem to shake. How is that even possible? Because of another verse, Ephesians 2:6.
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” NIV
Those words went straight to my heart. We can defy the gravity of life because we have been raised to sit with Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, he broke the chains of sin that hold us down. And when He arose, so did we. The hard stuff of life is still there, it just no longer has any power over us—unless we allow it to.
Have you ever been sitting down somewhere, but because of something you’re hearing—something so good and right and true—your heart feels like a rocket, firing with joyful abandon out into the atmosphere? That was my experience this morning. But even better, I didn’t just want to listen, I wanted to change. That’s the power of God’s Word. And that’s why we’re supposed to saturate our minds with it every day.
I don’t belong in a watery grave anymore. No believer does. And it doesn’t make sense to be there. Why live down in a grave when our new home is up in the heavenlies? Exactly. And that is the choice before us every day. Will we choose to let the weights of life drag us down, or will we choose to look up to where we belong and to the One we belong to and say, “Yes, I trust You. If this is what needs to happen to bring You the most glory and make me more like You in the process, then I’m up for it—literally.”
I’m done with deep-sea diving this year. I’ll be defying gravity—because in Him, I can.
How about you?