Sunday, January 03, 2010

Everlasting Arms

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 12:10-13 NIV

10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Good morning!

The cold weather is a constant reminder that my body is just a temporary shell, and not built to last forever. Does the cold, winter weather make your joints and muscles ache? A few months ago, I slipped and fell in my garage at home and did some major rearranging to my neck and right shoulder. The below freezing temperatures are reeking havoc with my old and brittle bones this morning. Can you feel it too?

Because I have always had full use of my arms and hands, it never really occurred to me what it might be like not to have full range of motion, or the ability to lift and move in certain directions without pain. The fall has impacted every aspect of my life on many levels, even apart from where my bones intersected with the hard concrete floor. In the split second when my sandal broke and the force of gravity carried me down, I managed to reach upwards, attempting to catch myself before I hit the concrete. In that fleeting moment, I tore the bicep muscle away from the bone in my right arm. I really didn’t know the extent of this injury until after I had an opportunity to see the shredded muscle in the arthroscopy pictures taken during surgery. I was amazed at the damage that was caused from one missed step. Have you ever missed a step in your life that caused irreparable damage to yourself, your family, and friends?

There is a photograph hanging in one of the gift shops of the Holy Land Experience® in Orlando, Florida. It is a picture of Jesus, on the cross, looking at His outstretched arm, pinned by a large stake pounded through His flesh. I am reminded of Christ’s suffering in this picture, as I see how His muscles were literally pulled away from the bones by the sheer force of gravity. I can sense the unrelenting muscle spasms and pain He felt in every nerve ending running up and down His arms. He willingly, obediently gave His life for you and me! Whenever my shoulder twinges, I think about the agony of Christ’s suffering and I receive a small glimpse of what He endured just to save me from my sin.

His arms are everlasting to everlasting. His reach extends far beyond the depths of the earth. He will catch you when you fall! Jesus Christ is the only One who has the power to raise you up again. One day, I know this flesh will fail me. Jesus made all the difference when He died and rose again! Because He lives, I have His Word that I will receive a brand new, perfect body; there will be no more muscles aches, pain, or tearing of flesh away from the bone. I have been grafted into the vine of New Life! I was purchased at a great price, and His gift was given freely to me. This is why I love the winter time! I know that the physical pain I feel is a blessed reminder of Jesus’ love for me. I say, “Let it snow!”

If you have fallen away from your faith, today is a perfect day to begin anew with the Lord. He will pick you up and carry you, if you will only cry out to Jesus today. Come and worship the Lord with me! Our earthly flesh will one day fail us, but Jesus Christ has conquered all sin; He heals our flesh, and gives us everlasting life! Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior right now.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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