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  1. Slate

    Thursday, 27 January 2011

    My friend Alece posted the other day how people keep telling her that with all that's happened in her story, that she can now start over "with a clean slate", and how she wishes they wouldn't.

    I was really pondering this and came to the conclusion that no matter what happens in our lives, there is no way we can have a clean slate. None.  Even salvation will not make your past disappear. My past, your past, Alece's past will no less shape our futures than if we cut off an arm. It will forever be affected by it.

    Whether it is positively, or negatively, that's up to us.

    Have you ever tried to write on a chalkboard that hasn't been prepared? SO hard. The chalk doesn't stick properly so it slips and makes it difficult to read. What you are trying to write or draw doesn't adhere to the board.  To make your slate effective, you first need to use the side of a stick of chalk and completely colour it in. Thick. Then you dust it off. And then, you can write on it all the better.

    When God writes on us with His words, His dreams and His plans for us, it helps that there's a little past residue left for Him to write over.

    James 1 says

    "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

    While I wouldn't necessarily reccomend giving that verse to someone in the midst of said trial, (as Alece said, save the rhetoric) it is good to remember ourselves that God wants us complete, whole. Not lacking anything. If our lives are proverbial slates, and we have surrendered ourselves into His hands, before we can be effective and usable, first He needs to prepare us. Get us a little dirty... we need to learn the things that are required. I myself have gone around and around in circles with some things, and on about the 3rd time around, I'm asking God "what did I miss? What did I fail to learn?!" It will be messy at times. It will hurt. As my pastor says, there will be spiritual blisters.

    Alece, me, you... we've all been prepared. Some have had more chalk scraped over their surfaces than others.  Some of us have been dusted off. Some are still in the midst of preperation. Don't wish away your past. Don't ignore it. It's being used by God to shape who you are in Him.

    Not lacking anything.
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  2. 7 comments:

    1. Denise said...

      All's grace...
      that our good, bad and most ugly can be instruments to shape us to what He most desires.

      Shalom,
      Denise

    2. Ayla said...

      This really resonated with me. I tend to convince myself that the past doesn't exist because it's been erased by God. I am realizing that while God does make old things pass away and makes everything new we still carry the memories from our past with us through life. They still impact who we are and have become; how we relate to things and relationships; and how we feel about ourselves especially. I'm working on what that impact looks like in this season rather than denying it's existence.

      God bless you :)

    3. Jen--just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for the safety of you and your family. I watched the news this morning of the cyclone that's about to hit Australia. I pray that you all are safe and out of harm's way.

    4. Jason Wert said...

      Wow...you didn't just hit the bullseye with this post. You obliterated it. I've had the chalk caked on thick and it took me quite a while to realize how necessary it was for God to do that. At the time it's happening...it really sucks.

      And it took me a while but that verse you quoted has gotten be through some really difficult times. It's hard to find the joy but it's there.

    5. From Tracie said...

      You are so right....to wipe away our pasts, the struggles, the pain, we would have to wipe away all the lessons learned, the closeness to Jesus when there was nothing else to hold onto, and the strength that was hard won. All of those things are an integral part of who we are, and of the story God is writing with our lives.

    6. Becky Miller said...

      Sweet analogy!

    7. Tracy said...

      Good point, never thought it about it like that...I think when we want to "wipe our slate clean" we aren't open to sharing "our story" and so much of our story is the hard, dark, ugly parts that HE has made beautiful!

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