Thursday, January 5, 2017

Looking for a “makeover”?

I do want a makeover, yes, imagine, even at my advanced age. No, not the kind pictured here, nor the cosmetic kind, nor the fashionable dressing kind. Not even the physical appearance kind although health does relate to it. Primarily the kind of makeover you can't see, the inner person kind. 

It's never too late for that. Most of us are looking for a renewal of some sort which is behind all the flurry of resolutions that are made at New Years. We want to change from "the same old-same old" to some newness and we think we can do it ourselves. More often than not, we fail in the first week of the year. Voila! God is in the makeover business and I want to take advantage of His super-special offer! It's not a limited time offer, however. It is eternal.

I've made it a habit to focus on one concept or “word” each year which will give the rocket-thrust to my life at present. I have discussed that habit often in my blog posts. So I think I discern my “word” on which to focus my thoughts and life for this coming new year. I've been trying to listen to what God is nudging or whispering as His will for my current state and season in life in my 92nd year. 

The idea for my word lies in my blog post for December 30, 2016, An Eagle Tale: Rejuvenation God's Way. Therefore I have chosen as my “word” for the year, RENEW, including all the ways that I can unpack it to express how to live it out in my life. Reflect on that with me in light of the eagle story and my verse for the year 2017, Psalm 103:5 “It is [God] who satisfies your life with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Eagles knows all about senior-bird makeovers and we can learn from them.

The word renew carries with it many closely related definitions which will expand its meaning for me. Renew is an “again” word. The re- prefix seems endless when the dictionary is consulted. In the eagle story rejuvenation is the main point.

First I want to explore the meaning of the word renew: “to begin or take up again, resume, restore, replenish, reestablish to a former state, to make as if new again, to repair, to bring back to the original condition of freshness and vigor, make good any dilapidation, put into good or sound condition as from an injury, damage, wear and tear, decay, to mend, to restore what has faded or been lost.” YES! That's what I am asking the Lord for. From Scripture I understand that is what He promises to do for us and what He expects of us in our summit years—to be “full of sap and very green” (Psalm 92:12-15).

By the time we've lived a few scores of earth years, don't all of us feel kind of like we've experienced the paragraph above and, like the frumpy, worn out eagle in its later years, in dire need of a makeover?
That's what I plan to be working on for however long the Lord gives, trying to cooperate with Him in every area of my life. Not for my vanity or pride or by my strength or achievement, but by His grace and enabling and for His glory.

This is only an appetizer to give my friends a heads-up for what I plan to be about in the days and weeks and months of this year, or as long as He gives me breath and life. Also to invite and welcome you to join me on this makeover journey in whatever way it might fit your season of life and circumstances and needs in Christ.

I want to jump-start us by looking at my year verse in Psalm 103 in the paraphrased/amplified Bible which brings out additional meanings: It is “[God] who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age] with good; so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle's [strong, overcoming, soaring]! (cross referencing Isaiah 40:30, 31): “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and the selected young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord—who expect, look for and hope in Him—shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” What great starting gun verses for our journey into 2017!

I find it interesting that various versions of the Bible translate that first phrase of 103:5, “...satisfies your mouth, your days, your years, your life....” that is, bring to fulfillment and consummation whatever you and I need in order to be satisfied, complete, finished and contented.

I'm so eager to unpack other re- words and dig the gold out of them to apply to my life: refresh, refuel, rejoice, redeem, rebuild, recapture, refill, reflect, regenerate, restore, reinforce, etc. I'll certainly have to delve deeply into the verses in the book of Revelation chapter two where Jesus puts His finger on the loss of first love for Him (v.4) which unfortunately characterized the early Church at Ephesus. The folks in that Church had much that Jesus commended but were lacking in one priority respect. By inference we may apply this to ourselves personally. What “heights have we fallen from” (v.5) as the years have passed? His “word” for us is “Repent—change the inner man to meet God's will—and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord]” v.5.

I'm ready for a makeover, a rejuvenation, a renewal in every aspect of my life. Of course it might be costly and not achieved without surrendering some of the attachments of this world to which I have become accustomed. But becoming “transformed by the renewal of our minds” into the image of Jesus Christ is what it's all about, isn't it? (Romans 12:1,2)

On the lighter side, yes, there are some who are not too happy about their makeovers. But I'm not going to go there. 

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