February 12th
I don’t know about you, but for me this is true. How I so easily take for granted what it is God has given me. And it is usually in the process of losing the gift that you finally realize the value of the gift. It has been said “that you don’t really know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” And I have often said, “whatever you devalue you eventually lose.” Now, perhaps you can relate to what I am saying and you consider these platitudes to be true from personal experience. Perhaps you have lost something or someone because you took it or them for granted.  And perhaps the regret feels permanent or the “thing” lost seems irreplaceable. And it just may be that way. 

But God.

You see, when you add God to any situation, equation, or relation, you are throwing off the odds of impossibility and entering into the arena of the miraculous. With God, all things are possible. In other words, no matter the item lost, years wasted, the talent misused, or the person taken for granted, God can restore the years eaten by the locust (Joel 2:25). And not only does He restore years, but also, He realigns our heart -- so we can better see the gross error of devaluing what is valuable, or in some cases, that which was invaluable.  

For many, it may be too late because that season has passed, or that person is long gone, but nothing is wasteful to a God is who faithful. He takes everything, and I mean everything, and He uses it to re-frame our focus and get us to look more like Jesus. He wants our perspective to be constantly appreciative with what He has given us and He wants our character to take the shape of Jesus. 

So how do we do this?

Ultimately, it is when we entrust our lives (and everything attached to our lives) to God’s hands that we are trusting His hands to be safer than our best-intended plans. I know all that I am and all that He has given me is better off given back to Him to govern for His glory. But I also know how hard this “casting” back to Him can be. Why? Because I am plagued with the mentality where my focus, without Jesus, is me-centered. And when the “me in me” wins, others always lose. 

The Apostle Paul would write, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). And therein lies the loud secret of losing yourself so as to gain God Himself. The “me in me” dies hard however, and declares civil war on soil that is already pioneered by Christ. I know this, yet how many times do I fail to give this struggle to Jesus? Which leaves me taking my life--and everything in my life--back into my own dead hands.  

Dead hands cannot grasp the value of that which they hold.

So I pray, “Lord, I give You my life to hold and I ask for You to give me Your hands to behold this life. Amen.” 
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