Recently one of our SUMites sent me a lovely word that I believe is relevant to all of us and I want to share it today. It's a great analogy of the work Jesus does in our homes.
Here's what she said:
"Ann, does Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia mean anything to you?
I got a lovely picture of how he walks through and all the snow melts and things come to life. That's what I saw for your household."
That was from Libby Finan from the UK, who many of us know as she has been with our community for several years. It's always a treat when she sends something like this. Yes it was a message to me, but as I sat with it yesterday I felt "It's for us all!" So, if she's reading today, thank you Libby. And, I'm guessing most of us know the story of Aslan the lion from C S Lewis's book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardobe? If not, it's a great read.
As for the picture of Aslan that she shared above, isn't that a beautiful analogy of how Jesus works in our families? We welcome him in, he enters our families, and things do start to change. Often the wait is far longer than we are comfortable with, but we start to see glimmers ... sparkles. It might be seen in the fact your marriage gets that little bit more harmonious. Or that your spouse begins to verbalize acceptance of your faith instead of the opposite.
Jesus is indeed to us like a strong, majestic lion, and He has the power over anything the enemy can throw at our families. Because of that, the following verse is such an important one for us:
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:2o, NKJV)
Indeed shortly, shortly God crushes the enemy and he turns winter into springtime for us. But 'shortly' for God can take a while. And the work of Jesus might take the form of a gentle thawing, like the dew of Heaven lightly settling onto different areas of our lives. It's a blossoming here, a blossoming there.
Last month one of those little glimmers happened in my own household. It might seem small but it felt big to me:
It was my birthday and I'd asked God for something nice. Why not huh (I'm smiling).. And yes, something special did happen that day. That evening our son Miles decided he'd like to go to a church social event, and Bryce offered to drive him. It was a 10-minute drive. The next thing I know I get a text from the pastor's wife: "I've just met your husband."
It turns out that when they'd arrived no one was there except the pastor and his wife and so Bryce had got out of the car to meet them. They had a lovely chat and he enjoyed it. They sound to have covered a lot of ground, including his own church background and their own sense of calling, and they chatted a while.
The sweet pastor's wife (her name is Olivia, and she is 28, so young and non-threatening) then said ever so nicely, "You'd be so welcome to come to church if you like," At which point Bryce threw his head back and laughed, "Well ...."
It was all good natured and low key, but it was the first time Bryce had actually gone near a church event and got out of the car. Further, the friendliness and ease of it all felt to me like a new blossoming. That day Bryce met 'my church' and liked them. It prompted a quiet hooray in my heart, and a thawing. Just like the Aslan picture above.
Yes, when Jesus is welcomed by us into our household, things do change. Have you found that in any area yourself, I wonder? Let's chat in the comments.
p.s. The lion painting above was done by Lynn. I thought it was a good fit!