Day 1-Living Intentionally with Arms Wide Open
Matt and I often process our life and call ourselves bi-polar. We are constantly changing our mind or thinking up new things to try. We ebb and flow all the time. And I think this is normal. And healthy. But maybe it looks a little crazy. You see we aren’t afraid to adopt 3 boys, move six months later and then move again 8 months later. We aren’t afraid to put foster care on the beam and then take it off when God says no. We aren’t afraid to try this ministry and that ministry and find what fits. We aren’t afraid to color outside the lines. The best thing about this is that God in his infinite mercy and love gives us this freedom. He gives us the freedom to run wherever we desire, to run where our hearts are. And then in his wisdom and mercy he gently guides, he says no this way, or yes that way.
I like to call our “crazy” living with Arms Wide Open. It is the best way to live! But recently as I was laying in bed and praying I clearly felt God say that my fists were clenched tight. What!! Ugh!! That is so hard. God I live with arms wide open all of the time. I know what that means. Can’t you see our crazy!! But do we live ready to to do the really hard stuff, like be pruned off of our yuck and then live REALLY free and just be who we are. Do we live free enough, with arms wide open enough that we really don’t care what others think? That we don’t conform to religious rules or rules of the world? Or are our fists clenched tight?. Yeah, God said mine were clenched tight. So he does the work of prying our arms open. He whispers to us, do this, live like this. Even I, who thought I lived wild and free with arms wide open, wiling to do whatever crazy was next, even I was schooled by our great God. He said I can’t use you if you don’t know your worth in me. If you are so focused on all that is wrong in your life and you keep speaking negative over yourself, I can’t use you. He said I am going to tell YOU what to do and you have to go that direction even if it’s not a majority vote in the world. I am going to tell you what to put on the beam and what to take off (read Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love to learn more about “the beam”). And I want you to be ok with it even though it might feel weird and different and against the grain. Jesus says have you seen my life, I didn’t exactly do what was expected, I kind of lived a little wild and off the cuff, just follow me and go with it. Arms wide open child!! Alright, let’s try it. Because I’m always ready for new things man.
So living like Jesus, what does that look like? Jesus is SO INCREDIBLE. He walked around breaking all the religious rules and didn’t give a lick what anyone thought. He was bringing the kindgom. I think following Jesus looks like loving the poor, loving our neighbor as ourself, loving the orphan and the widow, forgiving everyone, and giving unending grace all of the time. It is reckless and fun and wild. It is being able to never judge but only love. It is giving your money away freely. It is being open and accepting to everyone’s ideas, to learning and seeing new and different ways of doing things. It is loving others even when it is hard. It is reconciling and forgiving freely. It is making your space safe for others to be welcomed into. It is truly ARMS WIDE OPEN!
“Welcome to this place. I will show you everything. With arms wide open.” -Creed
At the end the lead singer of Creed stand on top of the mountain with his arms wide open. Man that’s how I want to be always. I want to live free and wild. I want Jesus to show me everything as my arms are wide open to his goodness. And I think mostly he is saying, child I just want you to be joyful and free. And to KNOW and BELIEVE that. I don’t need you to DO anything for me. I just need you to live in grace and freedom and allow others to do the same. And as your ARMS ARE WIDE OPEN, I will move through you.
Let’s stand on that mountain today arms wide and free rejoicing in this crazy life we are blessed to live!!!!