How To’s or Relationship?

The ‘how-to’s of life sometimes feel a bit nebulous to me. Not knowing what to do next creates havoc with that comfortable feeling of security that we all desire. Following directions for me causes insecurity….for I have a personality type who asks, what if…., why not…., what would happen if….

Mother decided I needed to learn to sew when I was 16. I chose red taffeta material and a pattern with a top with a peplum at the waist and sleeves with a gussets. Mother raised her eye brows, but that was her only (non-verbal) eloquent comment. I could picture the finished garment and wearing the red statement of a new dress that I had made.

I read the directions. What? I looked at the pictures, but could feel no connection with the directions and the how-to’s. How would the pieces come together to complete the red creation I envisioned?

The gussets escaped me entirely. How could diamond shaped pieces fit in the under part of the sleeve of the? I could see the purpose, it gave more movement for the arm, but really – “How in the world does this gusset fit, Mom?” I moaned and whined. Mom, the Guru of the Sewing Machine, hovered in the background. “You have to ‘ootch’ it in,” she said quietly.

“Ootch? Ootch? What is ootch?” My voice rose with each question mark. She explained how to stretch and push or … “ootch”.

Then Mom ‘deserted’ me and left the house. As she left, house was filled with the sounds of a teenager in throes of tears and frustration. When she returned, the gusset fit, though with a few unintended tucks, and I was smiling.

Some times our lives are like the fitting of the gusset into the sleeve. We want the how to’s and list of ways to be a wife, to be a mother and to be a Christian patterns. We have to ‘ootch’ in order to make our lives fit the ‘how to’ mold. We have forgotten that each of us are created uniquely, and have different gifts.

Is it simple? Yes, all we need is Jesus and all His name means – salvation, love, faith, trust, goodness, patience, self-control, gentleness and peace. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us after He left this earth to return to Heaven. In Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, for our bodies are the Temple of God. The Holy Spirit is living with us. We do not need a ‘how-to’. We do not need a list of 10 ways to be a hostess to the Holy Spirit.

We simply need a relationship with our Lord and Savior. We simply let His love flow through us. His forgiveness gives us His grace. The Holy Spirit teaches us. There is no long list of how-to’s to accept His grace. No, all we do is ask Jesus to come into our hearts. Not once, but every moment of our days. There is no ‘ootching’ with Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 gives us the promise of how much Jesus loves us. ….being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Instead of a bowed head of hurt and a crying heart, we live with a song in our hearts, a song of ascent to Jesus. We learn more and more each day to nestle into the arms of Jesus. No matter what age, we learn. We learn to love others – seeing their hurting hearts and not build fences of division shutting out our neighbors.

With Jesus in our hearts, the mystery of life becomes a simple way without the complex lists of do’s, but a simple path of strewing petals of faith and love for others to follow to Jesus.

And we praise Him with the words from Revelation 5:12

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,- to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Psalm 37:5-7a – Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.

Revelation 5:8-12

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, 
because you were slain, 
 and with your blood you purchased for God 
- persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,- to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Comments? eacombs@eacombs@cox.net