Good Works

I’m feeling called to write again. As usual, I will get to the end of whatever this is & pray on it. But the answer already feels known. All day I have heard a voice in my head saying, “do your bible study.” I replied, “yeah, yeah — later.” Later when I’m done working. Later when I’m done dinner. Later, in an hour, when my show is over. Later. I heard the command again as I settled into the TV show I wanted to watch tonight, as I snuggled into my blankets, as I tried my best to internally hold my ears & “na-na-na, I can’t hear you!” my way out of feeding my soul, because sometimes the TV binge watch part of me needs to be fed too. Clearly, we all know where my less-than-admirable attempts got me.

So I cracked open my journal, found my place in the study & began. That’s the thing about bible study, the devil will be in your ear all day/everyday trying to deter you from beginning — whisper you don’t have the time or it’s boring or you’re too tired (sound familiar?) — but if you can just start you will quickly realize his deceit. What could be better than soul food? As I settled into my bible study tonight — Ephesians! — it quickly became clear that there was an important reason. As I mentioned in my last post, God is a gentleman — so I thank him for keeping his “told you so, took you long enough, Cope” to himself.

Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” So we can do the good things he planned for us. Another key word here, “create” which also means “to build.” Have you ever tried to build something? I have. It’s sometimes surprising I am my father’s daughter with how badly I build things. I celebrated the other day over properly building a bar stool for my kitchen counter & I still am fearful when I sit on it. Building things is a tough gig & the human race, we’re all teeny tiny houses being renovated in Christ. We’ve got water damaged (broken) hearts & cracks in our foundation, we’ve got a dated walled-up floor plan & God comes in Chip Gaines style & has to knock down walls in order to make room for the dream layout. Knocking down walls? Fixing pipes? Ripping up carpet? Stripping paint? These are not for the faint of heart. If we are all homes, this renovation is painful. But you know what we get at the end? Like any good episode of Fixer Upper (my Lord, I need a life!) we get the big reveal. God shows us who we were & reveals to us our new beautiful, well equipped selves. We don’t leak anymore! We have a strong foundation. New paint. New Carpet. New soul.

Ephesians 4:23–24, “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds & to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness & holiness.”

It is from this new soul, this new lease on life, that we are able to do the good works God has called us to do. Our renovation crushes & creates in us a soul that is equipped with everything God knows we need for his plan. That’s right, His. This time in life can be painful — it can be full of deserts & Coachella’s (Yes, I’m still trying to make “coachella” happen), hard lessons & confusion, loneliness & loss — but in Christ we have a promise. That all of this pain is not for naught. That it will come together for good. I wish more people knew that.

My mother would always say to me growing up, “it’s just a moment in time honey.” She would say this to me when the winds couldn’t seem to find my back. It’s just a moment in time, it’ll pass. I would repeat it in my mind & like ink through water the words would change me. My mother has a habit of being right (I both love & hate this), but it is only now at this age that I can truly appreciate the truth in what she was saying. As I hear of people committing suicide or lock eyes to meet another hopeless gaze or listen to another abandoned goal that a person felt called to do, I wish to yell my mother’s sentiments. It’s just a moment in time! Don’t give up, hang in there. As I said in my other post, God will never give you more than you & He can overcome together. Proverbs 24:16, “For the lovers of God may suffer adversity & stumble seven times, But they will continue to rise over & over again.”

God spent 40 years working in Moses before he could work through him.
Joseph suffered 13 years, many of those in prison, before God placed him on a throne.
Paul spent 3 years in solace.
David spent over 20 — waiting, with a mad man running after Him — to see God’s plan for his life come to fruition.
Sarah would have never had the depth she needed to become “the mother of nations” had she not trudged through the moments that would end up making her.

If you think someone has never felt as low as you feel — please read David’s psalms he wrote running from Saul. With all the terribleness David suffered, he never stopped trusting God’s plan. We all need a heart like Davids. Because we are all David; called for good works.

If you’re reading this I hope you know God has a grand plan for your life. I pray in the valleys of life — you hear God saying, “it’s just a moment in time, honey.” I hope you inscribe it on your heart & it runs like ink through water & changes you. I hope you chase big dreams & fight great battles. I hope you know that just like Moses & Joseph & David & Sarah & Paul, that you are so much more than a painful moment — you, my friend, are made for good works. A good life.

XX

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