|I’m a list maker. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb with a Post-It note stuck to my forehead and a planner in my right hand. It is my life. It actually turns out to be a good thing because the hot flashes that come at age 50 cause power surges in your brain resulting in the need for daily reminders about everything. I am certain that is why they invented those little SMTWTFS pill boxes and the like.
Anyway, I need seven reminders every day, and you do, too. Lucky for you, you will not have to figure out what they are. I’m going to tell you. Well, actually H is going to tell you. H is one of my girls in prison. Several weeks ago, I gave the girls a homework assignment upon the conclusion of our study of the seven “I am” statements Jesus made in the Gospel of John. I wanted the girls to reflect on which “I am” statement they most needed to be reminded of at this time in their life. H completely ignored my instructions, and I’m so glad she did. Her homework knocked my socks of and gave me the seven reminders I need today and everyday. She said I could share them with you.
“Seriously, Trae, how can I pick just one? Every day of my life, every encounter with every person, all the difficult circumstances and challenges, all my fears, and all the times I disbelieve. I need seven reminders every day.
I need to be reminded in the morning when I wake that He is the bread of life. He is my sustenance for the day. I can’t start or finish without Him.
While I’m at work doing my job, conversations around me can be dark and the atmosphere heavy. I need to be reminded He is the light of the world. He is in me, making me to be a light in the daily grind. He enables me to add light and not darkness.
Throughout the day when I am speaking to unbelievers and those who are difficult to love, I need to be reminded He is the gate. It is not me or my words. He alone can save.
When I feel conviction rise up in me, I need to be reminded He is the good shepherd. He is just getting me back in line where I belong. He knows best. When the enemy attacks in insults and rumors and backbiting, I need to be reminded He lays down His life for me as the good shepherd. He fights off the enemy.
When I give up and give in to all the things around me – negativity and discouragement, disappointments and pain, I need to be reminded He is the resurrection and the life. Resurrection means He is powerful like no other, bringing life to my broken spirit. He gives abundant life I can walk in every day and eternal life!
When I get into the dorm and I want to nap instead of having quiet time with Him or I don’t want to go to devotional time or I don’t want to pray or I don’t want to read His Word, I need to be reminded He is the way, the truth, and the life. I need access to God. Jesus is the way, and I need truth spoken into my spirit that’s weary. Jesus is the truth I need to live life like I say I believe. He is my example. Jesus is also my life. I’m nothing without Him.
And as I wind down for the evening, after reading His Word and praying, I lay down and go over my day, and see where I failed to love others, where I doubted God, where I didn’t obey… and I need to be reminded that He is the vine. I cannot possibly do anything without Him, and I have to remain in Him. I have to obey His command to love Him and love others. I have to accept His discipline, even if it looks like a bad co-worker or a not-so-tasty meal at chow, or no money for commissary, or no visit from family, or no mail, or no whatever. I still want to love God and love others, but I can’t unless I abide in Him. And I can trust Him to prune me so I won’t be an unruly, wild bush. And I thank Him in all circumstances… and I ask for more of Him and less of me and for another chance tomorrow to get it right.
I need seven reminders every day.”
Yes, H. Don’t we all?
More of Him. Less of me. Another chance to get it right.
May we be reminded who Jesus is.
May we know Him and make Him known.
“I am the bread of life.” John 6:35
“I am the light of the world.” John 8:12
“I am the gate.” John 10:7
“I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11
“I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
“I am the true vine.” John 15:1