Rodeo season in Houston is once again upon us. Time to take my boots from the shelf, dust 'em off, slide them on and get ready for some fun. Some folks have the opportunity to wear their boots often, due to living in a country environment or being a part of a livelihood where boots are not an option but a necessity.
Others of us just pull 'em out for the sheer excitement of being a part of the rodeo world for a while. Regardless of why we buy boots or wear boots, they are a reflection of our style and character. They're sturdy, they are shields from snakes and pests. They're warm, they give support, they don't fall off, they protect and lastly... they are feet huggers. Bet you never thought of that!
Now, how to roll this into a devotional: New boots are stiff, and often times hard to get on. They are polished, no scratches, smell good, like new car, and at first walk aren't the best of comfort. And upon evaluation, the decision has to be made...are they worth the expense and the effort to break them in? Is this a long term investment of time and possible blistering, and occasional discomfort? Will I be patient enough to wear them and allow them to mold to the contours of my given footprint?
Aren't those all questions that we have to ask ourselves about life? How pliable are we or we willing to be? Or are we stifled in our own self controlled environment? Are we willing to take on the process of life and allow God to mold us along the way? Sure we are going to encounter scratches and scuffs and stains but aren't they are sign of character?
Every time God presents us with the challenges of blistering circumstances, his marks of love and mercy are being sketched onto our hearts. For the more we wear our faith and dependence, the more pliable we become in spite of adversities that surround us. God is using the very circumstances of our life which come charging at us to mold us and transform us.
Kind of like the new boots. We have to want o break them in. Doing things God's way is not easy. And we have to want to accept His direction even when it is seems like his way is stiff and also is not a quick learn.
The lesson is simple, just slide into what you know to be firm and true and trust God just a little at a time to work through you. God knows how hard it is for us to overcome the stiff desires of emotions and reactions when life hurdles are upon us but he also offers his hand of trust as you hold out your hand of faith.
For new boots have no story! They are either handmade or factory assembled and their story comes to life only through the wear and tear of the user.
As I wear my life story I have to ask myself am I allowing God to transform my stiffness and need for control into being pliable and knowing that whatever things I need to wrangle, or contests I participate in, or trails that I find myself traveling..am I a reflection of God's will and His way?
Breaking in a pair of boots takes a lot of time and a bunch of steps....it is a process that gets better with each wear.
As it is with us....as we allow God to break us in and mold us according to his will ...this is where we find true comfort and peace. But just remember God is never in a hurry even when he sees our patience running low. Everyday our story is being molded and transformed. We may not see the results in clear vision, but this I know....the more you trust God the more peace you find within you.
The closer we get to God the more comfortable we will be in our boots!~
Dear Lord, Thank you that you help me to take the everyday little occurrences of life and create with in me an analogy that helps bring my focus back to you.
These are just a pair of boots, and though the steps I take in them are little, your process of transformation is grand. May I be reminded of that truth often even when the progress seems blurred. Amen
Praise God wherever you are or whatever situation you are in...for His glory will shine through.
Sidenote: Last night we presented this devotional to a precious group of about 30 women who are widows and afterwards we asked: What is the status of your boots right now? (your relationship with God on your journey) Have you put them on?(Are you engaged in a relationship with God) Are you moving forward? (Are you trusting God) Are you breaking in new territory? Are they sitting by your bed or are they gathering dust on a closet shelf? Are you making strides forward and allowing them to be molded according to your personal footprint. (Do your trust God to direct you) And around the room the explanations and responses were amazing, filled with depth and lessons of courage and love and very transparent. It is a little reality check worth contemplating!