Garland Of Grace – 01.02.17

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Shedding Shoe Tissue for the Glory of God

“For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.” – Psalm 56:13

When my son Elijah was six years old, he had the joy of experiencing a very memorable, teaching moment. It involved a certain pair of shoes, a pair of camouflage running shoes – the type of athletic shoe any first grade boy would want to show off to his peers.  Initially, he was overjoyed and proud of the shoes, but after wearing them for a week, he went to his closet and dug out the old trusty pair of sneakers he wore before he received the new shoes. My wife and I were somewhat perplexed by this, and asked him why he made the change.  He told us that the new pair of shoes constantly hurt his toes, especially on one foot.  My wife and I looked the shoes over and felt inside the shoes.  Located down at the toe area of his left shoe was the packaging tissue provided by the shoe manufacturer to keep the shape of the shoe. My son had walked around for a week with an uncomfortable wad of tissue pressing against his toes and affecting the way he walked. We all had a good laugh. I removed the tissue and then handed the shoes back to my son.  He put then put them back on and smiled. His smile was one of comfort and relief!

In the weeks that followed, I reflected back on the comical event. And as I did, a few spiritual truths about Christian living came to the forefront of my mind. For instance, when the child of God carries around some sort of hidden sin in their life, it is like the pair of shoes lodged with tissue.  The sin is not always evident for all to see, but it hurts the daily walk of the one carrying around the sin. And when a believer walks around with hidden sin in their life, they are hurting themselves with each step they take. Why; because there is something continually pressing on them that needs to be removed. The only way it can be removed is for the believer to come to their heavenly Father and ask Him to take a look. If they come to Him in a spirit of humility, He will faithfully reach in and remove any sin that is hindering their daily walk (1 John 1:9).

Another spiritual truth has to do with the fact that my son went back to wearing an old pair of shoes.  Instead of coming to me and telling me about the problem he had and the pain he felt, he came up with his own solution; a solution that involved trusting in an old and comfortable pair of shoes. Likewise, it is in our nature to dig in the closet of our past and pull out the familiar and comfortable. But the truth is we do not have to do this. Why; because our heavenly Father has already given us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). For the believer, the old is already gone and the new has already come (2 Corinthians 5:17). And with these great promises in mind, the Christian does not have to go back to old ways (Ephesians 4:22-24). So instead of leaning on our old ways to take the steps on life’s path, the Christian has the joy of leaning on His heavenly Father (Proverbs 3:5-6). All my son had to do was come to me with his new pair of shoes and let me investigate the problem. Likewise, all the child of God has to do when their walk with the Lord is hurting, is humbly come to God the Father and let him take inventory of their heart.  And when He does, He will faithfully remove what should not be there.

To this day we still talk about the tissue in Elijah’s shoes! I pray this story has spoken to you as it did my family. Ponder these things and ask the Lord to help you immediately come to him when your walk with Him is hurting.

 – Pastor Eric

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