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Today’s Truth

Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life?

Romans 2:4b, AMP

Friend to Friend

I was speaking in Georgia that particular weekend. On day two of the retreat I woke up early and turned on the water in the beautiful tiled shower. As it heated up I noticed that the showerhead was mounted on an off-centered pole. It seemed very low, and was spraying straight along the plane of the wall. Odd.

I’m a tall chick, so as I stepped in and positioned myself under the showerhead I had to squat and stand very close to the wall. {Awesome. A quad workout! Shower bonus.}

As I shampooed my hair, my legs were on fire from squatting. And then a thought crossed my mind… MAYBE the showerhead can be raised!

I turned around and tried to lift it higher. It went higher! YES!

What a difference! I was giddy … grateful that I could stand tall as I finished up. Not overly bothered by the fact that I was still hugging the wall to catch the water stream.And then another thought popped into my groggy, haven’t-had-my-coffee-yet head…

MAYBE the showerhead also turns toward the center!?

Cautiously optimistic, I raised an eyebrow and turned around one more time to give the head a wiggle. It was adjustable! FANTASTIC!

The space was amazing! I was free to move. Free to stand tall. Free to relax. And free to finish what I’d started with a fresh joy and happy heart.

A few small tweaks made all the difference!

In the book of Romans, Paul addressed a few areas where the early church needed to make some tweaks. He spoke of the sinfulness of all people and also about the difference in the way non-believers and believers see and address sin. He told the Roman believers to be humble in the ways they judged others and to recognize that God is the Judge of all. He encouraged followers of Jesus to examine their hearts and reminded them that it is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.

“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Romans 2:4, NLT)

This is as important for you and me today as it was for the people of the early church back then. As I consider my funny shower escapade in Georgia, I’m reminded that a few small spiritual tweaks each day can make all the difference too.

As a follower of Jesus, I have the opportunity every day to step into the fresh grace of God – to be washed in His goodness. As I do He showers mercy and faithfulness over me that renews my soul. When I open my heart in prayer, His Spirit connects me to the path of His will and convicts me toward holiness.

These moments of connection and conviction cause me to consider the condition of my heart as well as the circumstances that surround me.

I’m forced to assess soul situations, my emotions, edgy responses, unkind words, missed opportunities, snippy attitudes, and the myriad of rebellion I’ve got going on.

As the Spirit of God brings these matters to me I address each one, then ask the Lord to lift the showerhead of my heart up a little or over a bit. To align my will to His and set me in a spacious place where I can stand tall and free.

His grace meets me in the asking.

Grace gives our souls room to breathe.

As we make the small adjustments of confession in our hearts and breathe in grace, we’re renewed and refreshed.

Yes, please.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me this day. As I quiet my heart before You, please show me the ways that I can grow more in Your holiness. Create a clean heart in me, Lord. Free me freshly in Your grace.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Spend a few moments in prayer and reflection about a small tweak or two that the Lord might be leading you toward.

Read Psalm 51. Breathe in grace.

More from the Girlfriends

Ready for your soul to have room to breathe? Want more postivity and inspiration in your days? Hang out with Gwen and friends! Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands, eat guacamole or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?)

 

Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more.

 

These discussions encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.

2 Responses to “Room to Breathe”

  1. Heather says:

    Great devotional…thank you! For me personally, there is a fine line between discernment and being judgemental. Deciding what are biblically sound decisions as opposed to judging someones actions. Too often I’m choosing the later. Then, seconds later, I realize I’m doing it and beg God’s forgiveness. I so often yearn for that feeling of first being Saved and wanting to help others, instead of feeling like Jonah where my frustration for others is so concentrated i would rather disconnect. Thanks again..🌼

  2. Alexandria says:

    I love this devotional! I used to be so afraid of surrendering to God because of what He might put me through, but the hard came anyway and helped me to be less self-sufficient and more willing and able to surrender myself completely to Him all the time-knowing that God says He will finish the good work He has planned out for me, for any of us…I think that we are closed in by many hard things that beg for us to forsake forgiveness, love, grace, mercy, and godliness but I have found that God makes a way for me to keep choosing those fruits. It is like Paul said, being a Christian is like training as an athlete-no real down days to slide by, but always keeping my eyes on Christ so that I don’t sink as Peter did when he looked at the storm instead of remembering who Jesus is. All the Bible seems to be written as a reminder of who God is, and how great His love is for all of us through each and every hard place, and then He asks us to encourage each other, “all the more as the day draws near” so that we can all collectively serve God and be of one mind, just like Jesus is with the Father.

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