Sunday, April 21, 2013

He Makes All Things New

I checked my credit score last night. It was something that I’ve been knowing that I needed to do, but I’ve been dreading it. At the time that I was born again, everything in my life went into the trash heap. I lost everything then, but I gained Christ, so I have never been sorry. I had been living in the Valley of Shittim, but the River of Living Water came flowing through. The fact of Christ in my life is something that keeps me going even when I don’t have any other reason to keep going. I gained everything in the sense of salvation, but I did lose everything in a worldly material sense, and was deeply in debt, so checking my credit score was not anything that I wanted to do. But I live in the world as much as I sometimes would rather not, and it's important to take care of our worldly responsibilities and business. I had the opportunity to check my credit score for free and easily, so I decided what the heck. I was amazed. It’s not perfect, but it’s above average, which isn’t really saying much because America as a whole is in a bad place financially, but still, it’s definitely not bad which is a miracle.

God promises us that He makes all things new. That when we come to Him with all of our mess, He’ll turn it into something beautiful. I’ve seen Him do this over and over again in my life, and He just did it again. I know the life I lived, and I know the credit score I deserve. And that’s not what He gave me. He gave me something that is looking pretty shiny and new and will just continue to get better.
A little over a year ago I was looking online for my own name – I was doing a search for something, I don’t remember what, and I found a listing for an Elton John song. The title of the song is“Little Jeannie,” but someone had written it as “Little Jannie,” on a YouTube video. I went ahead and listened to it – I’m really fond of Elton John. I learned about him for the first time from a really cool girl who moved to my hometown when we were 13. She was the coolest! And she loved Elton John, so even though I’ve never been a big fan, I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Part of the lyrics go like this: “You stepped into my life from a bad dream, making the life that I had seem suddenly shiny and new.” That’s what God did for me, and He keeps doing it, day after day after day.  I still don’t understand why, but He does. It’s like that other song, “You didn’t have to love me like you did, but you did and I thank you.”

I heard from a friend that he's been reading the Bible and has all kinds of translations now. I loved what he wrote, "What I'm really loving about the Bible is that I'm constantly getting understanding, understanding, understanding, insight and understanding, insight, insight, understanding on many things, and that feels extremely satisfying. It's like if life came with an instruction manual on how to navigate this world and live life then this book would be it and even if you didn't find an answer in the Bible, you could pray about it and then get the answer from the author himself---GOD." When I read that it made my day. It reminds me of when I was first born again. I never thought I’d be reading a Bible, and now I read every day and have several translations too. I listen to sermons online, I quote scripture to people. I was working with a group at a Baptist church in the Bronx, and when the Pastor gave the prayer afterward, she said, “And I also want to thank Sister Jannie for sharing her time with us today, and I call her Sister because she knows The Word.” I wanted to laugh out loud for joy. If someone had told me on December 11, 2005 that my life would be like the one I live now, that a strong Pastor, a real woman of God would say I was her Sister in Christ, I wouldn’t have known what they were talking about and might have even thought they were crazy. I remember my first roommate in college, Freshman year, who used to pray over me when I came home and was passed out from partying the night before. I thought she was a nut, and now we’re friends and sisters.
God has a way of taking impossible situations and showing us who He is by making them not only possible, but by also making the miraculous seem like an inevitable chain of events. I don’t even remember what it felt like to be the person I was before. It’s not that I’m perfect – I’m definitely not – but I’m definitely different than the person who used to get upset because someone was praying over them. Now I’m praying for people. I’ll pray for anyone any time the Holy Spirit says to pray. When people ask me how I can believe in a God of miracles, all I need to do is point to myself. One thing led to another which led to another and so on and so forth and on again into now. If you asked me to show you A to B to C, it would take a lifetime of stories, with each one linked to the next, inextricably, inevitably and beautifully and perfectly. Like a rainbow, maybe, only one that lasts much longer. A bridge from Heaven that God makes for us in spite of who we are and what we have done or not done in our lives. “You stepped into my life from a bad dream, making the life that I had seem suddenly shiny and new.” He makes all things new, shiny and new, and somehow like nothing that you have ever seen before, but that you have wanted all along. And what He makes lasts forever, because it's built with a foundation of His love.

Jannie Susan

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