Extending A Little More

We are back home now, in our bike riding “Comfort Zone.”  We went out to do our normal 8.5 mile ride today.  But something was different

We were different!

While we were in Canada, we had broken our previous distance record by two miles, going a total of 10.4 miles!  We hadn’t planned it.  We hadn’t set a goal for it.  We just headed out one day for some exercise.

Our first new experience was a long hill.  Our longest hill ever:  2.2 miles!  We down-shifted our gears significantly… but we made it!  We wanted to visit the nearby town, so we turned down a street that pointed us in the right direction.

Unfortunately, in this case, Direction equated with DANGER.

It wasn’t until we were quite some distance on that road — until we were committed — that we realized the speed limit.  Sixty miles per hour!!!  No bike path. No side shoulder beyond the traffic lane.  Only trucks and cars speeding by as we held our breath and prayed for Your protection..

By Your Grace, Lord, we survived it… but much more occurred that day.  We experienced BREAKTHROUGH — leaping way outisde our Comfort Zone!  Suddenly, we saw new possibilities!  

Fast forward to today.  As we traveled our normal route, a thought took shape and became a spoken word.

“Let’s extend a little more every day.”

So we did… just a little more — almost one mile.  But it was more.  And we are thrilled!

That’s when You “hit” me, Lord — affectionately, so — with an insight.  Isn’t that what You want our whole journey on Earth to be about?  Extending ourselves, a little more each day, beyond the limits of our Comfort Zone… as we surrender to Your transforming touch?  Giving You permission to change us, and cooperating with You in the process?

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

“His divine power gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness… knowledge… self-control… perseverance… godliness… brotherly kindness… and love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ… [and] you will never stumble…”  (2 Peter 1:3,5-8,10b)

Such transformation seems so far beyond us, Lord.  IMPOSSIBLE!  We think we have way too much on our plate.  We think the destination is far too distant.  We think the mountain is way too high.

But how does anyone eat an “elephant”?  One bite at a time.  How does anyone travel the journey of 1,000 miles?  One step at a time.  How does anyone level a mountain?  One rock at a time.

The enemy is an accuser.  He wants us to believe we should have already made more progress.  He whispers condemnation to us — and wants us to condemn ourselves — whenever we still don’t get it right.  But You, Lord, don’t want us to “buy” that line… even for a second!

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland… I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”  (Isaiah 43:18-19,25)

Sometimes breakthrough comes when we are yanked out of our Comfort Zone to the point of whiplash, and we wonder;  Will we even survive this?.  Until You meet us there, Lord… with a true God encounter.  And we realize we have blasted right past our old perceived limitations into a world of new possibilites!

That’s what You are doing for me in this present “season” of change… isn’t it, Lord?  Leadng me to breakthroughs in areas that have plagued me for decades.  Are they here yet?  I can barely glimpse them… but I am getting a glimpse.  Because You are helping me extend myself, a little more each day, as You lead me where I could never go on my own.

“Do not comform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”  (Romans 12:2)

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowlege of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

Abba’s Girl

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