“Mama, look!” My six-year-old squealed as she ran into the kitchen carrying her lopsided pumpkin. It was an easy going Saturday morning. As I cleaned up from a late breakfast, my husband and our girls were headed outside to carve their pumpkins.
My baby girl came over to the table and plopped her pumpkin on top. “Look, Mama! I put lots of holes in my pumpkin and daddy is helping me carve a picture on this side!”
I glanced over and saw a sorry looking pumpkin with holes all over it and cuts from a six-year-old using her “pumpkin tools” a little too generously.
“Look, mama. Isn’t it beautiful?!!!”
“Ahhhh sugar… it really is! And you know what’s going to make it even more beautiful? When you put the light inside! All those holes and cuts allow the light to shine through.”
All those “holes.” Those moments that pierced us deep inside our hearts and we wondered if we’d ever survive.
All those “cuts.” Those times when we’ve been cut to the core; our weakness opened wide and exposed for the world to see.
Those holes and cuts that reveal the pain from living in a broken world with broken people.
But you know what? There is a greater purpose if we can just get past the pain, past the discomfort, past the disappointment. It’s because of those holes in our lives – those cuts that run deep and open us up – that allow God to come in and clean out our gunk and replace it with His light. Ohhh and when He does, our holes and cuts now allow others to see His light. He redeems the damage and makes it beautiful.
I guess you could say we’re all a little like pumpkins.
From God’s amazing work on the cross for us, to His ever-present work in us the moment we believe, to His Holy Spirit working through us… we are constantly a work in progress and will be until the moment we see Jesus face-to-face.
“Those holes and cuts, baby girl… that’s what makes us beautiful. Don’t you ever shrink back from showing the world the mighty redemption work Jesus has done in you and through you!”
You are never alone. What God starts, He completes.
What He began in you, He will see through to completion.
Jesus will not give up on you!
You may not understand the process, but you can always trust the One who is holding your life in His hands.
Just remember this…
Live your life with those three words in focus.
Don’t allow discouragement to separate you from your relationship with Jesus. Remember you will always be a work in progress. Day by day God is committed to working in your life to make you more and more like Jesus. Lean into Him on the hard and good days. Read your Bible daily and pray honest, unhindered prayers. There will be times when you mess up, but realize you are not alone. Moses messed up and God still used him. Peter denied Christ three times and yet God still used him to build His church.
The truth is, God uses us in spite of us. We all make mistakes, sin, and go our own way. And yet, in God’s great mercy He chooses to redeem.
He redeemed Moses’ past and used Moses to bring His people out of Egypt.
He forgave and redeemed Peter and used him to advance the gospel and build His church.
None of us are out of God’s redemptive reach. We are each a work in progress.
Allow God to use those holes – those wounds that have cut you straight through – for His greater purpose to shine His light in a dark world!
You are beautiful, sweet friend. Keep moving forward and be confident of this truth: what God started in you, He will finish.
Let’s Talk: Where you are joining us from? What is God speaking to your heart through today’s Scripture reading?
Love God Greatly,
Week 1 Challenge: This week, light a candle and place it inside a carved pumpkin or candle holder with holes as a reminder of the amazing work God is currently doing in your life as you shine for Him.
Week 1 Reading Plan:
Week 1 Memory Verse:
We are kicking off Week 1 of our 4 week Philippians study! Grab the women’s and corresponding kids’ journals on Amazon and help us provide these Bible studies to women around the world in over 18 languages through our translations!
NEW DESIGN: Our journals have been beautifully redesigned and now include a recipe to try with your friends from one of the countries we are reaching with God’s Word!
Read the Philippians study intro here.