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ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Starr Ayers

Color My World

“Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”
John 12:35-36, NIV 

Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color premiered on television in 1961. Founder and creative genius, Walt Disney opened the color broadcast each week saying, “The world we live in would look pretty dull if Mother Nature used a black and white palette and painted only in shades of gray.” Some viewers watched the show in Technicolor, but our home along with the majority of the nation continued to watch in black and white. Color was available, yet many of us remained locked in worlds of gray.

I’ve read that some blind individuals wouldn’t trade their worlds of darkness for ones of sight. One man stated, “I’ve been blind since birth, and I can honestly say that the thought of suddenly getting the vision I’ve never had would scare me to death. I don’t know if I could adjust. I’m secure in my blindness.” Another relayed, “If I could have surgery that would give me sight, I wouldn’t do it. I’m happy with me and who I am. As a blind person, I function well. I just wouldn’t want to start over.” For these individuals, their fear of change is greater than their fear of the darkness.

It’s hard for me to comprehend how people can acclimate themselves to a world of darkness, but in reality in the spiritual realm—we have. We’ve conditioned our minds, hardened our hearts, and closed our eyes to the moral decay of our society. Many people embrace a cultural relativism that denies the existence of absolute truth, and they live behind a smokescreen of tolerance and inclusion.

Two days before his death on the cross, Jesus warned of the peril that would befall those who choose to walk in darkness. Rejecting him and the truth of his Word would result in spiritual blindness and death. It was a harsh reality then and remains a harsh reality today.

However, Christ in his loving mercy followed his solemn warning with liberating words of hope. By believing in him, we can all become children of light. The Light of the World is still with us and is available for all of humanity. No one is destined to remain locked in a world of gray.

Do not allow your fear of change to become greater than your fear of darkness. Ask God to color your world with the light of Christ and experience his wonderful world of color.

Happy fall!

Starr Ayers

Yes, Lord, Yes

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1. NIV

A couple of summers ago, I watched a nest of sea turtles hatch. Over one hundred little turtles emerged from the comfort of their sandy fortress and followed their internal compass to the perilous depths of the sea. As each tiny creature wobbled its way to the water’s edge, it was engulfed by the pounding surf, toppled, and pushed back time and again. Eventually, their gritty determination culminated in their desired outcome as they rode the crest of the foamy waves out to sea.

Abram’s trek from Ur to Canaan was approximately a thousand miles. When God called Abram, Abram didn’t know where God would lead him. If he’d known the destination beforehand, his decision to follow might have been more difficult. Perhaps, you can look back on something God once asked you to do and like me say, “If I’d known where it would lead me and how long it would take me to accomplish it, I might not have started it.” God, in his grace, often keeps the details of our call to himself and asks us to walk by faith.

Sixth-century Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Abram’s single step of faith had mushroomed into a journey of six hundred miles before he settled in Haran. We don’t know why he chose to stop there, but because the city was very much like Ur, it was a likely place for his family to settle. Perhaps their stopover was due to health issues, fear, weariness from the journey, or a loss of vision for the call.

When God calls me to a task, it’s easy for me to put my spin on his revelation and run ahead of him. Then as I begin to walk it out, my starry-eyed course is subjected to the hammer of life. Doubts arise, obstacles loom, giants appear on the horizon, and then the vision begins to fade. I second guess my ability to hear God and convince myself that I’ve misinterpreted his message. Before long, because I can’t reason God’s call, I’m tempted to settle, and I risk forfeiting his best for me.

God has a determined purpose for each of us. Anything short of our Canaan is unacceptable to him. Abram settled in Haran, but because God kept calling, he followed and arrived at his assigned place.

Say “yes” to God’s best. Step out. Don’t settle. You may be pounded, toppled and pushed back by hardship but with gritty determination forge ahead and allow God to carry you to your appointed destination.

Starr Ayers

Rest Stop

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”
Mark 6:30–32, NIV

“Drop your baggage here!” was my husband’s mantra whenever we approached the span bridge crossing the inland waterway. He knew carrying the weight of the week’s worry to our place of rest would not only hamper our time away but hinder the enjoyment of those vacationing with us.

The disciples were happy to be in the company of Jesus. However, because they were busy meeting the needs of the people, they had no time to rest. They were exhausted and hungry.

Jesus understood the wearying effects of service and invited them to come away with him to a quiet place. They welcomed his invitation. We should too. But first, there are some things we need to consider.

Before the disciples stepped into the boat and pushed away from the shore, they gathered around Jesus and shared the events of their days on the road. Together they celebrated their successes and prayed concerning their challenges. Is Jesus the one with whom we share the circumstances of our day? Do we take our challenges to him or simply dump the day’s contents on the first unsuspecting person who comes through the door?

Scripture invites us to cast our cares on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). Is there baggage we need to throw overboard before we leave for our places of rest this summer?

Perhaps, too many things fill our schedule―some may even be self-inflicted. Are there commitments we should have said no to and didn’t? Maybe tangible things load down our boats. Our material blessings can become burdens when we fail to use them as God intends. Or possibly our weight is intangible. Sometimes we carry emotional baggage inflicted by people or events beyond our control. Let’s examine the contents of our boats. An overloaded boat runs the risk of capsizing.

We can assure that our boats stay afloat by placing our baggage at the feet of Jesus and prayerfully considering each piece. He will show us the things we need for our journey and those we should leave behind.

Make a list of the things you believe add to your boat’s instability. Then ask, “Is this a piece I need to throw overboard, something only God can eliminate, or something I need to hold on to?”

Before you travel to your place of rest this summer, toss the excess baggage. Then evenly distribute the remaining pieces and make room for God’s presence.

Cast off and enjoy your time of rest.

Your traveling companion,

Starr

 

 

Photo Credit: Public Domain