The weather here in North Carolina right now is glorious. I’m British, so still think in centigrade, and can tell you that it is 22 degrees right now. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but I do know it is warm! It doesn’t feel like February, but it does feel like Spring!
I love the sunshine. I always find my spirits lifted on beautiful days when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Even if it’s a busy day and I’m stuck inside working, even just the walk to the car and back is enough to make me smile if the weather is beautiful. And the weather is definitely beautiful. Checking the weather for the week ahead, it’s only set to get brighter and hotter and more wonderfully Spring-like!
Days like these are days for going outside. I love to walk in the sunshine. I love to read a book in the sunshine. I love to write in the sunshine, till my head aches with the brightness of the sky and the overflowing of ideas that I just can’t write down quickly enough. I love sunny days like this and I love being outside.
Of course, they are some days when you don’t want to go outside, when you want to curl up in front of the TV or Netflix and just be lazy. But if you’re anything like me, you always feel better when you’ve forced yourself to get up and go. Being outside is always worth it.
This week I have been reflecting on getting up and going outside for my faith. Hebrews 13:13-15 reads:
So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is – not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This “insider world” is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.
For as much as my relationship with my Lord is personal, so the command He has given me – the command He has given all of his children – is to go out and share Him; to share His love.
Cultivating your own relationship with Jesus is important. Spending time in conversation with Him, praying, studying His word, learning to recognize His voice as you listen in the stillness of your time with Him – this is all good. And important. And I believe Jesus rejoices in the time we spend doing this. But that’s not all.
Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have… – John 13:34 MSG (emphasis added)
The things we do in the quiet of our lives, in our quiet time at home, is important. But it is how we go out and show love that lets people know of the love of Jesus. Yes, you can show love for someone by praying for them, and that prayer will be powerful, but sometimes the most powerful way to love someone is to go out and meet them, and to go out and meet them where they are. Not everyone is able to do this; but if we are able, how can we not?
It’s not always easy, this going out. I’m happy to admit that I like staying in. I’m happy spending my Friday evenings in with the company of a good book and a hot mug of cocoa. Going out to meet people and love them where and how and when they are, in imperfect situations and scary places, requires bravery. It requires boldness. It requires the Holy Spirit and a heart full of love for Jesus, so full it’s just brimming over, begging to be shared. Sometimes, it requires practice too. Stepping outside will almost always mean stepping outside of your comfort zone. But when we do that, we can be assured that God has equipped us with all we need to be brave and world-changing in His name.
If there’s one thing I love as much as being outside in the sunshine, it’s my cowgirl boots. My favourite pair is well-worn, to say the least. As the old saying goes, these boots are made for walking! I always feel different when I wear them, like I’m more me, more prepared for whatever the day throws at me.
As I continue stepping forward in my faith and my Bible Journaling journey, I’m going to put my boots to good use. I’m going to go outside where Jesus is. I’m going to go outside and love where Jesus is (which, if you’re wondering, is everywhere).
How will you step outside for Jesus?