Closure: Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Matt. 6:1 Message
I have had a very interesting couple of weeks. My dad died a few months before Katrina after suffering from cancer. Many of you might remember that I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. So when my dad died, I guess you could say it was bittersweet. (Sweet that His suffering with cancer was over, but everything else was left hanging.) Even the estate, though small, was filled with painful memories of divorce, anger and disinherited children. Just recently, my stepmom decided that it was time to settle the estate. The last few weeks my sister and I, along with my brother, found ourselves, once again, reliving the good and bad about our family as the house was being sold and emptied. I am the youngest of the three, got married at 16, and moved away right after so I have felt distant to the sting of my childhood. Plus after raising 4 kids of your own, one does find themselves a lot more forgiving with their parents!
None of us expected to receive much of anything at the closing of the estate, but a series of circumstances happened and to all of our surprise, we received a monetary inheritance. The oldest had been struggling to make ends meet, the 2nd born had been disinherited, ended up getting his share and I bought something that our grandkids can enjoy for years to come. The unexpected came and we all were in tears! Today was Father’s Day, and words cannot begin to explain how the above scripture brings comfort to me. It may have taken a lifetime for me to understand all the “whys” and how “tos” about my up bringing but all along God did have it all under control, He had my back. Oh-how sweet it is to have closure on a very long chapter!
If that wasn’t enough, the Saturday after I received the news about our inheritance, I went outside to put the trash cans back for the trash men had come. I saw some trash that I assumed had dropped out of the garbage. It was all folded up and by instinct I opened it and found inside a huge gemstone. (You read right) Later that morning I had to go clean my rental apartment and was having to clean a dirty bathtub when I found a small diamond. The apartment had no electricity, and in the dark hot bathroom I stopped and found that quiet secluded place where I tried not to role-play. I said, “God you had me at Hello a long long time ago.” I could feel his grace upon my life in that little rental.
“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
What have you been looking at lately? In service tonight I spoke to a soon to be graduate of MarySong. She was in deep thought and to me seemed distant and worried. If we don’t watch ourselves we get consumed with the issues and shift our focus off from God. Too many times we act like the older brother of the prodigal. Our glass is half empty instead of half full. Let’s settle in with our Father’s love, His comfort and presence in the good times and the bad. You never know you too could get “Closure”.

5 Replies to “CLOSURE”

  1. Closure can come in so many forms. Changes in one’s life closes doors and allows access to others. Suddenly finding yourself without employment and income changes a lot in one’s life. As you may imagine you begin to look at everything from a different prospective.
    I was always way busy with tons of responsibility. The ever present tug on my heart to follow the leadings of God seemed unattainable. Yet I was no longer satisfied with the status quoi. Being the ‘big cheese’ at work no longer satisfied me and being unable to openly share God with my co-workers further frustrated me. In a moment of time that changed. I knew exactly what to do when I suddenly had lots of time on my hands.
    Isa 1:16-19 comes to mind. What an awesome invitation. I was already cleaned in salvation, now to spend some quality time with God.
    Through this time many lessons have come. One was the identification of pride hanging out in me. Tithing is easy with no income yet I found myself painfully aware of not being able to tithe.
    It was then when spoke to me this, do not worry what ‘they’ think’, I know what is happening in your life and have repeatedly demonstrated this to you, or have you forgotten! So why are you doing what you do, for Me or for your image? OUCH!
    Mat 6:1 (NASB) – “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
    Through this God demonstrated to me His commitment to His children to make good on His word, no matter what it may take.
    Romans 8:28,29
    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
    I pray for what He promises, bring closure on my old life and make me into the image of Your Son where these type things have no place.

  2. Just loved that testimony brother Mark that you just sent out into the cyber space of Heaven. May the Lord return it to you in the form of more Blessings and Wisdom. Praise and Glory to His Name above ALL other names.A.M.D.G.

  3. Parris–‘closure’ indeed–you are wise, anointed and blessed. How the Father loves us all-thank you for sharing. P.s. (Where is the last Message verse from ‘The eyes are the window of the soul……….’ one?)

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