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The Joy of Being a Promise

I wake and stretch, reaching my arms above my head to savor the pleasant pull of muscles through my shoulders and across my back. This morning I feel like my four-year-old self, sitting on the front porch of our house that long ago summer day when I observed, “Look, Mom! I have feet on!” There’s a wonder in being alive, able to stretch, to blink, to savor the texture of a barely ripe banana spread with crunchy peanut butter, or smell the sweet tang of the orange that sends a fine spray as I press my thumb into the top to separate the tightly bound ball into halves.

An hour later I set out on my bike. Whole blocks of rich pink, double-petalled Kanzan cherry trees now blossom, following their earlier relatives which have quietly dropped their petals in pink snow.

As I turn my attention from one side of the path to the other, soaking in the beauty, I see a large banner hung on someone’s front porch. It’s too far away for me to read the fine print, but I can see the faces of two young girls and the single large word printed across the top: POSSIBILITIES.

The girls’ faces combine with that single word to cue a song I haven’t thought of for decades, a song from a Little Marcy LP that we played about the time I sat on the front porch and exulted in having feet, and having them bare, toes free and able to wiggle,

“I am a Promise,

I am a Possibility,

I am a Promise, with a capital P,

I am a great big bundle of Potentiality. . .”

When days are filled with news of another lockdown, friends’ illnesses, and hospitals at breaking point, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture: No matter what is going on around us, God remains a God of promise and possibility.

God’s promises come packaged in numerous ways.

Some come in words: “I am with you always.”

Some in color—red, orange, yellow and on to violet rising from earth to heaven and arcing back down as though to say, “My love hems you in, behind and before, stretching high above anything you can imagine, and grounding itself on earth in practical details and everyday extravagance.”

Some come in flesh. A Jewish baby from a backwater village born to a teenage mom. Emmanuel, God with us. That same baby, now grown, stretching arms wide in life-giving, life-saving embrace, then extending hands to reassure us of his death, his rising, and his ongoing welcome. Yeshua, God saves.

God’s promises, and the wide-open possibilities that come with them, are woven into acorns and hummingbirds and the vast range of bursting blossoms—and into our flesh too, promises kept that sustain us in being and breathe into us the breath of life and remind us that we live because we are loved.

Let me say it again: we live because we are loved.

We have been woven together in our mother’s womb,

held together through each of our days,

brought together with Christ into the inner life and love of the Trinity

where we who are His will live together with Him for all of eternity as the fullness of His promise continues to unfold.

We are His and He is ours and this is His promise that outlives death—a promise engraved forever on His hands.

Parts of Paul’s great chapter on the resurrection are in my morning prayer, and as I read reminders of our rising with Christ, I see all over again that we who live in God are as much bundles of potentiality as any unborn child. Here, we grow and develop, hidden in Him, nestled closer than we know to the heart of the One whose life sustains ours. Soon we will be born into His presence and all of His promises, spoken in word and woven in flesh and written in the sky, will be fulfilled as we find ourselves with Him and in Him and like Him.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2, NIV).

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Marilyn Kish

    Thank you for your thoughts, and the beautiful pictures of spring blossoms! Here in Calgary, we have just had more snow this weekend – but warmer weather promised!! BC is truly blessed by early spring. That song “I am a promise” was popular when my kids were little!

    1. Carolyn Watts

      Brrr. . . Glad you’ve got warmer weather promised, Marilyn. Yes, we truly are blessed here. I guess each place has its own unique blessings, doesn’t it?

  2. Susan

    I so love reading Hearing The HeartBeat. I savor every one that I receive and love the photos
    you share along with inspiring and encouraging words. Thank you.
    Many Blessings!

  3. Janice

    You are an amazing encourager!

    1. Carolyn Watts

      Thank you, Janice. It’s an encouragement to me in turn to hear that God is using these words to encourage others!

  4. Elaine Erb

    Thank you Carolyn. I am glad you have feet on. Those feet took you to different parts of the world and brought you to Vancouver at the same time as my feet brought me there. Thx be to God. I look forward to being with you tomorrow.

    1. Carolyn Watts

      Thanks Elaine. I’m glad I have feet on too. 🙂 And that our feet (and God) brought us both to Vancouver at the same time. My life is richer for knowing you.

  5. Audrey

    Beautiful! Love those promises – Lord, help me to live in light of the truth of your promises.

  6. Ellen Bird

    A beautifully blessed way to close my day ~ relaxing in bed before sleep, gentle quietness of dusk melding into darkness, softness of a gentle breeze finding its way through the crack of the window, pondering the insights you so artfully share in both verbiage and through pictures….thanks for cooperating so faithfully with Gods call on your life as it consistently deepens my perspectives and brings peace….Goodnight….may we all sleep tight!

  7. Jaison Abraham

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder. May God continue to use you for the building and encouragement if His people. Take care and be safe. JA

  8. Diana Kilgour

    Carolyn, everything about this post was lovely! Every thought, word, image, photo, and nostalgic trip lifted me up and I’m grateful. You are a gift. Bless you!

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