One of my favorite stories in the Bible is from John 9 about the healing of the blind man. Sometimes when I am praying about a difficulty in my life, the first thing I want to do is to consider what I have done wrong. By studying this story, I soon realize this is not punishment but is revealing more about God and my relationship to Him. John 9:3 states, “Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Today, I will listen even more closely to what God is telling me and I can rest assured it is Good.
Yesterday at my art class, during the “awkward stage” of the painting, I wanted to walk out, throw up my hands or never paint again. All of these temptations seemed real to me as I mentally fought with pride and arrogance and fear. Having begun painting late in life sometimes is challenging.
As I continued to work about this, I remembered that I had read in an old dictionary where “awkward stage” meant to go in the wrong direction. Then it occurred to me that was an old false belief that I didn’t have to accept. With God, all things are possible! As I kept on painting and knowing this was expressing creativity and there is no wrong way, it began to fall into place and I now love this piece!
James 1:2 reads, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
As I study and pray this morning, my heart is filled with humility and gratitude as I count my blessings! This feeling helps prepare me for the day, which I know is filled with blessings.
Recently, I read in an article when the alarm sounds off in a fire station, the crew doesn’t start putting gas and oil in the truck, loading equipment and giving it a tune-up, but they are ready to go in an instant. This is a wake-up call for me to keep my thinking well-oiled and full of Love .
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 When I do this, I stay free and out of mental bondage.
This morning as I was thinking about someone, I was tempted to see arrogance and bullying in this man. Not feeling totally peaceful about this judging, I opened the Bible to I Samuel 16:7 and it reads, “…the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
How much clearer does that need to be? As I clear my thinking , not only will I look at others and see what God sees but He sees the same about me. What a refreshing thought!
II Corinthians 3:15,16 reads, “Even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”
In my study today, the “veil” represents “close-mindedness” and I recognize this sometimes in my thoughts and judgments. The only way this veil is destroyed is when my heart is softened and filled with humility, love, and gratitude. As I study and pray, this is my starting point as I turn to God.
Today, I will listen carefully to what I am mentally entertaining. Frequently, I will ask myself “Am I listening to God” or to world thought, which daily bombards us with fear, anxiety, worry and apathy? If I feel my thoughts darkening, I will correct them immediately and proclaim “God is watching over me”.
2 Corinthians 10:5 states, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Forgiveness is so important that it is mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer…”Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” It is necessary for both health and harmony. In Galations 5:22 it states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” Only when our hearts are softened can any of the afore-mentioned be experienced.