This morning I have been studying the above parable in Matthew 13: 24-30. One of the first things it has brought to mind is a lesson in my art class on negative and positive space. Both are needed for clarity. The negative space is that space which surrounds the item or items that I am painting or drawing. It is neither Good nor evil but to me represents the unreal while the actual painting is the real.
Matthew 13:30 states, “Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.'”
Last night I listened by telephone to a testimony service at a Church in another city where I attended twenty-five years ago. Often, I even recognize some of the voices. In one of the testimonies, an older gentleman (born the year the stock market crashed in 1929) said he was led to go visit his great-grandson who is in prison four hours away. At first, when the thought came to him to do this, he argued with it but soon realized it was a spiritual idea from God that comes with all its resources. He said he drives pretty fast on the highway but put on a cd about prayer to listen all the way down there. He described lovingly his visit with the young man and noticed that he was no longer “swearing” like he once did. The older gentleman said he had been praying about that and was so pleased. Jeremiah 29:13-14 reads, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity, I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
How very fortunate that young man is to have his great-grandfather in his life, who blesses everyone who know him!
So often, it is tempting to try to work things out before their time. We may even think we know better than God! Praying and telling God just how and when we need things can feel we know best! Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” That is a great verse with which to align while praying. God knows the perfect time for all. Only Good is going on in the spiritual universe. The human universe is an enigma and will always look chaotic. Turn to God and see what He sees! Perfection and harmony.
My daily prayer is for more grace and humility. Today, I found this prayer answered fully and I was uncomfortable and a little resentful. Then I was gently reminded that my prayer was being fulfilled and Hebrews 12:11 came to thought. It reads, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” As I stepped back and viewed the experience, I was truly blest by this gentle nudge in spiritual growth. There is never a retrograde step in growth and for this, I am grateful.
When experiencing a challenge of whatever nature, it is easy to want to work it out through force and human will. By humbly turning to God and becoming grateful in knowing God is working it out, we release the fear and chaos in our thinking. Then, and only then, can we begin to see perfection and harmony right where the upset was! Psalm 112:7 states, “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
With God’s help and guidance, I will do this today!
So often, we may come from the belief of lack of Good and scarcity, but when we humbly and gratefully turn to God for clarity with expectancy, our every need is met and then, more so. God handles every request and with abundance. It is up to us to open our eyes and let go of negativity. After Jesus had fed the multitude, John 6:12-13 reads, “When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” His Good overflows!
If one really wants to be humbled and in awe, he needs to contemplate the power of God, from finite to infinite. As I was looking out my window at my plants growing toward the light, a flock of birds flew over in perfect formation. Even as they change directions, they are aligned. The one God governs All and how can we ever doubt that Truth. Often we think we are alone with our challenges, but how can that be if you look out at nature? Joshua 1:5 reads, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” To me, that is very clear and reassures me of my protection. Either God is all or nothing. I choose All!
This morning I have been studying about Peter walking on the water. In Matthew 14: 28-32, it speaks of Jesus walking on the water and Peter asking to join Him. He was able to do this until he had doubts and the wind became boisterous, so he became fearful. This is just as applicable today as in Biblical times. It makes no difference how long Peter walked before he started sinking, the Christ was right there where he was. Today, it matters not how long we have been struggling with a relationship problem or a health issue, the Christ is right here to comfort, guide and heal. Matthew 14:31 states, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” All we ever need to do is to mentally reach out to see the Truth and it will be revealed to us. Asking God for bread (understanding), we are never given a stone (confusion).
As I do an inventory of my thoughts, I ask myself “Am I entertaining fake news? Negative forecasts? Dire predictions of lack?” That can be easy to do if I am not careful. That is certainly not asking for a “Pollyanna” approach to life which indicates fantasy, but understanding that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Good! 2 Corinthians 3:17 states, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Watching my thinking; refuting the negative and replacing it with gratitude and humility of everything, joy soon re-appears! Today, I choose Joy!
My husband just called me into his office to listen to a new song written about “the good old days” and I had a difficult time with it. Not only do I think we need not live in the past, but today is the good old day! To me, that is like living life while looking through our rearview mirror. Immediately, Hebrews 4:16 came to thought which states, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” God is our only need and when we put Him first, Good will be revealed to us. Only Good is going on when our focus is positive and that is not a “Pollyanna” approach but one experiencing security. Not relying on oneself, but always on God.