As I was reading Matthew 14:29,30 where it reads “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'” , the word “emergency” came to thought. Peter probably thought that as well. That word brings out a feeling of alarm and fear. Then I thought of the word, “emerge or emergence” and that brought up our God-given dominion or “bringing to light”. Isn’t that what Jesus Christ reveals to us and was probably doing that day to Peter? And as fear takes over, we lose faith and sink, but by reaching out, the Christ is always right there to lift us back up. I am so grateful for Christ and by knowing Him, there is no emergency, only emergence into the light.
While working with the story of “Goliath” this morning, I am reminded of the many Goliaths in the world today. They usually are large and scary looking and may come in the guise of a disease or lack of finances or relationship problems. But, as David knew, the battle is always God’s and certainly should be scary if we think it is ours. David never compared himself to Goliath, but knew there was no comparison to God.
1 Samuel 17:45,46 says “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand;”
Today I will trust God with everything.
Recently I read “The Return of The Prodigal Son” written by Henri J. M. Nouwen, a priest enamored with the Painting of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt. The book goes into great depth and was very thought-provoking. Seven of my friends met to discuss this book, which was very enlightening. After reading this story countless times, I would relate to the wayward son and then the son who stayed home, but I had missed so much. It never dawned on me that the son who claimed his inheritance was saying he wanted his Father dead, but that was exactly what he was saying. An inheritance comes upon someone’s death. Then I never realized how very dark the older son must be when he was very jealous and certainly not forgiving of his brother upon his return.
Never had I realized that I needed to become more like the Father, who was so forgiving and compassionate upon the return of the younger son. The author thought three ways to a truly compassionate fatherhood would be grief, forgiveness and generosity. That gave me pause and I have been looking at those qualities this last week.
Luke 15:22 reads, “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet: and bring the fattened calf, kill it and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Many years ago while selling diamonds, a young man walked into our upscale store who was covered with tattoos and piercings with long hair. My day would start with Philippians 2:5 which reads “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” That , to me, included neither judgement nor fear. All of the other sales associates either went to the back of the store or got busy as to not have to wait on him.
Not only did I sell him an expensive diamond but I got to know a loving, kind and intelligent young man. A week later when he came back to pick up the ring we had sized for him, he brought me a long-stem red rose and his fiancée was with him. She immediately hugged me and told me that he had gone to eight other jewelry stores and no one would assist him. I can so remember that day when I really learned to look through God’s eyes and see only “Love”.
Being an artist, I pick up and read brochures, pamphlets and books about art. Some time ago, I found a small pamphlet entitled “Five Things to Remember When you are Drawing”. As I read this, I thought it should have been entitled “Five Things to Remember When you are Drawing (and Living)
l. Step back from your work.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10 Impersonalize the work and get a larger view.
2. Draw what you see; not what you know.
Look at it from different angles. Keep a fresh outlook and pray for a new approach.
3. Consider composition.
Where is my focus? Am I looking through God’s/Love’s eyes?
4. Be patient with yourself.
Am I being so judgmental that I cannot be kind to me?
5. Enjoy the process.
Enjoy Life’s Journey. We are all learning!
This morning I have been thinking about differing opinions and the hostility that can be displayed confrontationally. In praying about our world and wondering where all this has come from, I realize this is the wrong question. What are we learning from all this? Doesn’t Love remain the answer? When we release all human will, justification and pride, the only thing remaining is Love. Isaiah 26:3 reads, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Today, I will remember who is in control!
This morning at Church the solo was the following that I found so appropriate!
” A man ventures into town, but he’s robbed and he’s beaten down. More than one person passes him by without offering to lend a hand. Til a man with a foreign face takes notice and slows his pace. He casts aside social barriers and takes the stranger under his care. And the grateful man he asks why did you save me?
In this world we all share—
One Father, one Mother – each heart like the other – look through the eyes of Love and you’ll only see your brother there. There’s power in forgiveness – I believe we can live this – look through the eyes of Love and you’ll see you’re not that different from me.
Now you say that your God’s not mine. And that’s why you draw this line. There are too many differences and it’s best we remain status quo. But we travel from shore to shore, so our worlds collide all the more. We’re given chances to reach out like that kind stranger long ago. And if we could only try to hear each other, we would learn that…
In this world we all share one Father, one Mother”
Couldn’t we all learn from the story of “The Good Samaritan”? Luke 10:25-37