As I studied the birth of Moses, it occurred to me that his mother must have had enormous faith in God. One can only imagine the fear of putting your infant in a homemade ark near a river. After the Pharaoh’s daughter found him, Moses’ sister volunteered to find a Hebrew woman (which was Moses’ mother) to nurse him. Not only did she nurse him, but received wages to do so. No one but God could have outlined that! Everyone was blessed which happens every time we listen and obey Him.
Psalms 145:20 states “The Lord preserveth all them that love Him:” How very comforting! To me, that is so much more than a nice Bible story from my childhood but a lesson on Love, trust and faith. God always takes one all the way; never just part way. I will remember this today when doubt tries to sneak in to my thinking about anything.
Driving home from Church yesterday, there is a 7 or 8 mile narrow two-lane road with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour. No passing the entire way is permitted. There was a car ahead of me and a small truck pulling a small trailer ahead of it going anywhere from thirty to forty miles an hour. All at once, behind me came a very large truck speeding and had to slow to follow this procession. While watching him, I could almost feel his frustration and thought I needed to pray. Often, I will find myself irritated at impatience like that but I knew I needed to see the driver as a child of God and know that God never made an aggressive bully!
The truck behind me sped out to pass all three of us and at the same time, the car ahead of me put on his blinker to turn and pulled out. As he saw this large truck coming at him, he quickly returned to his lane and the truck just sped past. There was such protection for us all and I knew it was God. Had I been angry and bitter about this vehicle behind me, there could have easily been a crash and maybe even a fatal one from all of our positions.
Then the three Hebrew boys being thrown into the fire came to my thought. Had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had fear, anger, or vengeance in their heart, possibly they would have perished. Daniel 3:27 reads “And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. ” I feel sure that it was the gratitude and humility in their hearts that saved them.
This morning I have been reading the 20th chapter of Matthew which compares a landowner with the Kingdom of Heaven who goes out to hire laborers and paid each a denarius a day. He continued to hire more throughout the day and paid them each the same amount. The llth and 12th verse reads “When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner. Saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.'”
This tells me that it is not what we do humanly, but our expectancy and receptivity of the Good God gives us! Today, I will practice accepting and expecting Good!
So many images come to mind when I think of “complacency”. The first definition is to be “pleased with oneself”. As I think further, I think of “Pontius Pilate” as he allowed them to crucify the Christ after brushing his hands together. The question then arises “Do we really want to be healed?” or do we just not want to rock the boat and accept whatever rather than expect joy and health and prosperity that is our natural inheritance! Revelation 3: 16 reads “So because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
The questions I will ask myself today are “Am I playing it safe?”, “Am I just barely satisfied, but causing no trouble?” or am I willing to stretch and play full out!! Yes, today I will practice even loving more, not caring if it is returned to me. I will paint a picture not caring if anyone but me likes or understands it.
While studying at my desk this morning and thinking of my search for God that started years ago, it first came to me that I was a child of God. As I continue to study and pray, I realize I am still a child of God, not an adult but need Him as much as ever! Along the way, unwanted human traits seemed to fall away, but I can never judge another when exhibiting those same traits that fell from me. They are no more a part of another just as they were never a part of my True Identity.
1 Corinthians 1:26 and 27 reads “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
Today will be spent in true gratitude for everything, even lessons that become blessings as we understand more.
While studying the feeding of the multitude in Matthew, a light came on within. The disciples wanted to turn the multitude away rather than feed them because they were coming from limitation of Good. It is certainly not just talking about food, but forgiveness, enlightenment, understanding and compassion. How often is Love withheld from someone that is different from us? Or even forgiveness, because we feel we are justified in being angry. There is plenty of Love to go around! Good multiplies as we share it. So does error!
The question arises “Am I really sure I understand what I am reading?” and I may hesitate to share it since it may not be correct. Then I quietly realize my understanding comes from God and cannot be wrong. Matthew 14:20 reads “and they all ate and were satisfied.” To me, that means they all received what they needed.
This morning as I was studying the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into the furnace by the order of Nebuchadnezzar, I prayed for a deeper meaning. What came to me was that often when we hear a certain song, smell or fleeting thought, we can be seductively drawn back into an experience of the past. If careless, that experience becomes a god to us and we are worshipping it. Images of the past can flood our consciousness, whether enjoyable or frightening. God is right here with us at all times and there is nothing to fear. There was also no past without Him! Daniel 3:11 states “And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” Do we really think God is saying that to us? The more alert I am to my thoughts, the more I can cast out the ones that are not from God.
Praying daily to see what God sees and hear what He is saying strengthens my spiritual muscles and I can honestly say only spiritual growth is going on.