As I ponder this story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, there are so many things that made it an unusual occurrence. Firstly, for a Jewish man to talk to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman was rare. Her reputation couldn’t have been pristine if she had five previous husbands and was not married to the man she was currently living with at the time. When His disciples returned and found Him, they, too, were surprised. The one thing that Jesus was positive about, was her receptivity; therefore, her recognition of the Christ as He told her about herself. In her humility , she expressed gratitude for this conversation.
1 Samuel 16:7 states “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.'” Jesus was certainly looking at the Samaritan woman’s heart that day and it remains that way. Today, I will actively work about keeping my heart free from worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, bitterness and pray that it be filled with grace, love and kindness. That is what God will see.
As I study about the many healings of Jesus this morning, I began to think about them. There was no place that Jesus asked people how long they had had a condition, or if either of their parents were sick of the same disease, or what they had been thinking and on and on! He just simply saw through God’s/Love’s eyes which is the perfection and harmony of their true being. Never was it mentioned that they were being punished for some evil. He always started with God! Matthew 9:35 reads “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Today, I ask to see what God is seeing; Life and Harmony and Health everywhere!
While studying the Bible Lesson yesterday about the rich young ruler, it occurred to me that Jesus was telling him to give up his old false cherished beliefs and listen for God’s message. When sharing this with a friend, he remarked that he thought not because he thought it was about not obeying God. After our conversation, I realized there is no right or wrong answer when we humbly ask God for inspiration. Next time I read it, something totally different may be revealed to me. Genesis 3:8-9 states “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they his from the Lord God among the trees of the garden, but the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’.”
Then a light came on in my thinking that I am fine wherever I am. God is right here!
Many years ago, I took a class where the teacher wanted to make a point with hypothetical thinking. She began by asking what if we had two heads? Would we wear a hat on each head and would our hair be the same color? She went on this way while the class saw this exercise comical, annoying and then irritating, but she was making a point. How often do we question the future with a number of “what ifs?” What if this happens or what if that happens? Whenever I am tempted down that road of thinking, immediately, I ask myself “What if I had two heads?”
Luke 12:22-25 states “Then Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear…Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?'”
Have been studying about Peter’s denial of the Christ after the Crucifixion. He had just told Jesus the night before there would be no way he would ever deny knowing Him, but he did just that three times. Matthew 26:75 states “He went out, and wept bitterly.” His remorse was so great but later, his spiritual understanding was so great, he went on to raise Dorcas from the belief of death! That story reassures me that my past is forgiven, freeing me up to learn more and more of God and my relationship to Him. Being able to use this understanding every day enriches my life.
Yesterday, I read a post on Facebook that said “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Heaven had visiting hours?” Immediately, I thought “Yes, it does and as a matter of fact, it is open twenty-four seven!” Why do we think we have to relocate to experience Heaven when joy surrounds us? We have a choice on experiencing Heaven or Hell any time. It is always our views on a situation. So often, man thinks things will be better hereafter or here-later when Heaven can be right here, right now!
By being grateful for blessings we already have opens us up to more. John 17:1 reads “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:” Not tomorrow, but now.
While studying John 11 about the raising of Lazarus from the dead, it is so obvious to me that Jesus can only do that with Love in His heart and thinking. This is so much more than positive thinking but the realization that God is Life! John 11: 41 to 43 reads ” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.”
As I go through the day and I work at keeping my thought raised, I can see limitless possibilities and the exact opposite happens if I let darkness enter my thinking. Becoming more and more clear, it is my choice on how I see things! My goal is to see only through God’s/Love’s eyes.
My husband and I love watching the Winter Olympics. Recently I was reading where a recent new owner of a silver medal was in a definite slump last month and it was apparently obvious to others. Then, from the unlikeliest of places, a competitor from a foreign team, who spoke no English offered his sled to this young man, which never happens. One does not offer up his sled, nor favorite running shoes, etc. especially to a competitor.
Philippians 3:13-14 reads “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Isn’t this what happened? He allowed himself to swallow his pride and accept love from another. That, to me, is Love expressed!
This morning I was thinking about some of the violence that has been reported on the news and questioning my reaction to this. Did I just dismiss it as not concerning me? Was I filled with anger and judgment? Or did I actually take the time to pray about it?
The thought of the crucifixion of Jesus and how He handled the violence of that experience. He actually forgave those who were harming Him and turned wholeheartedly to God. Then I pondered Daniel in the lion’s den and the three Hebrew boys in the furnace. They all believed in the one God and trusted completely and Love delivered all of them.
Isn’t that what the Christ is trying to show us? Our thought is always resurrected when we humbly reach out to God and quietly listen to Him. He then shows us the way and we know Love is always the answer. Psalm 73: 23-24 states “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” That happens, not just some of the time, but every time we turn to God.
Recently, someone shared an article with me on the two kinds of gratitude which was most interesting. If we take someone a wrapped gift, does she unwrap the gift and then thank us profusely or does she set the gift down and embrace us before she even unwraps it. This really sparked some thought with me. Always, before Jesus prayed, he first expressed gratitude to God for all He had done! As we express that type of gratitude, isn’t our thought lifted to a spiritual level? Or are we always praying to get something or to get well or whatever?
I Chronicles 29:11 reads, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” Isn’t that a wonderful way to begin all prayer? I think I will do that.