As I greet the day with thanksgiving, briefly I think about memorable times in my life and I find it is not necessarily the large raises I may have received nor the awards or large material gifts. What comes to mind instead, is a beautiful sunrise over the mountains, something good happening to a loved one or standing in as a grandparent at school for a child that didn’t have one here. The feelings I had with human accomplishments or gifts were fleeting but the genuine ones I can call up in my memory bank and recall the actual feeling.
When I remove self as in self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-pity, self-condemnation I can get in touch with my real self; the one God knows and sees. This is when I can relate to verses like Jeremiah 31:3 which states “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”
Recently, I was looking at a picture of raging waters and a lighthouse. As I glanced at the waters, the lighthouse became less clear and almost invisible. Then, I focused on the lighthouse and could not see the waters clearly. That is exactly what happens when I think of problems rather than all the good going on in my life. As I express gratitude for blessings, all other just fade away.
Philippians 4:8 reads “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Today, I will do just that!
Recently we left town for a few days. Before leaving, my husband and I discussed a tree in our back yard that we both thought might be dead and was wondering who to call to cut it down when we came back. While away one morning as I was praying, I remember asking to see God’s presence everywhere and began doing so. Upon arriving home and unloading the car, I went to my desk and looked out the window. There standing proud and lovely was our tree with leaves covering its branches. There is much life in that tree as I see God expressed in growth and beauty. Why do I ever doubt Him?
Psalm 16:11 states “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Thank you, Father!
About six weeks ago, I sent a letter to a show called “Returning The Favor” which is a documentary about someone who is doing some good and making a difference. For the past ten years our daughter and her husband have gone around giving away over one-half million pairs of new shoes to children who have none or old or hand-me-downs. Our son-in-law is a grief counselor and is called to disaster areas to help out.
Out of thousands of letters, mine was chosen so this past month has been a little stressful. This past week my brother and his wife and my niece and others joined us in a surprise event where the documentary was filmed while giving out new shoes to kiddos. They were later given 1,000 pairs of awesome shoes and 10,000 pairs of wonderful socks along with a $25,000 check. This morning, I could barely get out of bed and felt emotionally drained. The first thought I had was one of “let down” similar to after Christmas feelings. Within ten minutes, I recognized this as a world belief that we will come down after such a “high” period. I refuted this erroneous thought and turned wholeheartedly to God where I read in 1 Chronicles 16:11 “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.”
That is exactly what I did and was so grateful I had experienced such love and giving this week. We do not have to buy into any such belief ever! It was so freeing to discover that and make it real for me.
Recently heard someone talk about the piece of music “Ode to Joy”. Now that music is written perfectly, but if someone struggles when playing it, it doesn’t make the piece imperfect! One would keep practicing until he got it right. Then I began to think about man, who was made perfect in His image and likeness. Yes, we make mistakes but God’s Love neutralizes those mistakes when we learn from them and forgive ourselves, release them and continue forward. Our true self doesn’t become imperfect. My thought is this journey is about learning more and more about God and our relationship to Him and realizing only Spiritual growth is going on.
Romans 8:39 states “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That includes mistakes we may make along the way.
As I ponder this today, I think of when I am struggling, it is because human will is attempting to be in control. Then, when I turn to God and release human will, it is like the morning mist and distorted images that it contains dissolving in the presence of the sunlight. Humanly, we often think of “turning to God” as a state of passiveness, when actually, it is a very active exercise.
Praying with Colossians 3:15 bring peace as it states “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Everything we have belongs to God, so I am not so sure, He could or would have a bad relationship, a disease of any kind or a lack of supply. Accept this as Truth and it will set you free. God’s world is our classroom and His word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.'”