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!
This morning as I study and pray at my desk, I think about how I awakened for many years. The minute my eyes popped open, I would take an inventory mentally of all the problems that were going on in my life at that time. The same thing would happen as I closed my eyes at night. The difference now is as I retire for the night, I think of the many blessings God has bestowed upon me and I wake doing the same thing. As I glance back, I cannot remember the exact time and date that change occurred nor does it matter.
Zephaniah 3:17 reads “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” This, I now know to be true and with this Truth, my heart sings.
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.
Recently, my husband and I were driving the back roads in the Hill Country where we live. This is one of our favorite things to do since he is a photographer and I am an artist. As we came upon this bridge and got out of the car, on one side we looked down at the rapidly flowing waterfalls, which were just amazing! But, by turning to the other side of the bridge and looking down, the water was flowing calmly and very serene. We stood there in amazement looking from one side to the other. Soon I was thinking about life realizing no matter the scene, just by raising and turning our thought, we can see peace and harmony.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Sometimes all we need to do is face the other direction.
Years ago I heard a story of a man who died and was at the pearly gate. St. Peter told him he was pleased to escort him into Heaven and opened the door. Before him were tables filled with beautiful food and drink and there was music everywhere The utensils were gold and large and everyone was feeding another. The man was in awe but asked St. Peter if he could just take a quick glimpse into hell and St. Peter agreed.
As he opened the door, he saw the same tables, food, drink and huge gold utensils, but everyone was attempting to feed himself, losing the food in the process. There was so much complaint and swearing that it drowned out the music and food was all over the floor. Don’t we experience Heaven when we are helping others and filled with gratitude and praise! Don’t we experience hell when we are self-absorbed and afraid of lack of Good. Don’t we make our own Heaven and hell?
Lamentations 3:22-26 states “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Today, I will see Heaven everywhere.
This week we are having the interior of our home painted which I have wanted for several years. From my desk I can see into the front part where they are painting and it looks a mess. Such disarray! This is temporal and the result will be lovely, but this step in the process has to be. I often think of spiritual growth and how I would love it to be as a snap of the fingers but that couldn’t happen. As I look at the chaos, I realize it certainly isn’t permanent and a beautiful outcome will be evident in a few days. The painter is visualizing the outcome; as will I.
Psalm 37:4 reads “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give yo the desires of your heart.”
We just returned home from a 1500 plus mile trip where we were protected in many ways. The trip was to attend our granddaughter’s outdoor wedding and after arriving, rain was in the forecast. The wedding was about 17 miles away from the city where they live and it had become very cloudy. As I was praying about this weather, it occurred to me that nothing can dampen nor darken Good and God is Good and ever-present.
As we drove away from the city, it became lighter and lighter and I knew and felt God’s presence. The wedding was beautiful and dry. There was love expressed everywhere. I Chronicles 16:27 states “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy in His dwelling place.” came to thought! What a wonderful event!