Friday, January 29, 2010

The One who holds my hand

“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

How many of us, parent or not, have had the privilege to walk alongside a little one, holding their tiny hand? It is a joy to feel the warmth of their hand, hear their giggles and their chitchat as they speak, and see the world through their eyes, and not just at our own hurried pace.

If you have had this privilege, then you know that, while holding their little hand, they can easily trip and fall even if there is nothing at all to make them stumble. It is a funny picture to think of a little child walking alongside you and, suddenly, for no apparent reason, they are safely dangling from your hand until their little flailing feet touch the ground and they are again walking correctly - at least for a while.

If you had not been holding their precious hand, they would have most probably fallen, with tears - and perhaps some blood - being the outcome.

As children of God, it is much the same with us. We are precious to Him, so He is holding our hand. We go along in life doing this and that, and He is holding tightly to our hand. We do right things and we do wrong things. Sometimes we mess up because we chose poorly, and sometimes we fail for no apparent reason. But the picture is the same. Our feet are flailing while He is holding on, and eventually our feet touch the ground and we are once again stable - all the while He is holding our hand.

As you live and love the LORD, you can go on knowing that He is holding on tightly to you during your good times, as well as your difficult times. He is there to get you back on your feet when you have stumbled, no matter if it was due to your choices or for reasons unknown. We can know that the LORD loves us.

“As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.” Psalm 18:30-36

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You are worth far more than many sparrows

“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

Years ago we moved out in the middle of a corn field. During almost every day we would hear construction noise, but by the end of the day or weekends it would be completely silent. We were the only house which was finished in this new area. Having chosen to move, it was fun and exciting but we were also grieving a great loss. The LORD was carrying us in His strength and mercy and so we were able to get up and do next things because of Him.

I loved being out in this open prairie in our new little home. I would laugh and say we were like Little House on the Prairie. Our lives were full and busy, although sometimes it would be busy along with tears of grief. One weekend I was alone for the day out on our prairie; it was a beautiful breezy spring day. The construction noise in the area had stopped early. It was completely quiet, with traffic once in a while seen off on the distant highway.

As normal, I ran to the LORD with my sadness throughout that day, with this solitary day being particularly difficult. Later in the afternoon I went out on our deck to talk with the LORD because it was private in our empty neighborhood. The tears eventually flowed as I poured out my heart to the One who hears us. As happens sometimes, we resort to, “Where are you , LORD?! Can’t you see and can’t You hear how much we desperately need You to save and deliver!?”

After I was finished with my prayers, the crying, and then the laying all of this at His feet I just sat there. It was so peaceful to sit in the gentle breeze and the silence. This is when I realized it wasn’t silent at all. Of all the delicate sounds in nature I could also hear birds chirping in the distance. We had not seen one bird at our home since we had moved in. I strained my eyes to see these birds but I saw nothing. The chirps were coming from the farmstead which had mature trees to the north of us.

The chirping continued but I never did see any birds. I didn’t need to see them, as I was struck with how profound this was to me. The LORD knew exactly where we were in our pain and He knew that we desperately wanted to be saved from our agony. He knew the very number of hairs on our heads! He knew where everyone of those birds were which I could only hear. And He was using those unseen birds to remind me that we were far more valuable than each one of those vocal sparrows.

On the other end of the spectrum of birds whom the LORD knows are Bald Eagles - massive, huge, majestic birds. Our children’s German instructor once suggested I observe Bald Eagles the next time I saw one. She pointed out that when they lift off - a tree perhaps - their bodies fall lower before they raise up higher giving new meaning to “mounting up with wings like eagles.”

So when we are waiting for the LORD and gaining new strength in Him, it isn’t like superman with “up, up and away.” Waiting is not passive. It is not doing nothing. Waiting on the LORD is extremely active, and when we choose to do it we can mount up with wings like eagles. If it is tough at first, we are not to give up. If a Bald Eagle, at some 13 pounds, would give up when it was lifting out of a tree and dropping down some, it would fall to its death if it didn‘t use its muscles instinctively to raise up. We too need to flex our spiritual muscles while we wait. When we do this in Him we will be able to walk and run even in the greatest times of need.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous men stumble badly, yet those who wait on the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:28-31

We now have myriads of birds who visit our yard. I not only hear them but see them. Birds mean more to me now than ever before because they represent a created thing that is important to the LORD, and that I am worth so very much more to Him. Praising the LORD with you!

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God.” 1 John 3:1a

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Busy! So Busy!

For me, 2009 has been some year…….busy! So busy! Most of my busyness - which was good and right to do - had not been planned but had come up and had to be put on my life’s schedule.

As I have written before, I take great joy in keeping my home and also accomplishing my added artistic outlets here. This particular year my “normal life” has suffered while I was so busy.
In much of 2009 I was so consumed with everything else that I had no time to think even in general. If I ever did think too much about how my normal life was falling to the wayside, I would end up having great peace even though living in a mild version of chaos.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1Timothy 6:6

Every now and then I was blessed with a big chunk of a day---or even a whole day where I was home and able to clean and organize my life again. I never became entirely finished, and I was never able to get ahead, but I was able to accomplish enough for me to feel confident and comfortable before I would leave the house again.

Throughout everything that has transpired I felt comforted knowing the LORD was not surprised at the busyness of my year. He carried me through it and has lovingly given me His peace even in my mild version of chaos.

What does 2010 hold for me? I have learned, and I now truly know, that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” May you also seek His face in all that you do.

“But you, man [woman] of God, flee from all this [many griefs-- verse10] , and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made a good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in His own time----God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen.” 1Timothy 6:11-16