Friday, April 27, 2012

His Eye is on the Sparrow..and I know....

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26

I have a picture hanging in my foyer that says “Faith is…the bird that sings while the dawn is still dark.” Don’t know who said it but it encourages me.

I arise very early in the morning in order to take care of my dog, pack my lunch and most importantly spend some time reading and meditating in the Bible. It’s not that I’m so spiritual, it’s because I am a morning person and that is the best time of day for me. And with the exception of the coldest day in winter, for every season I always can hear birds singing as early as 4:00 AM. Pitch black outside and they are just singing away! It never ceases to amaze me!

We can learn a lot from nature, in fact I think God must chuckle sometimes when the creatures in nature seem like they have it together more than us humans. Jesus shared about this in the above scripture…birds, he says, have nothing to do with planting or gathering food, but yet they trust that God, their creator WILL feed them. That is why they can sing when it’s still dark outside. Unlike us sometimes we have to have the most optimal conditions in order to praise and thank God; these creatures in their little “bird brains” know that if God thought enough of them to create them, then they had better be about what He created them for! AND be obedient about doing it whether it’s dark outside or a sunshiny day!

Can we “sing” like the birds in our darkest hours? Hard question…even harder answer… but God says yes. I remember when my husband passed away; it was one of my darkest times. Coming home from the hospital and facing that house where he would never set his feet again…seemed so hopeless. For days with the preparations and people coming and going, I operated on auto pilot. I remember slipping down into the basement early one morning and singing softly “I Exalt Thee”, softly as not to wake anyone. As I began to sing on auto pilot, suddenly my spirit inside felt as if it was a bird being released from a cage. My connection to God had been blurred somehow by the days and weeks of suffering and sadness; but as I began to sing a simple song of worship, my connection was again made clear and though I knew it would be rough ahead, somehow I knew I would be okay. It was just the beginning of the many times I would sing in the “darkness”, but thank God the “light” of dawn does come.

As the old childhood song goes, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” And He proves it over and over again. Even reminding us as we hear the birds sing in the darkness before the sun rises. In this life there will be times when we may not see or feel the sun (Son) in our situations, but be encouraged, just as sure as the light of dawn is there, so is He…so sing on!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Peace, peace...wonderful peace

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Psalms 55:22

Spring cleaning!  That’s what I have been doing this past week. What a blessing it is to have a job that gives you a week off for the Easter break!  I considered traveling, but decided that I needed to take care of some needed things on my “to do” list.  So I have been busy, busy taking care of the things I felt needed to be done around the house.  But noticed this morning that though I had accomplished much, somewhere between taking care of those, what I thought were urgent needs, I had lost my peace.

Now if you have ever really had a taste of what REAL peace is, you will know when you’ve lost it.  See I know what it is like to have peace, God’s peace in the midst of a storm. The storms of life that come and almost take your breath away…yep, I know what it feels like to be so shaken  that you can barely stand…but to instantly feel God’s hand steady and assure you that He is with you and will see you through.  So I know what real peace is, and I knew this morning that in all my busyness I had somehow lost it.  I felt uneasy in my spirit, began to think about negative things.  And as I was purging my book collection (still spring cleaning), I came across some class notes  that my late husband and I had completed years ago, it brought back sad memories of things I thought I had dealt with. And because I had no peace, God’s peace, the memories began to suck me in and take me back to a place, I thought I had forsaken for my good.

Why am I feeling this way Lord?  I know that You are with me…why do I feel so vulnerable?  Then He reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha:

 “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42

Martha was so busy doing many things, good things yes.  But she forgot the most important part…the good part…spending time with Jesus. 
After He reminded me of this story I was like “ OOOOOOHHHH  I get it!”  LOL Thank God He knows me and that it takes me a little time to get things!  All this week I have been busy, doing great things but  I confess I have spent very little time in my Bible and just kicking back and spending quiet time with Him.  You know the ironic thing about it is that I always say “Whenever I get some time off, I will be able to really spend some quality time reading and meditating on the Bible, not just my 15 minutes each morning before I go to work.”  And I am ashamed to say, here I was given the time and instead spent it on something not as important.

So without that communion with Him, I had begun to lose my source of peace.  Don’t think this is strange!  In any relationship you must spend time with a person to get to know them more, to know their ways.  So it is with a relationship with God… to truly know Him is to spend time with Him.

Am I forgiven by Him? Of course.  He is my Father and knows my weaknesses and shortcomings. But that doesn’t mean I should habitually make the same mistake.  That is not unless I want to lose all the benefits that come with knowing Him. God wants the best for me and you, and to receive that we must make time getting to know Him. 

My peace is back…lesson learned.