Each summer, I plant zinnia seeds harvested from the previous year’s planting. Butterflies and hummingbirds swarm the tops of the flowers, seeking the sweet nectar presented in little 5-pointed yellow flasks. Goldfinches pluck petals while clinging to the stems just under the flowers; treats in the form of seeds present themselves at the base of each petal. Small piles of rejected petals collect on the leaves as evidence of a goldfinch satisfying his hunger.
While studying John 13:5-20 one day, I found myself imagining I was with the disciples, about to have Jesus wash my feet. I felt peaceful and warm, knowing all was well with Him there. Gone were my previous thoughts regarding how awkward it would be to have someone as glorious as Jesus stoop down to do a menial task for my benefit. Before this day, I had only understood the lesson of humility taught by this passage. A second, deeper meaning swelled in my heart, helping me to appreciate, once again, the richness of Scripture.Read More »
Reading has always been a pleasure of mine. After the introduction of characters in a story book, the plot develops and the action builds to a slightly unsettling, but exciting high point. Then, the action turns and slows to the point of resolution, a satisfyingly happy ending. All is well.
Over the last couple of years, it became apparent that my health was suffering significantly each time I would leave my house to go anywhere. The resulting illness that lasted for several days was a strong motivator to simply stay home instead of participate in my previous activities. As my world gradually grew smaller, I thought it would become easier to keep my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). I thought there would be fewer sinful distractions. How wrong I was.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
In my process of being weaned, there are moments of discouragement. Falling tears leak my memory from my mind, making biblical truths difficult to recall. In order to compose and quiet my soul, I need to talk myself through what I know to be true though. A written list is helpful during these times; it reminds me of what I know to be true and prompts right thinking. Following is my list, provided for a special someone in need. A pdf version without links is provided at the end of the post for anyone desiring a printed version of truths “on hand” for those difficult moments.
It should have been a simple task. Mopping the kitchen floor after months of neglect due to illness did not seem to be a major task once I had enough energy to notice the filth. I felt good and didn’t have a problem finishing the job. It was refreshing to have a clean floor in one small space of the house and satisfying to finally accomplish something more than my own self-care. Little did I know the enormity of time that would be required to recover from this seemingly straightforward task.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:15-16
The day after I realized that I might have to stop writing posts for this blog I remained in bed praying for a while before I got up for the day. I asked God to help me know Him more even though my struggles to see well prevent as much Bible reading as I had been doing. In this precious time spent with God, I became aware of the Father watching me, desiring to give me the answer to my prayer. I thought of Jesus standing at His Father’s side advocating for me and the Holy Spirit living inside of me, helping me along this process called sanctification. An hour passed peacefully as I pictured manna raining down to feed me while I tried to find God’s way in my desert.Read More »
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Where can we turn when we are afraid? Although there are many possible answers to this question, only one provides an effective solution to the problem of fear. Wave after wave of difficulty the past few months and years has pounded into me the reality that trusting God is the solitary means of peace.