Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Summer is fast fading into Autumn. The grass covered hills are turning to a dry, crunchy brown. The once green leaves, filled with life and beauty, are slowly fading into their varied colors of death. The air is filled with a crisp coolness. My window, once open wide to the warm summer breezes, which gave my room a sweet freshness, and tickled my face through the night, is now closed tight.
Even the golden red Mums are in full bloom.
It never ceases to amaze me, how fast the days slip away, into just memories. Every time I pause to ponder over the events of the summer, I shake my head in unbelief that it has slipped away so incredibly fast! So many moments, are now in the safe keeping of many sweet memories.
One little highlight of the summer, was watching our garden grow. From the time the earth was broken up, the seeds planted and the the tiny little green sprouts poking their heads above the brown dirt, to gathering the harvest of many yummy veggies, and the many beautiful flowers that somehow ended up in vases on the kitchen table! :)
There are so many lessons to be learned in the garden! Every time I wandered out there to pull those persistent little weeds, the Lord always impressed upon my heart some simple, but yet profound lesson for the "garden" of my heart.
One thing I watched, with increasing wonder in our garden this summer, was my mommy's favorite flower. I don't think she would ever plant a garden without planting some of them... Bright yellow Sunflowers!
I have to admit, after this Summer, they have become a part of my "favorites" list too! :)
Every time I jumped out of bed in the morning, to stretch, and peek out the window at the rising sun, those sunflowers up in the garden would always catch my eye. They always had their faces turned to the glory of the sunrise.
At noon, when I was busy about my day, they would always be looking straight upward, to the height of the bright blue sky, looking straight into the face of the sunshine.
Then, when we would gather round for evening worships, to sing songs of praise, and listen to the words of the Lord, read to the hearing of all listening ears, those Sunflowers had their little faces turned to the west, as the sun drifted behind the hills.
These little sun followers have been an incredible inspiration to me, and have taught me so many beautiful lessons, that I shall never forget!
They have reminded me to ever keep my eyes focused on Him, trusting that He will carry me through each valley He permits me to travel through, for the purification of my Character... trusting He has a beautiful plan for my life, without me intervening with my ideas of how things should go...
"We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts may turn to God as naturally as the flower turns to the sun. The sunflower keeps its face sunward. If it is turned from the light, it will twist itself on the stem, until it lifts up its petals to the bright beams of the sun. So let everyone who has given his heart to God, turn to the Sun of Righteousness, and eagerly look up to receive the bright beams of the glory that shine in the face of Jesus." ST December 16, 1889
Yes, just plain and simply trusting Him for everything! Fixing my eyes on Him, as those tall, sturdy Sunflowers do. Never taking my eyes away to look at others, myself, or disheartening circumstances.
He brings the day every morning. He causes the moon and stars to twinkle in the night sky. He holds worlds in space. He makes this tiny, insignificant heart of mine beat every second I have had life. How could the thought ever cross my mind that He cares not for me, and my life?
This is the prayer of my heart...
"....Heart, be like the Sunflower, not only open to receive God's blessings, but constant in looking to Him." ~Richter
Yes, heart of mine, look unto Jesus constantly, and just trust Him.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
So very soon....by His Grace, and through the the Faith that He has authored, and will finish in me, and because of ever looking unto Him, I shall too set down at the beautiful throne of God.. and shall recount the trails of this life with a smile, saying, it was soo worth it all!
And just perhaps, I shall have Sunflowers in my garden there too... =)
Sunday, September 2, 2012
The other day, I was folding a pile of laundry on my bed, fresh from the dryer. And as they often are, my thoughts were busy as well as my hands. I was thinking about how short time is... So close we are to the gates of eternity.... I don't realize myself how close we are, and oh how many there are who don't even know this hope of eternal life exists...
And I asked myself, as I often do, 'What are YOU doing about it? 'Oh..', I sighed inwardly, '..not nearly enough..'
You see, I have an enemy, that whispers in my ear constantly, that I am not good enough to do anything for a Holy God, and that He can't use ME, because I don't have many talents, and I fail Him so often, returning to my earthly treasures... fools gold, as I call it, those things which give nothing but even more pain and despair.
As my thoughts were running down this, "I'm no good" sort of path, God entered in.. and stoped them dead in their tracks! Praise Him!
This is what He whispered to me...
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
At that moment, this verse which the Lord interrupted my thoughts with, came crashing in with such force that I'm not sure what you would have seen if you were watching me at that moment... probably I was staring at the wall, my hands still holding something I was folding, totally struck by those incredible words I'd heard before, but never really considered as meant for ME.
And as if one wasn't enough He sent others crashing in right after the other. Yes, these exact words..
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. ...for when I am weak, then am I strong. " 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand saying unto thee; fear thou not I will help thee." Isaiah 40:31
"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper..." Hebrews 13:6
'So yes,' He whispered, 'you may be nothing, and are, but I am everything.. And I'm here for you. I want to hold your hand, to be your helper, to be your strength... to be your everything.'
My heart melted within me... 'Yes Lord, You're so right, I've been all wrong, terribly wrong'.
A few mornings later, I lay in bed. I could hear morning worship taking place in the living room. Sick with whooping cough, I had gotten much less than 4 hours of sleep that night. Coughing all night, til around 3:30 in the morning, when I finally somehow collapsed in utter exhaustion...
When I heard the voices of my family in the living room, I could hardly believe it was morning, in fact I didn't want it to be...
But I was awake now, groggy, but awake. The voice of my younger brother drifted through the kitchen, into my bedroom, to my half asleep ears. 'It must be his turn for worship this morning' I thought.
He was reading the parable about the talents, in the book of Matthew.
As I was thinking about the story in the parable, my mind turned to the servant who was only given one talent. The other two servants, the one who was given five talents, and the other who was given two, were both faithful with them, and their talents multiplied. But the servant who was only given one talent, went and dug a hole, and buried it.
I stared out my window, as I pondered over what this servant had done. The babble of conversation in the living room faded from my hearing, as I considered this unfaithful servant, and myself.
'Lord,' I questioned, 'Is that what I have done? Buried the talents you have given me? For surely you have at least given me one.'
My dear brothers and Sisters, and fellow servants, what are we doing with the talent(s) the Lord has given us, His servants? This is the question I had to ask myself that morning.
Have we buried them, or used them for our own self glory? Oh, I don't know about you, but I do not want the terrible fate of that unfaithful servant one day.
"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.." Matthew 25:30
So, I know I'm nothing. Weak and unworthy. And so it may be that I've been entrusted with but one talent. But I want to claim the absolutely precious promises the Lord has given us, and unbury my talent out of the dusty dirt, and let Him polish it, making it shine for His honor and glory! Oh how dare I do anything less...
How about you?
Let's just do it my friends! We've got nothing to lose. In fact, we've got everything to win!