Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Green Pastures

There's a little farm I pass every day when I drive to work. As with most farms, there is always some kind of amusement so usually I try to go a little slower as I pass the that stretch of highway.  Sometimes the new lambs are chasing old unplayable sheep or llamas are lazily chewing or the beauty of it is simply calming.

One morning I was especially caused to pause. Across the beautiful lush green pasture was a llama at the far end up to its shoulder blades in the fence. It hurt my neck just looking at how much it was straining to stretch to reach the long grass on the other side.  Silly llama I thought.  Why stretch so far when there is rich thick grass right under you?

Then the Nathan and David moment hit me upside the head and a voice inside my head scolded, "YOU are the llama!"

How often does something out of reach that is not mine appear so delectable? The greener grass on the other side of the fence. I stretch for it. I am willing to endure pain to get it. I am disillusioned by its appearance.  Satan makes me see things through rose colored glasses.  You'd think by now I would no longer fall for his tricks. I should be able to respond raising my own doubt. Is that grass really more tasty than what I have?  Is that house truly better for me? Is that model phone, dishwasher, oven, sewing machine, fill in the blank really something I need to be completely happy?

If that___________ really was something I needed, would not God give it to me?  A friend of mine often reminds me macaroni and cheese  is "daily bread"  just as much, if not more, than steak.

I, like you, are abundantly blessed with more than I could ever ask for or deserve.  God promises to provide for me when in actuality He blesses my socks off.   Shame on me for wanting more.  God gives what I need when I need it.

Lord, help me keep my neck from stretching and help me to be thankful for all of my blessings on this side of the fence.  (JH)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Peaceful Trust

As darkness covers the town like a blanket and neighbors begin to head off to bed, there is peace.

The dark of night can often bring unrest.  It is during the night sickness escalates, sleep is interrupted by worry and things overall seem worse.  Yet as I go to put my phone on the bedside stand I notice the Bible verse displayed.  Proverbs 3:5-6 telling me to trust in the LORD with all my heart.  This means trust God with everything and to lay it at His feet and leave it there.  Too often we give our troubles to God and quickly take them back.  That is trusting with only part of our heart if it is even trusting at all.

Psalm 139 explains why we should and can trust wholly in God.  He knows everything about us. When we sit, what we think, how we feel.  With Him we are never misunderstood.  There is nowhere we can go that He is not there.  For some this may be intimidating, yet who would want to be separated from a Friend who loves us so very much?  There is no fear in love. Love drives out fear and fear has to do with punishment.  Not to say we don't deserve to be punished, we most certainly do. Thankfully, our Father sees us through the death of His Son  Jesus and finds us washed of our sin.

With Him we are always safe.  Darkness is not dark to Him.  In His loving care we can peacefully sleep and wake again to face a new day of grace.  So, sleep in peace, dear child of God and wake with praise on your tongue that nowhere can you go during your day where God is not with you. (JH)