Archive for March, 2011

 

Thirty-fourth in the series Get close to God

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way; though he stumble, he will not fall, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.  (Psalm 37:24)

 

Ever notice how trusting small children are? You can swing and throw them (carefully!) up in the air, and when they fall back into your arms, what do they say? “AGAIN-HIGHER!”  They don’t doubt your ability or resolve to catch them.  OK, go ahead and laugh at my short shorts.  Just remember, it was the 80’s! 

 

Who do our kids run to when they are hurt or afraid of something?  To the ones who have always been there for them-their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings and friends.  That is where they find safety, protection, and comfort.  They know they can trust us and that calms their fears.  How was your first ride in a sky rail?  Stephanie wasn’t too thrilled.  Ah, the good old days at Opryland!  Sharon didn’t want me to use this picture.  Maybe it was her glasses.  🙂

 

Time goes by, we grow up, get betrayed and let down, and each abuse erodes a little more of our ability to rely on anyone or anything.  For many, hope gets lost, fear takes over, and depression sets in.  The writer of Lamentations was an eye-witness to the fall of Jerusalem:  “My spirit is greatly troubled; my heart is overturned within me…my soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness…my strength has perished.”  Recently, however, my friend Roger pointed out to me that some of the most encouraging and cherished promises in the Bible were just a few verses later in the same chapter: 

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  (3:21-23)

Yes, people have dropped us and disappointed us, but the Lord NEVER ceases to show his love to us because his compassion NEVER fails and his faithfulness is GREAT!  Think of one person right now you know you can always count on.  Now multiply that loyalty a hundred times and you still won’t come close to your Heavenly Father’s track record.  That’s because he loves you more than anyone else, and has the ability to care for you like nobody else can.  When he says he will be with you and not fail you or forsake you (like he does many times in the Bible) you can take that to the bank!

So then, why do so many of us Christians still worry and lose sleep over stuff even after praying?  Perhaps it’s because we have a false image of a busy and powerful boss in heaven that doesn’t want to be bothered and puts our requests at the bottom of more important matters.  We just can’t grasp the reality of unlimited omnipresence and omnipotence combined with a love that’s as wide and long and high and deep as the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18.)  We need to understand answering our prayers is not an option for God.  He already promised to do so and he never goes back on his promises.  He may not always do it the way I want him to, but I’m slowly learning he knows best.  I feel I have an edge, so to speak, that not everyone has, to personally know such a powerful and important person!  I need to approach prayer with more respect and responsibility.   An amazing potential is waiting to be unleashed; Almighty God is actually waiting and holding it back, granting us the privilege of interceding for others.  I believe the very instant a petition is transferred from our thoughts or lips, heavenly forces are set in motion to change the laws of nature, if necessary, to achieve glorious results.  My eighty-year-old mother may not be as strong as she used to be, but demons shutter when that prayer warrior gets down on her knees!  You never know, you may be the only one praying for somebody on a particular day. 

Then again, maybe we just need to somehow re-capture the spirit of our youth and trust God with abandon, knowing he won’t let us fall.  Maybe that’s why Jesus said “‘I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”  (Mark 10:15-16)  If they had pictures or videos back then, I’m willing to bet we would see Jesus enjoying holding them as much, if not more, than the children liked being held.  I know I did with mine…

 

Click here for the entire Get Close to God series

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Chased by Bees

Posted: March 14, 2011 in Candle Lights

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The bees chased me to church yesterday.  Life’s bees come in many forms, often they come in swarms.  We may not see the bees until the lawn mower of life disturbs their nest.  Sometimes the bees are physical.  Sometimes they are emotional.  The physical bees come, but the emotional bees seem to chase me the hardest.

This time of the year the nest is disturbed, and the bees of sadness start chasing me.  The chase started a few days ago, but the buzzing intensified when we were on our way to church yesterday.  Bees are attracted to water, and the experts say we should seek shelter when being chased by bees.  By the time we pulled into the church parking lot, my tears had started, the stinging had begun, and I needed shelter.

Deuteronomy 1:44 tells us that the Amorites chased the children of Israel “as bees do”.  The Amorites are described as being as tall as cedar trees and as strong as oak trees (Amos 2:9).  They were giant bees in hot pursuit, but God destroyed them, and when I ran into the shelter of His presence, He did the same for me.

As our pastor says, “Life is not all honey and no bees”.  My sadness will always remain, but as long as I am sheltered by my Father, there is peace.

Diane Padgett

3/7/11

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You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.     Isaiah 26:3, 4

 

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