Have a Blessed Resurrection Day. Happy Easter from Mama’s Empty Nest.
It’s Maundy Thursday – a day of remembrance for those of us who are Christians.
Good Friday is but a day away. And then we wait for the day spectacular. The day of rejoicing. Resurrection Day! Easter Sunday – the day Jesus proved He is the way to victory over death.
But as we wait, we commemorate. Tonight at church, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. As believers in Christ, we will gather together in our country church. We will read Scripture and ponder those last days Jesus lived on earth in human form.
We will follow in His footsteps. We will eat a meal together – we call it a Love Feast – just as He did with His disciples before He was arrested, tried, convicted, beaten, and crucified on a cross.
John 13:1: “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.”
Today we will partake in Communion. We will break specially prepared bread, handmade by our church deacons using a long-used recipe. We will give thanks for it before we eat, just as our Savior did before he spoke these words recorded in Luke 22:19: “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Then we will take the cup, again giving thanks in remembrance of what our Lord did for us on the cross when His blood poured forth to save our souls. In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” ~ Luke 22:20
But there is something else we will do. It may seem unusual to some, but it is an integral part of our faith as we remember the significance of this Holy Week, the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for human kind, and the love that overflowed from Him.
We will fill basins with water, gather towels, and kneel in front of other fellow believers in Christ and wash their feet.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” ~ John 13:3-5
In Jesus’ day, prior to a communal meal, it was common to have your dirty, dusty feet washed before reclining at a low table to eat. This job was relegated to a lowly servant. Jesus demonstrated the ultimate in love, humility, and servanthood by performing this act for His disciples.
And then He told them and us, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, not is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” ~ John 13:14-17
So why do we do wash the feet of another? Not only do we do so to follow Jesus’ example, but also because even though as believers we have been washed clean of our sins when we come to Christ, we need cleansing from living in a sin-stained world.
Sanctification (cleansing) is performed by the power of the Holy Spirit through the “washing with water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26). As followers of Jesus, we desire to emulate Him, serve others with humility in our hearts and minds, and build one another up in love.
It is then that we will be equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
On this best day of the year, I can’t think of a better way to spend it than serving my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ by following the footsteps of Jesus.
It’s Valentine’s Day. The day we celebrate love.
Love, love, love. It’s everywhere today. Hearts and flowers. Big red heart-shaped candy boxes.
Yes, there will be gifts galore. Jewelry, chocolates, red roses, stuffed animals, heart-laden cards, and fancy dinners.
Who doesn’t love love and all it brings? Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day?
I’ll tell you who. Those who feel unloved, that’s who. Those who are lonely on this day and every day. Those who have lost their loved ones. Those who are burdened.
Valentine’s Day always brings romantic love to mind, but really it should be a day that we demonstrate love. Period. Love to everyone. Kind of like that old 60’s song, “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.”
“Think of your fellow man; lend him a helping hand,
Put a little love in your heart.
You see it’s getting late; oh, please don’t hesitate
Put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place; and the world will be a better place
For you and me. You just wait and see.”
I recall how my daughters disliked Valentine’s Day before they met their beloved ones. Their friends with boyfriends reveled in valentine wishes, balloons, and gifts and my girls couldn’t wait for the day to end. They certainly weren’t unloved because we loved them dearly, but romantic love seemed to rule the day, and it still does.
My beloved, my husband of 35 years, and I ceased bestowing valentines on each other years ago. Neither one of us requires a gift to prove love for each other. To us, the gift of spending time together means much more.
So there won’t be hearts and flowers or even chocolate candy dispensed at our house…well, there might be some chocolates pulled out of the kitchen pantry to share. But love means much more than candy.
I read a newspaper article (yes, I’m a dinosaur who still reads my news in print form) this week about reaching out, especially on this day, to the unloved, the lonely, and those who’ve lost their beloved ones. It made me think. What if we did put a little love in our hearts by serving others? You know, take that love and spread it around to our fellow humans….put a little love in someone else’s heart?
There’s an old saying that love isn’t love until you give it away.
So what if instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts, we shared our love by donating money to a worthy cause in our loved one’s name? What if we called that friend who’s feeling lost, lonely, or unloved today and told her/him how much we care?
We can hand over gifts or donate to charity, but if we do so without love, it means nothing. We really have to have love in our hearts!
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Verses 4-8 tells us, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
When I teach young people about relationships, I tell them that love is an action word. And the best way to test whether you practice love for another is to insert your name in place of the word ‘love’ in that passage of scripture.
So if I truly have love in my heart, I should be able to say, “Cindy [my name, but you can insert yours] is patient, Cindy [your name] is kind. Cindy does not envy, Cindy does not boast, Cindy is not proud. Cindy does not dishonor others, Cindy is not self-seeking, Cindy is not easily angered, Cindy keeps no record of wrongs. Cindy does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Cindy always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
And when I do all of that, put love in my heart and spur it into action, I can truly say “Love never fails.”
It’s Valentine’s Day. The day of love. I’m writing it on my heart that today is the best day of the year because I love and am loved, but even more than that, I can put a little love in the heart of someone else.
May you love and be loved this day and be encouraged to put love into action.
Every winter, it happens.
The air turns dry when the cold temperatures set in and so does my skin, particularly my hands, legs, and feet.
I start to itch. And then I start to scratch.
I should own stock in all the companies that make body lotions which claim to heal dry skin. Over the years, I’ve tried them all. Ones with lanolin, ones with glycerin, ones with aloe, ones with vitamins, minerals, CoQ10, and all kinds of secret magic ingredients.
And still I itch. And still I scratch.
Ogden Nash once said, “Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.”
Well, I beg to differ. Scratching an itch is sometimes just a temporary solution. My red, itchy skin morphs into redder, itchier, inflamed skin from scratching and that doesn’t exactly provide happiness, if you ask me.
Oh, I know, Nash probably wasn’t talking about literal itches and scratches. Sometimes that itch is a yearning, a yen for something, and scratching it or satisfying it, trying to attain it, can make you happy. Or so it seems.
It just doesn’t happen in the case of my irritated skin.
All this slathering on of lotion and scratching causes me to think about itchiness. I know, my mind really does jump the train tracks sometimes.
I remember my grandmother and mom spouting old home-style proverbs about itchy things. Like if your nose itched, that meant company was coming to visit you soon. If your ears were itchy, someone was talking about you. Or if the palm of your hand itched, money was coming your way!
Don’t you wonder where these ‘old wives tales’ came from? I do. The only one I can trace back to a written source is the itchy palm. In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, Cassius proclaims, “I, an itching palm!” ~ Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 7–12
According to some research, an itching palm was one that must be “scratched” with coins. In other words, Cassius was money hungry.
Why do we itch for things we can’t have? Why aren’t we ever satisfied with what we do have?
Why do we say, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?” Why aren’t we content to just scratch our neighbor’s back without the need for him to return the favor to us?
It has to be because we humans are so self-centered. We’re always itching for more to satisfy ourselves.
More money. More stuff. More glamour. More food or drink. More power. More prestige.
The list goes on and on, and the scratching of those kind of itches goes on and on as well.
I found this old saying in my quotations notebook: “Home is where you can scratch where it itches.” Well, isn’t that the truth when we’ve got physical itchy spots?
But I find my heart and soul itch too. My heart and soul itch to serve God better, to spend more time with Him both in reading His Word and talking with Him.
God provides the source to relieve all of our itches and I am grateful for that. That’s why I’m writing it on my heart that today is the best day of the year. I’m thankful for God’s provisions – grace through my personal relationship with my Savior; a loving family and friends; a comfortable, warm home; a reliable car; enough food to eat; clean water to drink; and clothes to wear.
And, oh yes, my Gold Bond lotion, which acts as a soothing balm for my physically itchy skin, and my Bible, a solace to satisfy my spiritually itchy soul.
Lately, images of fire dart across my mind’s radar screen.
Of course, the news reports about wild fires out west attracted my attention and the sight of all that devastation leaves me rife with sympathy for those who’ve lost their homes.
To continue the fiery theme, last week my blog received the “Blog On Fire” award. Shortly before that, an amazing display of fiery color occurred in my own backyard at sunset one evening – an image I managed to capture with my camera and post yesterday on Wordless Wednesday.
Even the weather speaks of fire to me with sultry hot and humid days and nights, which make me feel like I’m burning up and bring old sayings to my thoughts like “hotter than Hades,” or my personal favorite, “hotter than a flicker’s nest,” a phrase my Mom used to utter.
All these fire images got me to thinking. You know the problem with fire is you can get burned out. When there’s not enough fuel to sustain a fire, it flickers, it fades, and it dies out. Done. Consumed. Burned out. Cold.
Sometimes that’s exactly how I feel – in my real life and in my writing life – like I don’t have enough sustainable fuel to keep the fire going. As I examine why I feel so consumed, I can list off a litany of reasons.
I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed with too many tasks to accomplish. The summer doldrums I usually encounter this time of year just weigh me down. The emotional aspect of our middle daughter getting married recently and preparing for our other two adult children’s weddings is taking a toll on me. I’m feeling a bit melancholy over the fact that all of our children will again be far from the homestead.
Now that middle daughter is married, she and son-in-law have commenced their newly-wedded life in the state south of us. When son marries in two months, he and our new daughter-in-law will live in the state to the east of us. And we just learned that oldest daughter and her fiancé will set up housekeeping in his city – a state several hours southwest – once they become man and wife.
It’s entirely possible that all these circumstances explain why I feel burned out and used up. I spoke with a very good friend lately and confided some of this to her as well as the fact that on top of all of these reasons, I’m also encountering a very dry spell in my walk of faith.
I know this happens from time to time. I’ve experienced it before, but I don’t like it. Here’s how I would describe this experience:
You used to feel revived, just like a continuous mountain stream might provide refreshment, by the living God each day. Cool and alive, moving forward. You’re nourished by God and His Word and saturated with His living water.
Then for some reason, the dry season comes just like the drought that holds much of our country tight in its grip right now. You feel withered. Parched. Like you’re in the middle of a hot, desolate desert.
Here’s the part that causes me to often struggle. I know my Savior. I know the answer to my thirst, the solution for the dryness is in His Word. All I have to do is open it and partake. It’s like when you turn on your kitchen faucet. Cool water pours forth. You need to grab your cup, fill it up, and drink to quench your thirst. And even though I know this, I don’t do it. My Bible sits unopened; my prayer times prove shoddy and quick at best.
I have an amazing friend who is an ardent prayer warrior. I know she prays for me. She told me she often pictures those she prays for as vessels which have been turned over on their sides and are starting to empty. So she prays for God to fill them up.
As she’s been praying for me, she saw me as a vessel not just turned over, but turned upside down and emptied out. She softly added that she doesn’t tell me this to hurt me. I replied that this image doesn’t hurt me because I know it is truth and she has put into words exactly how I feel. Upside down and empty.
That is how life feels sometimes, even the life of a believer in Christ. We endeavor to live each day with gratitude and joy, but some days, our humanity, our very humanness gets the upper hand and we just don’t feel it.
But then something truly amazing happens. Even amid a burned out, worn out wasteland, God is a God of restoration. He tells me that in scripture, but when I can’t, or don’t, or won’t read that for myself, He shows me.
I see firsthand His restoration in my parched, dried, crunchy brown lawn when he sends refreshing rain to green my grass yet again. He demonstrates restoration when I gaze at the farmer’s field next to my home. Once it was a wasteland of overgrown brush and briars, ugly to behold. Now, it boasts stalk after stalk of lushly green corn, growing by inches each and every day.
He reminded me of His restoring power when we visited Shanksville, PA recently and I viewed the farmland which was violated, shredded, torn, and burned when Flight 93 crashed there on September 11, 2001. In place of the horror that field represents, gorgeous wildflowers now grow as God restores that land.
And He proves to me that even though I feel distant from Him, worn down, and burned out, He is still with me (or as my prayerful friend says, “He knows your address.”). He still cares, He still protects, He still loves me unconditionally – empty and parched, tired vessel that I am.
How do I know this is true? Because as I trudged to my mailbox one weary day, I glanced across the road, and God, Creator of the universe, showed me something – a group of wild daisies blooming.
Happy little white and yellow flowers that I’ve never noticed growing near my house before. The sight of them transported me back to childhood and a summer activity I always loved as a youngster – picking a daisy and plucking each petal off of it as I recited, “He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not.”
Right then I knew it! I knew – deep in my heart and yes, in my soul – something profound resonated while observing those wildflowers by the side of the road.
I picked a daisy and as I twirled it round and round in my hand and considered plucking its petals, it ‘spoke’ to me. And this is what it said, “He loves you.” Each petal of that daisy proclaimed, “He loves you. He loves you. He loves you!” And I didn’t have to pluck the petals off the stem to know it.
I never have to second guess His love for me. Even when I feel distant from God. Even when I feel like I’m in the middle of an arid desert. He always has loved me. He always will. He will restore me, and He will provide refreshment. He will give me strength. He will grant me joy. He will always be with me. That is His promise - “… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” ~ Matthew 28:20.
And you know what? He loves you the same. A daisy told me so.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” ~ Isaiah 40:8
I captured this photo a couple of years ago at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh one day when my husband and I visited there in need of a winter’s day respite.
Something about this sight intrigued me enough to warrant taking a picture. In comparison to some of the other photos I snapped of exquisite plants and flowers that day, this one doesn’t seem that extraordinary.
But yet, each time I view these snapshots, I am drawn to this picture over and over again. Finally, this week as I prayerfully considered Holy Week and what it means to believers in Jesus Christ like me, I realized why this photo attracts me with such intensity.
It reminds me of the picture in my mind of how I think the tomb appeared on that Resurrection morning. The stone was gone. The tomb was open. And it was empty. Our Savior defeated death and He arose!
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.” ~ Luke 24: 1-8
The tomb is empty. My Savior paid the ultimate price for my sin and the sins of this world. He arose from the grave victorious! And so shall we. Hallelujah! He is risen, indeed!!
Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com
The Death of Jesus:
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, ‘Surely this was a righteous man.’ When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus:
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”
A new day. A new year. A new opportunity. Isn’t that what New Year’s Day signifies?
For some, it’s the opportunity to make resolutions perhaps to commence a healthy diet, lose weight, stop whatever bad habit they’ve acquired, or change some aspect of their lives.
For some, it’s a new beginning, time to put a year of difficulty or sadness or trial behind them.
For some, it’s just another day….whatever.
On January 1, here at Mama’s Empty Nest, we usually take down the festive Christmas trimmings that adorn our home inside and out.
Papa handles the outdoor lights and carefully stores them away for next year’s use. I pack away the indoor garlands, lights, and other Christmas festoons. Together we will tear down the tree and place the ornaments safely in their packages where they rest undisturbed until the day after Thanksgiving.
There’s something about clearing out the reminders of holiday festivities though that brings out a cleaning streak in me. I get the urge to purge when January rolls around on the calendar.
Once the boxes of Christmas are stashed away, I want to clean the house top to bottom, closet by closet, room by room, and de-clutter. I’ve been this way for as long as I’ve been married. In the last few years though, I feel the intense desire to undertake all of this, but don’t always possess the energy to actually accomplish it all. But I try.
This yearning to clean up and improve my physical surroundings reminded me of this quote from my trusty old notebook:
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ~Ellen Goodman
Isn’t that the truth? As I walk through my house after Christmas is over, room by room, I notice the things that need attended to, items to repair, unnecessary fluff to discard or pass on to someone who could truly use it.
But how often do I walk through the rooms of my life as that writer suggested? Do I examine my heart, my actions, my words, and my motivation as closely as I scrutinize my house?
I liked Goodman’s last premise, “not looking for flaws, but for potential.” I find it as easy to determine the flaws I harbor in my being as it is to identify imperfections in my home that require attention. But this year I want to look earnestly for potential in my days… yes, I will say it, the opportunities.
Last year, I opened my book I called Opportunity on New Year’s Day. Today on this first day in 2012, I’m still leafing my book open to prospects, but I’m adding another aspect. I’m searching for the potential for joy each day of this new year. No, strike that – I’m choosing joy each day this year.
Yes, that’s it! I am choosing JOY. And I’m taking a clue from Dr. Seuss when he wrote, “You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
So it’s decided. I’m opting for joy. I will examine each circumstance as it comes my way (and there will be many I’m sure!) and I will ask the Lord to show me JOY in the midst.
For years, I’ve claimed this scripture from the Holy Bible as my life verse: “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Did you catch that? Be. Joyful. Always. Not just some of the time, not just when situations make me happy or conditions are right or surroundings are pleasant, but always. No matter the circumstances.
I know you might be shaking your head thinking, “Oh, wow, she’s crazy. This is not going to be easy.” You’re right, I know it. But I’m still going to try and with God’s help and direction, with prayer and searching His Word, I’m setting sail on a journey of joy. Who’s coming with me?
If you’re coming along, go back up and look at my picture at the top of the page. Do you see the word “joy” like I do? It’s written with sparklers on the right hand side. It proves to me that all I have to do is look for joy and I’ll find it!
Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com
If happiness were measured by how much the sun was shining, in my world today it would be blindingly bright.
The last several months have been a bit of a trial for us here at Mama’s Empty Nest, not unbearable just a time of uncertainty. We’ve considered much, reflected more, and have diligently sought God’s guidance as we faced a period of insecurity. Through it all, hubby and I have tried to seek God’s will, petitioned Him in prayer and waited….and waited.
We’ve praised and thanked God the Father for the provisions He provided for us and how He continued to supply our needs during our bit of a trial. We’ve held tightly to our faith and scripture from 1 Peter 5:7 has been especially comforting to me: “Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.”
And just like that first beaming ray of sunshine thrust downward from the sky piercing its way through the dark and ominous clouds of a rainstorm, our long-awaited answers to prayer arrived this week, not just one answer but two!
American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a love-beam of God’s care for every separate need.”
Today, on this 10th page of my book of Opportunity in Chapter 7, there’s not just a warm sunbeam shining in our country home cottage window. Instead I feel like my entire home is ablaze with sunshine – a beacon of light – as God, maker of heaven and earth, has poured blessings upon our heads.
For most of this year, my husband has been unemployed. There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, encouragements and disappointments as he sought another position. In a period of time that can be devastating and demoralizing, I can honestly say – in our 33 years of marriage – I have never seen my husband stronger.
Instead of embracing defeat, he embraced our Savior Jesus Christ more than ever through reading the Word and devout prayer, through servanthood to others, and his willingness to help those in more dire need than ourselves.
I believe God has blessed my husband for his steadfastness and faith, for his total reliance on Him, and for his thorough self-examination identifying attitudes and thoughts he needed to change. Just this week, my husband was offered a job. Not just any job, but a job that he is excited about, an emotion he hasn’t experienced when it comes to work for a very long time.
On the heels of that sunbeam of joy that radiated down over us, our oldest daughter flew in for a job interview in our nearby city. She truly loves her current job and employer in the Deep South, but after four years of living in that area, her heart tells her she doesn’t want to stay there any longer. She recently expressed her desire to live closer to our family, a prayer desire Mama and Papa have lifted to the Father for quite some time.
After a promising phone interview, a prospective employer asked her to fly in for a face-to-face. Again joy permeated through me like the warmth of a sunbeam when our daughter was offered a new job right here in our city! Celebration reigned at our house this weekend!
This morning at o’dark thirty, Papa and I drove our beloved eldest to the airport for her early morning flight back south, where she won’t reside much longer. This time, the farewells at the terminal weren’t melancholy, they were jubilant as we look forward to the future.
The sun started rising as we headed home afterward. As dawn began to break, the old Sunday School song, “I’ll Be a Sunbeam,” came to my mind.
“Jesus wants me for a sunbeam to shine for Him each day,
In every way try to please Him, at home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.
I will ask Jesus to help me to keep my heart from sin,
Ever reflecting His goodness, and always shine for Him.
I’ll be a sunbeam for Jesus; I can if I but try;
Serving Him moment by moment, then live with Him on high.”
That song echoed through my mind while I tried to stay awake as we entered a tunnel on our way from the airport into the city. As you exit this particular passageway, you are treated to a full view of our beautiful city. The sight of it never ceases to inspire awe in me.
This morning, upon exiting the tunnel, another awe-inspiring sight revealed itself – the gorgeous morning sun, rising up like a gargantuan round orb of luminous orange-red. Its light blinded me as it perched perfectly between two sentinel skyscrapers, slowly ascending into the morning sky, and I chastised myself again for not grabbing my camera before I left the house. It truly was a breath-taking, beautiful sight and I gasped, then said to hubby, “Wow! Look at that!”
A scripture in Judges 5:31 came to my mind: “So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
As I squinted into the sun’s radiance, I thought, “How could we ever appreciate the sun if we never had night?”
Likewise, how could we ever appreciate the blessings if we never endured trials? How could we appreciate life’s happiness if we never experienced life’s storms?
Jane Porter, a Scottish novelist in the 1800’s, once wrote: “Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray. When it strikes a kindred heart, like the converged light upon a mirror, it reflects itself with the redoubled brightness. It is not perfected until it is shared.”
Happiness, like sunbeams, are not perfected unless they are shared, and I think that’s true about faith as well. That’s why I must share my faith in Jesus Christ with you in hopes that you too might want to be a sunbeam for Him.
“The mountains are God’s thoughts piled up…
The ocean is God’s thoughts spread out…
The flowers are God’s thoughts in bloom…
The dew drops are God’s thoughts in pearls.”
~ Minister Sam Jones (1847-1906)
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; and you put everything under his feet; all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
~ Psalm 8 (New International Version)