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Archive for May, 2013

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The child clambers upon my bed,

“Wake up, wake up sleepyhead.”

I squeeze my eyes tight 

still wanting to rest.

But tiny arms wrap about my legs

 and in the child’s grasp

my weary thoughts are replaced.

I take on her smile as she throws her head back to laugh.  

 I can tell today will be a good one.

 

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine.”

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Close-up of a sleeping infant

He’s been traveling a challenging road–one shared by more people than we’d care to admit.  And my heart has shattered into a thousand small pieces time and again when I’ve realized I cannot–nor could I ever–protect, rescue, or guarantee a painless and perfect childhood for my son.

And the question hangs heavy in the air.  How could a child who is loved thoroughly and prayed over constantly be thrust into the hands of Someone intending him harm?  My mother’s heart lacks understanding and I struggle with God just as Jacob wrestled with the Lord.  And while rolling in the dirt I cry out for mercy for my child.

When I rise up–aching, bruised, humbled–I realize the weight of this struggle will always be part of my life, my husband’s life, my child’s life–carried about as a reminder.  A reminder that belonging to Him neither exempts myself nor these young ones I love from hardship or pain.  A reminder that He is greater than all of it.

I can’t see beyond the rocks or debris scattered across the path, but the God who gifted my life with this precious one knows this road.  He walked it himself as The Carpenter’s Son.  And now?  Now he is going ahead of and behind my child–His child–to protect, rescue, and guarantee a perfect Eternal Someday for him.

 

Scripture for Reflection

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.  (Psalm 139:4-6)

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Shoulders slumped, the Farmer gazed at the cracked earth.  Reaching down he plucked a stalk from the edge of crop.  Nothing.  The hulls were empty…worthless bits of wheat lay scattered across the ground.  The potential for harvest was dim and the Farmer shudder.  Who will provide for my family?  Why hasn’t God answered my prayers for rain?  Doubt fell  across the Farmer just as the drought left the cracked earth and shriveled crops in its wake. 

Moving away from the evidence of failure, hopelessness, and defeat the Farmer turned away.  Wait…it couldn’t be.  A cool, damp breeze–the promise or rain, the promise of tomorrow, the promise of God’s faithfulness–brushed across the Farmer’s face like a the dampness of a tear cried by a child’s mother at her little one’s suffering and fear.  

God understood the Farmer’s need and He understands our needs.  Praise God for the relief offered by the very breath of refreshment and hope!

He has not forgotten.  The True Gardener sees the need and offerer his assurance.   

 

Verse for Reflection

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 44:3

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Wipe eyes Royalty Free Stock Images

We encounter them everyday–people who need.  

“How are you?” we ask breezily–moving on without waiting for the answer hidden behind the flippant response, “Okay.  I’m fine.”  But, the young mother who just walked through the door?  Did we notice the determined set of her face or the wetness glistening on the dark rim of her sunglasses?

She needs someone to be her cheerleader–just for one moment.  Someone who’ll remind of simple truths–God loves you…I care…you aren’t alone.

“It’s nice to meet you,”  we say with a bright smile.  And, in a rush to finish the day’s to-do list we hurry away thinking about today’s meeting…what we’ll make for dinner…whether or not we remembered to pay this month’s utility bill.  We brushed off the glimmer of response in her eyes–the invitation to friendship.

 

She needs someone be a companion.  A trustworthy traveler who’ll walk alongside without judging the depth of the valleys or height of the mountains.  Someone who’ll remind of simple truths–a friend loves at all times…He will never leave you…find joy in the small things.

People who need–words of hope, a tender touch, time from another.  People who need–the heart of Jesus expressed through those who love Him.

 

Scripture for Reflection

In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

(Ephesians 4:1-3 MSG)

 

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