The light of life is what our hungry souls truly seek, but without the help of the Holy Spirit our natural self leans towards the darkness, where we can glorify ourselves.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Our culture at this time is inundated with superhero delirium, not because we seek a super hero, but because we seek to become one[/clickandtweet]. Human nature is all about self, unless the light of the world intercedes.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 ESV).
Our desire for help is always heard, and we are always loved.
I am reminded of a day when I was running errands and a young woman came to mind. After her name had run through me several times I got the picture.
I drove up to her house and knocked on her door.
She was shaken to see me on the threshold. Turns out she had fallen off the wagon, and was afraid her child may be taken from her. She knew I was not social services, and her shoulders relaxed somewhat.
I had wanted to take her out for coffee, but she was in no shape to go. However, I realized I would be a miss if I didn’t take the opportunity to pray, and ask God for his help.
She wanted God’s help and we prayed, but when our prayer time was over something very important dawned on me. My spiritual antennae were tuning in. The prayer was the first step, there was another step that needed to be taken.
I asked very cautiously if the object of her bondage was still in her house, and she replied “yes”. I offered to take it out and get rid of it, or help her pour it down the drain.
Her reply was an adamant “no”.
Summoning my courage and leaning on the Lord, I explained to her that we had just asked God for help. Should we not now, take a step of obedience and remove temptation from the premises?
She was furious with me, and asked me to leave.
With great sadness I got back into my car, and realized I had been given the privilege to learn a valuable life lesson, or two or three.
If we are going to ask Jesus for help, we had better be prepared to take the help he offers.
How many times had I asked Jesus for help, and sent the help away?
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””][/clickandtweet][clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Help from God is not reliant on His giving it, but dependent on us receiving it[/clickandtweet].
The most valuable lesson I learned that day was one of love. My friend had fallen off the wagon, and though I was terribly saddened about her circumstance I knew I still loved her, and in that moment I saw the way God sees me and my mistakes, and loves me still.
Mercy, mercy – me.
Reading in John 8 this morning something very beautiful struck me. It is the passage where Jesus arrives very early in the morning at the temple to teach. There, a religious group of people bring to him a woman who has been caught in adultery, hoping to trap Jesus somehow, and with the intent to stone her.
Many of you may be familiar with this story, and Christ’s famous words, he who is without sin cast the first stone (John 8:7b). So profound. Of course no one threw a single stone. One by one her accusers walked away.
However as I was reading I was struck by Christ’s posture. The sinner is brought into his presence, and he doesn’t tower over her in judgement, as you might think the Holy God of the universe should, instead he bends down to the ground and begins writing in the sand.
If you were caught in a guilty predicament and brought before Jesus, would you expect him to lower himself before you? I don’t believe he was condoning what she had done, but he was creating an atmosphere of forgiveness and love, taking on a posture of humility.
If you have hesitated to check out a local church because you feel you do not qualify, please remember this story. If you have been mistreated before by people who claim to be Christians. Remember no one is without sin (Romans 3:10)
I have learned three very important truths to apply to my life today.
- I will remember your posture my Lord. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]When foreigners or truth seekers appear at my door, I will not tower over them with an ere of condemnation[/clickandtweet], but I will take the position of a humble servant, that which you have exemplified to me.
- When confronted by a controversial issue I will quiet myself as you did, Jesus. Wow wouldn’t my parents have wanted to hear this in my teen-hood? Wouldn’t my children have benefited from this wisdom when they were little, and I was so young. I will take time to wait for your wisdom to speak to my spirit before I utter a word out loud.
- And, last but not least, I will speak your truth in love, knowing that true freedom is not found in our own way – but yours.
There will be times in my human fragility that I will make mistakes, but with your help may I reflect your posture and presence to all I meet.
Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. He loved her, he offered her forgiveness, but he also made the truth very plain. In our attempt to exemplify Christ’s love it is vital we share His loving boundaries with others. Often we confuse love with tolerance. The best way I can think of concluding this thought is by sharing these verses,
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones”. (Proverbs 3:7,8 NIV)
Find out for yourself, what God’s word says to you today!
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]”My waiting at the piano to put thoughts to paper was actually[/clickandtweet] my spirit postured in prayer waiting for God to speak. By tracing the lyrics, I could see how His truth had directed my life all along the way. As I read the lyrics, I saw my Faith Keeper pursuing me. I saw people’s faces, and how He’d inspired me to write song prayers for them. I saw the people God had prompted to pray on my behalf”
From Prologue – The Faith Keeper, by Cindy Palin
…I found out I had a TEMPER!
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Not until I had children did I realize my limitations were grossly underestimated, and my opinion of myself was highly overrated.[/clickandtweet]
“Lord, if I can’t get it together, if I am going to keep losing my temper, then I need you to take me home and give my children another mom.”
I waited. Nothing happened. Several years passed and still nothing happened or so I thought. I guess I expected to be gone in a puff of smoke right then and there, and for God to replace me with ‘I Dream of Jeannie’.
He did replace me, everyday, I just couldn’t see it. By his love and grace, and patience I am no longer the same person I once was. The process has been slow, which reminds me of the other thing I’ve discovered – my absence of patience.
I am less of an emotional roller coaster today, probably because I get sleep, and my grown up kids let on like I wasn’t half bad.
But just when you think you’re getting a handle on parenting, the clock strikes twelve, and your kids have to parent you, grey hair ‘n all.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]I know it’s Thursday but I would like to share Friday’s Prayer with you….[/clickandtweet]
This morning I got out of bed at a snail’s pace. A thirteen hour drive will do that to you. But it was all worth it. Like Bryan Adam sings “You’d shoot the moon, put out the sun, when you love someone”, and we love our children and grandchildren.
It was all I could do to make sure I was clean, and in fresh clothes before I snuck out to the dollar store, incognito I might add (sunglasses). There I bought stickers for a package I needed to mail to an associate, and more stickers to mail to my grandchild.
As I left the store I was remembering how hard it was to greet each day with a smile when my children were really small. I was thankful for my precious miracles, but exhausted all the time. And you know that phrase, “Choose Joy”? Well it’s easier said than done when you don’t have a second of peace and quiet. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]My slogan was far less noble[/clickandtweet], “choose a chocolate bar behind a locked bathroom door”.
I glanced to my left as I crossed the parking lot and noticed a teacher who taught me in elementary school. Back then I didn’t like her much, but it wasn’t her fault. I was a kid who thought the sun should rise and set on my every whim.
But now, well now is different because as Paul says in 1 Cor. 13:11, “I once thought like a child, reasoned like a child”. Thanks to Christ’s faithfulness, and the work of the Holy Spirit in me, I no longer think or reason the same, and I can hear God’s voice above my own.
Even though I was tired just thinking about how tired my daughter was, I could feel God nudging me. I stopped short in the parking lot, and turned around and went up to my teacher, and shook her hand with a boisterous “good morning, and how are you?”
Like myself, and like my daughter, who is now a mother too, my teacher is a mom as well, and bottom line – a valued person. The seasons have changed, but our maladies are much the same. Her fatigue is different, but is still fatigue. Maybe her sanity is challenged with the quiet, rather than the noise. Maybe she finds it hard to choose joy when nobody really needs her anymore, or so it seems.
And we do need each other. As I hopped in my vehicle I whispered a prayer, “Lord Jesus, send someone to greet my kids with compassion today, where ever they may be”.
Usually the Lilac tree in our backyard explodes into fragrant flowers in the month of June, but it is blossoming now… in May?
Lilacs have always beckoned me to write, because they are a fleeting gift. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Like the Lilac, every vanishing whisper from God brings cause to ponder man’s momentary breath.[/clickandtweet]
Then there’s the purple, whether royal or pastel, the colour is rare, as are we. One needs only to look into the eyes, to see the unique hues of each man’s soul.
Thousands of delicate petals sewn together form what look like living lace. We too have many layers.
And the Lilac’s perfume, so deliriously pungent.
Oh to be a fragrant aroma while we are here.