Sunday, May 29, 2011

Something from Nothing

“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied. 2 Kings 4:2 (NLT)

Lyle and Devin rummaged through the cupboards and asked, “What is there to eat, Miss Kathy?” We don’t stock instant foods or ready-made meals in our house, so I shooed them outdoors, saying, “Go outside and play, and I’ll make something for you.”

A half-hour later they tromped back in, rosy-cheeked and ready to eat. The kitchen smelled wonderful, and a hot meal sat on the table. “Wow,” Devin exclaimed. “You made something out of nothing!” Laughing, we sat down, said grace, and dug in.

These days the kids are old enough to make dinner themselves. Lyle still refers to it as “pulling a Miss Kathy.” But isn’t that just like God? So often we think only of how He created the universe out of nothing—but there are so many ways in which He works this miracle. When we are depleted, He quickens us. When our souls are in desert places, He provides water and makes a highway in the wilderness. When we are unable to pray, He intercedes for us.

Praise God, who brought us out of a horrible pit, from the miry clay, and set our feet upon the rock. He hung the earth upon nothing, and set the world in our hearts. Praise Him for His unsearchable riches! He clothes us with righteousness. He calls us friends. Praise Christ, our Bread of Life, who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.

Father, when we are empty, You fill us up. Thank You for the countless ways You create something out of the nothing of our lives.

© 2010 Katherine A. Fuller

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Pain

Carrying His own cross, he went out to the place of the skull. Here they crucified him. John 19:17,18b (NIV)

I awakened, stiff and sore from garden work. My head hurt. Then I thought I can’t hurt as badly as Jesus did when they pushed the crown of thorns onto his head. Conscious of my frailty, I asked forgiveness.

Later toward lunchtime, I walked a little stiff-legged from bending so much the day before. My knees and feet hurt with every step. I thought my knees don’t pain me as much as Christ’s knees holding up his body so he could breathe. My feet can’t hurt as much as His from being nailed to that harsh cross. Again I feel badly because I complain.

My hips and back gave me fits until I went to the exercise room and walked two miles to stretch my muscles. Carrying his cross Jesus walked almost two miles to Golgotha Hill where he was crucified. I feel humbled.

Vowing to change, I determined to ignore my wrists which pain me when I lift something heavy, especially when I work in the yard or garden. Even though I grabbed the Tylenol bottle and took a couple pills, I couldn’t forget that Jesus refused pain relievers when His wrists were nailed by heavy iron spikes that held His body weight. Jesus died, but was gloriously resurrected three days later.

Jesus accepted the sins of everyone who’s ever been born or will be born. What have I got to complain about?

Father, during this Easter season, let me not complain of my own pain, but let me recall what You endured because of Your love.

© 2011 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, May 13, 2011

Protection from Fleas

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:14 NKJV

The cat hides in closets, cowers in corners, or hunkers down under chairs when the time comes for her monthly dose of medicine. Without it, she would be infested with ticks and fleas and risk being infected by the diseases they carry. No matter how much she tries, we always find her. When we do, we pick her up and rub a medicated gel on her neck. She hates that kind of attention, but she is our cat and we want her to be healthy.

I know how she feels. When life beats me up, I’ve made wrong decisions, or anxiety overtakes, I can imagine the Lord looking for me in the world’s corner closets. His love is steady and healing, yet I block His presence; pride, lack of trust, or sense of unworthiness sneak into my soul and make it difficult for me to stand before His throne. That is when He sends ministering spirits to find me or comes himself. His banner of love and care provides daily protection from the infestations of sin and keeps me from falling into the eternal abyss.

Like the cat, I hate it that the Lord has to keep helping me evade the world’s diseases. You would think that I’d get it right and be permanently resistant. The Lord knows that will never happen here. The world is the world. Fleas are fleas.

Praise him for his grace and mercy. All hail King Jesus, the one who loves and cares for us. Amen.

© 2010 V. Colclasure

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mother's Joy

 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. III John 4 NAS
There was a season in my life when I prayed unceasingly for the “desires of my heart.” Those desires were to have children someday. After a grueling nine-year wait, and learning first to surrender my will to His, we had our first child—a daughter—followed by a son five years later.
Before they were born I spent a lot of time on my knees praying for their development and safe delivery. Little did I know, my prayer time had barely begun. During their infancy and early childhood, I prayed over every tear, sniffle and scraped knee. As they entered school I prayed for their safety, teachers and friends. Teenage years brought new and desperate prayers as I began to let go, experiencing what felt like my heart venturing out in the world without me there to protect it. All of these prayers were laced with praise for the One who loves them even more than I.
Now, years later, I find that I am still praying for my children, and always will be. The continued desire of my heart is for them to know, love and serve Jesus; to put aside the “old self” and allow God’s love to make them new creatures in Christ. I pray for them to experience the extreme joy and freedom that basking in His love gives; joy unspeakable, joy that cannot be dimmed by the world or circumstances—joy as they discover His will for their lives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for answering my prayers with two wonderful children. Thank You for the joy of communing with You daily, as I continue to lift them up in prayer. Amen.
© 2011 Bonnie M. Evans