Our boys will be home soon. It’s finally beginning to hit me how close it is. We have a court date…. February 13th!! Which means that if all goes well, we should be able to travel to Ethiopia and bring them home by the end of March. That’s only 2 months away! So much to do.. and yet, if we could travel today, I’d be ready! Their sweet faces have been in my dreams twice now, and I held them in my arms. What an amazing feeling to wake up with.
Sometimes it seems like time passes by so quickly!! December came and went… My husbands birthday… Christmas…. A lot of company… New Years eve and my son’s birthday…. New years day… and back to school…already!! I pray that in the whirlwind you all had time to sit at our Father’s feet and spend time basking in His glorious presence! I pray that the rush rush of the “season” was not able to distract you from the wonderful purpose of our celebration. The birth of our amazing savior!! And I pray that 2009 finds all of us sitting humbly at His side, ready and willing to go wherever He takes us this year!! What amazing journeys He has planned for each and every one of us… His children… who He fashioned in the womb… specifically for the good works He planned ahead of time for us to do. We were each individually created for His specific, individual plans and purposes. What comfort I find in that truth. I was not designed for your task, nor you for mine. Comparisons creep into our hearts some days. Then we can find ourselves wishing. God’s Word calls it covetousness. It’s opposite is contentment. “… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,… I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12,13) Contentment is found when we put our trust in Christ and rely on His strength and KNOW in our hearts that He is in control of all things and His plans are absolutely perfect!! The best way to KNOW this truth is to renew our minds with this truth each and every day by spending time with our Lord in his Word. If you are a New year’s resolution kind of person…(and even if you’re not..)… I pray that this year you would resolve to love your Lord with all your heart, mind and soul…. to crave intimacy with Him….. to desire nothing more than time spent in His presence… and to trust Him so thoroughly with your life that His will would be utmost in your heart…. There you will find rest.
Paul understood his own insignificance. He understood that he deserved nothing and was given everything. He understood that sharing this indescribably amazing gift with others was more important than anything else. Paul had passion for Jesus. “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people…” (His own insignificance.) “…this grace was given me…” (Deserved nothing, given everything) “…to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Sharing this indescribably amazing gift with others.)Eph.3:8. Isn’t this what we have all been called to?, To preach the gospel……to share Jesus with others? God chooses the weak, and gives them His strength. Paul understood his own weakness. In 1Corinthians 2:3-5 Paul says: ” I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preachings were not with wise and persuasive words, but with the demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” Paul understood that he was powerless against sin without God’s Holy Spirit at work within him. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing……What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:18,19,24,25) Praise God that He has rescued us and given us His Spirit! “And what is Paul? Only (a) servant……the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything , but only God who makes things grow.” (1Corinthians 3:5-7) God speaks to me through Paul because he is just like you and me. Weak and powerless in our own strength, but graciously lavished with the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to plant and water seeds, then trust our Lord to make them grow.
The Lord gave me a wonderful reminder of a familiar picture today. As I was cleaning house I noticed some of my plants were looking a little sad and droopy. One in particular had gone much too long without water and was beginning to lose some of it’s leaves, while other leaves had begun to wither. Looking at my plant now you would never know. I pruned away the dry and fallen leaves and fed it some water this morning, then it spent the day soaking up the water I had poured into it’s soil. Now it is perked up and full of life again. Of course, if my plant had been planted by a stream, it would never have gotten sad and droopy and begun to dry up. After all, a stream would provide a constant source of nourishment, not just a once a week watering. We are much like that plant… in need of a constant source of nourishment. Since God’s Word is the nourishment we need, then blessed are those who delight in it and meditate on it day and night. Blessed are those who delight in spending time in God’s Word every day, not just at church on Sunday mornings. Sunday morning gives us a good watering, but not enough for us to continue soaking in all week. Eventually we begin to dry up. Sure, when we get back into the Word, it can certainly perk us up and fill us with life again. However, during our drought we had to wither, droop and possibly lose leaves. My droopyness sometimes looks like depression or insecurity. My withering looks sometimes like laziness, and sometimes like distraction disguised as busyness. Your symptoms of dryness may look different than mine, but like a dried up leaf, we have no life in us to be lived for the Lord when we are lacking nourishment. During our “drought”, we are vulnerable to the “heat” that comes in temptation and trial.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; it’s leaves are always green…” Jeremiah 17:7,8
Lord, make us like green leaves, constantly nourished by your Word!!