I had looked at the triangular yellow sign on the ceiling for six days. It was placed above the patient bed of the hospital where my dad had been admitted. I knew that hospital staff would boast how many days since their last patient had fallen, proving that they were capable and conscientious. I read it the first day I arrived to help assist in caring for my father, then the days following, like a freckle on my face, I had just gotten used to seeing it, and overlooked it – that is until a crucial moment in my dad’s care happened.Continue reading “Call, Don’t Fall”
Whenever we step out to follow and serve the Lord, we can pretty much be sure that there will be a battle. It is allowed through the loving hands of a God Who knows we need it so that we will be strengthened for the work. You might ask,
Continue reading “Strengthened Through Trials”
“Strengthened by trials?” How?
Thunderstorms can be scary. They pop up out of nowhere! They last longer than you expect. They make things dark. They’re loud. They get our attention. They teach us important lessons.
Our sweet little “grand kitty” had probably been used to hovering somewhere against a building or under a leaky overhang during storms before she was adopted into my daughter’s family last week. But life has changed for this little girl (Socks is the official name). This week when a storm pounded around us in the afternoon, my daughter went out and snatched up Socks and put her in their dry, comfy garage where she was met with a new kitty bed, a dish of food, and all the comforts of those snobby indoor cats! Now that she’s adopted, she has a home to run back to for safety and security!
The funniest occurrence happened this week and I’ve lost track of how many times this scenario has happened in the past. I was out shopping and a couple walked past me and greeted me…warmly, with that recognition kind of “Hello!” I kept walking because I have never seen them before. Then they called a name ~
It was at that moment that I realized this person thought they were seeing my twin sister, Dianne! I turned and confessed that “Dianne” wasn’t being rude and ignoring them, but that I am her twin, Denise! They responded with,
Oh my! You look just like her!
These situations have happened out of the state in which she lives, which makes it even more crazy! Even as adults, I guess we must still look alike.! There’s something in me that makes them think they’re seeing Dianne.
The following day after this happened, I was thinking of a difficulty I’m facing and was praying about my responses. It’s so easy to turn cynical, sarcastic and even want to pull away, but then I was reminded that when others see me, they should see Christ in me. He should be so recognizable in my words, my actions, and even what my expression reveals. Is there…
If so, others will walk right on by, seeing only Denise instead of Jesus. But what if I allow the Lord to help me be mindful of His responses towards me so that I can show those same traits to others by His power? They will see:
Could people walk past you and me and see Jesus? Oh no, we’ll never be perfect this side of heaven, but there should be something so familiar about our lives and responses, that they would be reminded of Christ! Let’s pray that we look more and more like Him as the years pass!
I’m thankful for a twin so the Lord could remind me today that I need to look like Him!
Who are you showing to a watching world?
When I was a 7 year-old girl, I really, really wanted a bike. The children in our neighborhood rode their bikes on the sidewalks, and had such fun. I knew I was missing out not being able to do the same! So, for Christmas I asked, begged and prayed for a bike. What a special surprise to find my longing fulfilled on Christmas Eve! It was a purple/pink Schwinn with a bell and streamers. I could hardly wait to join my friends, once the Michigan snow cleared.
Finally spring came, but there was just one problem – I hadn’t learned to ride a two-wheel bike yet! My dad came to the rescue, doing what dad’s do best – holding onto my wobbly bike’s seat and running along side, yelling out instructions –
Keep your eyes in front – not on me.
Keep your body in the center of the bike.
It was much harder than I imagined it would be! The afternoon when my bike met the tree trunk, and my lip the met the dirt, I was sure this bike wasn’t such a great idea! Who thought of trying to stay upright on two wheels, anyway?! From that day on, when my dad would try to get me out to try to learn to ride, I’d run! That bike wasn’t a special gift; it was a curse!
Yesterday’s post showed us how Joseph’s brother’s assumed God was cursing them when they found the money for the food they’d gotten in Egypt was still in their sacks. They assumed they would be severely punished for this. When they told Joseph’s servant, he answered that God had given them treasure in their sacks. It was a gift of kindness, put into Joseph’s heart by their God! If only they could have seen the gift for what it was they wouldn’t have had to take that Pepto Bismol for their upset stomachs (okay, the Scripture doesn’t say that, but you know their stomach’s were churning in fear!).
What a difference a biblical perspective gives us! Joseph’s brothers jumped to the same conclusions we do! Consider how we respond in these kind of situations:
- Those children for whom we prayed, begin a pattern of poor behavior and defiance, and suddenly the gift of motherhood has become a curse!
- We moved into the house of our dreams. It was roomy and big enough for our family AND for guests. But we look at all the that hardwood and see so many floors to mop, and suddenly that gift of a house is a curse!
- We prayed to be married, and he was the man of our dreams at the altar. But over time we see his sinfulness and are disappointed. He’s no longer a treasure; now he’s a curse!
- We watched God give the perfect job and we were grateful. But when we meet up with a difficult fellow-employee or two, that job becomes a curse!
- To have a computer at home to work with eases so much – we can pay bills, shop or connect with friends, but on the day there is no Internet service that thing turns into a curse!
- When we found our church we were thankful for its teaching, it’s congregation and it ministries, but when we see that not everything is done the way we think it should be done, those blessings are now a curse!
- …You add whatever difficulty has touched your life recently.
All along, those things were all “treasures in our sacks,” only we didn’t have eyes to see it! Instead we’re staring down in the deep well of the bag and we become consumed with our own self-focused thoughts instead of what God could do in that darkness.
If something seems to be a drudgery, a source of sighing and heaviness, or not what you wanted, take that need to the Giver of that blessing. Ask Him to allow you to see with new eyes the joy of this gift, and what He can do in the midst of this time. A right perspective on the “hard things” in life can help us see that God is not against us, as a matter of fact, He just might be up to something really, really good!
When you have eyes of faith to look for the treasure, you’ll have peace while you wait. You’ll have hope in your heart. You’ll realize that that “thing,” whatever it is, truly is a TREASURE in your sack!