6.27.2012

Stay in the Light

It’s amazing what can happen in the darkness of your own home when you’re least expecting it.  I had just crawled into bed for the night when I suddenly remembered I hadn’t turned down my thermostat.  Being the financially thrifty person that I am, to leave it running at 73 degrees would be near sin.  So I literally jumped out of bed and ran from my bedroom and across the kitchen floor.  It shouldn’t have been a problem since the living room door was directly across from my bedroom door.  My problem, however, was not the distance; it was that I didn’t bother to turn on any lights.  The combination of no lights and no glasses proved fateful.  I plowed full speed across the kitchen floor and – wham! – ran right into the corner of the refrigerator.  Dazed, I gripped my pounding nose and immediately went for some ice.  I crawled back into bed with that ice pack held firmly in place.  I still hadn’t turned on any lights.

Though this was the first time for my nose to encounter the evils of a refrigerator corner in the dark, it was not by any means the first time I have needed light in life.  It has been so tempting to figure things out on my own when faced with a decision.  My first instinct as a human is to go digging into my own resources to solve my problem.  Of course, I forget that the last time I tried my resources, I hit the bottom of the barrel far quicker than I thought I would . . . and the problem remained unsolved. 
Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.”

God knows we’re not capable of going through life successfully by our own flashlights.  Our brains are not equipped to handle every unseen obstacle that jumps up in front of us.  We need the guidance of God’s Word to direct our steps and keep us from stumbling. Our biggest hurdle, however, is learning to trust.
Trusting God means acknowledging that He knows what He’s doing and is capable of getting the job done.  Though our human pride may not at times like to admit it, God is always right!  When we live in a world that relies on what can be seen, it takes a little more effort to convince our minds that there’s nothing more right than God’s Word.  Psalm 33:4 says, “For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth.”   Psalm 119:160 also tells us, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”  That realized, His Word should be the first thing we look to when challenged. 

When we face something that is beyond us, the integrity and consistency of His Word is there to lead the way.  Whether by His spoken or written Word, He will never steer us wrong. We have the assurance that He will guide us to the correct decision and destination.  We can trust Him and His unfailing love, care, and wisdom that inspired Him to give us His Word in the first place. 

I’d like to say that I walked away from my refrigerator vs. nose incident without any noticeable wounds.  Unfortunately, a bruise appeared and dark circles under my eyes prompted my fiancĂ© to say that it looked like I had two black eyes.  The lesson I learned?  Don’t trust your faulty senses.  Turn on some lights!

 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105














4.06.2012

Momma's Security System

I recently received an email that showed a photo of an exotic mother bird perched, alert and regal, on a tree limb. Beneath each of her outstretched wings were her two offspring, looking peaceful and content as they nestled against her colorful body. Though a very beautiful bird, I could sense that the mother fully understood her role as protector. She would do anything to keep her young safe. To these little birds, their mamma’s wings were a place of refuge.

A mother bird’s caring wings do so much more than provide shelter from the rain. Her protective instincts inspire her to meticulously build a nest home among the tree branches far above predators. That intuition urges her to feed, nurse, and comfort her young every day until they are able to live on their own. Without her, the tiny baby birds would not survive.

A human mother is no different. Each one of her motherly acts is a testimony of her love for her children. Why else but for love would someone stay up most of the night nursing someone back to health? What else would inspire her to give up a day shopping for herself to see her children fed? Or to spend hours washing clothes she didn’t soil, cleaning a house she didn’t dirty, and fixing problems she didn’t create?

Though we would say these attributes are instinct, this heart of love was placed there by Father God, the Author of love (I John 4:8). In fact, He is the greatest example of loving sacrifice that has ever been (John 3:16, John 15:13). We think that our mothers have given up much, yet nothing could compare to God’s selfless gift. Our sin made a mess that God didn’t create. He cleaned it up anyway with His Son’s own blood, and gave us eternal security in His home.

How many times have we enjoyed feeling safe and secure in our homes made cozy by our mothers? Or felt the comfort of being tucked into bed each night? It’s a welcome feeling, yet God has promised so much more. While mothers cannot be with us twenty-four hours a day, God has offered His security system to us. He has promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:13) and to heal our bodies (I Peter 2:24). He has declared Himself to be our Heavenly Protector: “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4)

The key to enjoying those protective Wings is found in Psalm 91:1: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty . . .”

When we choose to “dwell” and “abide,” we are making God’s Wings – His presence – our home. We have committed ourselves to trust only in Him. He is our Source, the first person we run to in time of need. When we do, the outcome is sure: “‘Because he has set his love upon me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because He has known my Name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.’” (Psalm 91:14-16)

Like those two little birds, snuggled up beneath those strong, outstretched wings, our Heavenly Father is all that we need.