Sunday, May 20, 2012

Don't Drop Me

Psalm 119:42(MSG)
Then I'll be able to stand up to mockery, because I trusted Your Word.

We used to play this game in nursing school that, looking back, had the sole purpose of assisting us in cultivating the art of trustworthiness.  It taught us how to trust others and how to be trusted.  You might have played a game like it in your youth group or in some other venue through the years.  I will name it the "Don't Drop Me Game". 

It was played by two or sometimes three people.  One person was blindfolded and stood in front of the other two team members.  At some point the blindfolded person was instructed to fall backwards.  At that point the other team members were to be ready and standing strong to catch them before they actually fell to the ground.  It required the blindfolded one to assume an incredibly high level of confidence in those that were standing behind them.  On the flip side, it demanded very high levels of listening and preparedness skills on the part of the "catching team".  

It was a very difficult behavior to stand blindfolded and fall backwards with no assurance that you would land safely.  Evenly difficult was the assigned duty to catch a person who would soon be falling.  The knowledge that this person was completely dependent on your skills was an overwhelming thought.

My daughter teaching trust to the bunny
she rescued.
This game was very effective in teaching me how to trust others and how to gain confidence in my God given abilities.  I learned that I can take care of others needs, but I have to be very aware of their needs first.  I also learned that there are times when I need to be able to trust, without reservation, in the skills and abilities of others. 

Today's verse brought the "Don't Drop Me Game" back to my mind, because it is a literal picture of the trust in God and His Word that is necessary if I'm going to be able to stand strong for Him in all the circumstances of my life.  I must know that what He says is true.  I need to be listening and attentive in order to embrace the direction that His Word leads me and walk in that way with conviction.  I also need to have the assurance and faith that He will be there to catch me when I fall.  It's this same trust in God that will allow me to remain firmly planted in Christ when the winds of adversity blow and the storms of life rage.  

Thank you for Your words that are trustworthy.  Thank You for showing me that You are there for me in all seasons of my life.  You are a good God and You keep Your promises.  Help us to learn to trust You more!
In the beautiful name of Christ,


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Shape Of Your Life

Psalm 119:41(MSG)
Let Your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised;

This is a hand blown glass bowl from SDC.
This verse draws my thoughts back to the wonderful trips I took to Silver Dollar City growing up!  If you've been there before, then you probably visited the glass blowers shop a time or two.  When we would visit the shop, I found myself, even at a very young age, standing mesmerized as I watched the craftsmen spin the hot glass on their sticks shaping and forming incredibly fragile works of art!  They would drop in tiny drops of color during the process and that liquid would transfer throughout the piece.  The artist knew exactly how much dye to add and exactly which way to tilt the glass to create the effect he wanted. 
Our lives are like these delicate creations that the glass blowers were creating.  If we allow His love to touch our lives, He will shape us into a beautiful work of art.  It will be a life that will glorify His name and build His kingdom just as He promised!  

Thank You for Your love that is so powerful it can change lives and shape future generations!  Empower us today to stand strong in the face of adversity and live a life that reveals Your glory and draws observers to You!
In Christ's name,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Tarantula On My Path

Psalm 119:40(MSG)
See how hungry I am for Your counsel; preserve my life through Your righteous ways!

It was a beautiful day here today!  There was a gentle breeze blowing, warm sunshine beaming down,  and a clear blue sky.  A perfect day for a run.  I pulled on my sneakers and hit the trail.  The path I chose today is one of my favorites because it winds along a creek bed.  The sound of the stream paired with the birds singing in the distance makes for an incredible run!  The trees form tunnels through the woods in some places, and in other areas there are wide open fields where one can see for miles.  The leaves and branches often accumulate on the path, however, so I have to watch my footing or I might end up stepping wrong and twisting an ankle.  Because of this, my gaze is constantly passing back and forth over the earth about two feet in front of me. 

As I made my last turn on the path, I came into the shadows of the trees and felt the cool welcome wind on my face.  My mind had been wandering through the list of mounting obstacles that I've recently had placed in my life.  It was about this time when I caught my first glimpse of it.  There, right below my feet by this point, sat a huge tarantula!!  I jumped what felt like at least two feet in the air and let out a scream loud enough for the entire countryside to hear.  By my calculations, I was going to land right on one of the sprawling legs of the creature!  Not daring to take my eyes off of what would probably be a spider strike, I watched my foot moving in slow motion as it landed directly next to his long hairy leg.  Bracing myself for what was sure to hurt, but still trying to avert his teeth, I noticed he didn't move.  That's odd....I would have thought my shoe hitting so close to him would have startled him into some sort of motion.  
That was when I stopped dead in my tracks.  I bent my head a little closer.  I realized upon further inspection that this wasn't even a spider at all!  It was simply some dead dark leaf residue that had spindled itself on the pavement into the shape of a nasty spider.  Wow!  As my heart rate returned to baseline and I managed to continue down the lane, I wondered something.  How many times in my life have I been frightened by an obstacle because I misinterpreted what it was?  The pattern of the leaves on the path today looked like impending doom to me.  In the same way, there are things looming in my future that seem huge and frightening, but they may not even be a threat.  How about you?  Do you have something that stands in front of you casting a dark shadow on everything around and threatening to harm you?

Enter today's verse.  If I will seek His counsel, He will bring light to my situation and redefine it for me.  My view and perception of the challenge might be incorrect just like I incorrectly identified the leafs today.  Things can look very different when we get His perspective on things.

Oh God,
Thank You for Your words that show me Your right way.  Thank You for the counsel and security that are mine through Your letters given to me in the Holy Bible.  Please give me the map to go around the mountain, the tools to drill through it, the strength to go over it, or the vision to see that it is not even a mountain at all.
In Jesus Name,