Saturday, June 20, 2009

In the palm of His hand

Thanks, Lord, for speaking to me while it is still early today. As I sat and looked at this tiny toad in Elijah's hand, You reminded me that I am in the palm your hand. Afterall, wasn't that the theme of my entire Emmaus Walk? I can't believe I didn't see it sooner!
Isaiah 49:15b, 16a - "I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;"

Grace like rain....

is the title of a song that carries a lot of meaning for me these days. It serves as a reminder of how thankful we, as Christians, can be for the great work of Jesus on the cross. Grace has always been a bit hard for me to grasp and that is why I included it in one of my children's names. We all need to give and receive grace every single day.

Not coincidentally, the Lord has been speaking to me in other ways concerning rain recently. During a faith-shaking week of events, we had to drive home through a torrential downpour on the expressway. With lightning flashing, thunder pounding my ears, rain rolling in a blinding sheet down the windshield, we made our way through construction cones and barrels. Being the nervous person I am, this was definitely not my ideal driving experience.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, though, there was God's still, small voice. "Tamra, do not be afraid. Look at this rain. It is my blessings raining down upon you! See how profuse? It is my love pouring down, covering you." Thank you, Lord. You are so good to me.

The rain, too, has served to remind me of His unfailing provision. He sent His rain this week to water my flowers and garden. I did not have to drag the hose around or toil one bit to get them all watered. He can and will take care of me like that as well.

As always, though, whenever the Lord blesses, the enemy of our souls is right there to try to snatch it away. Yes, the watering has been plentiful lately - and the weeds have loved it just as much as the other plants! It is all I can do to get them all yanked, but I will take the good with the bad. And I will have a good attitude about it, too.

Lord, give me wisdom as I walk with You and listen for Your voice. Help me to recognize weeds in my life and have the courage to pluck them out. Grant me the strength to uproot the ones that have been growing for a very long time and, as a result, are particularly tenacious in their ability to fight removal. By the power of Your Spirit and in the name of Jesus I humbly ask for these things. Amen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The audacity

I've been meaning to write about the visitor to my flower bed and garden for a bit now. This little guy wreaked havoc on me all through the earliest stages of putting our plants in. A few of my plants, namely the marigold and sunflower, were all but chomped away. Upon close inspection, I discovered little holes and tunnels from the offender. Whenever I'd come upon one of those holes or tunnels, I'd pack it full of sod or weeds. The next day, though, I'd find more evidence that the intruder had returned via another route. It was quite frustrating. One time, I dug a hole in the flower bed only to have the ground fall away revealing a complex series of tunnels beneath. It had been virtually hollow under there, and I hadn't any idea.

And so my days went on, repairing the damage of this visitor, and trying to rid my garden of his presence. Quite accidentally, I came upon a way to send him packing, but that wasn't before he let me know what he thought of my interference. The kids and I were having a bonfire and working in the garden. It was getting pretty dark out, but we kept working so that we could finish up the last few things. Suddenly, from across the garden, we heard a grumbly, complaining animal sound. We all stopped to listen, asking if anybody else had heard the noise. It was actually quite disconcerting, but we finished up what we were doing.

As the night wore on, though, I began to feel annoyed with this creature. How dare he chew us out for working in OUR garden? Afterall, wasn't it ours to do what we pleased with? The audacity of the little guy was a bit much for me to take. It wasn't long, however, before it began to dawn on me that I could draw parallels between this experience and my own spiritual walk. Wasn't I just like that poor creature, grumbling whenever God attempts to bring change into my life? Stubbornly attempting to go along where I want even if He erects barriers? Who am I to do any of these things to the Creator of the universe? Wow! That kind of put it all into perspective for me.

I hear You, Lord.