Posts Tagged ‘devotions’

Ravens, Lillies, and a Ball and Chain

September 26, 2008

Long before The Beatles sang Free as a Bird, the idea has long been a part of the human story.  We want to soar above the tree line and be wild and free in God’s bautiful creation.  How many children have probably said, “I want to fly like the birds, mommy.”  In fact, I would best the Wright brothers were inspired by birds in their pursuit to fly.  But let’s face it…even when we do strap ourselves to something that can assist us in this endeavor, it’s a bit more complicated than the birds.

Just as the beautiful idea of flight has inspired many, beauty is something that has inspired quite a few others.  The lily for instance is serene and simple in it’s beauty.  There are entire gardens devoted to displaying lilies.  They are used in weddings and they are a reminder in Easter-tide of the Lily of the Valley.  Though children may not often say, “I want to be as beautiful as the lily,” the beauty of creation in general has transfixed many of us.

So of the three items mentioned in my title, which one does not belong?  The Ball and Chain, you say?  Are you sure?  You mean a heavy black ball tethered to your leg is not desireable?  Interesting.  I wonder then why we decide to carry them around or drag them along so much.

22Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
 27″Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

 Luke 12.22-31(NIV, italics added)

Carrying our worries around is quite cumbersome and taxing…kinda like having a large metal ball attached to your leg with a chain. 

Here’s to ditching the ball and chain!

Photo of raven by: dobak
Photo of lily by: *Mickey

Fog

September 25, 2008

The devotion I read this morning is titled The Fog of Not Knowing.  And this phrase alone would cause an increased anxiety level in many of us…including me.  After all, we live in the information age where an incalculable amount of information is at our finger tips only a few clicks away.  When we have a question we don’t usually languish in the unknown.  We clear the air through wikipedia and google.  We search dozens of Bible translations in order to find that verse we have pieces of in our brain.  We pick up the phone to call our mother on her cell phone because no matter where she is, she will be available!  This point is actually quite laughable…I have called my mother for addresses, zip codes, phone numbers…but not just ones she knows.  Since I am not part of the cult of the blackberry (though I must admit I want to be) I ask her to look stuff up online for me. 

But it would seem that God calls us to live in a fog.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb. 11.1, NIV)

It appears that it is the natural state of being a human:

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,even as I am fully known. (1 Cor 13.12, NIV)

And so I am challeneged to obey His voice though I don’t understand.  To throw out the nets as they did in Luke 5 even though what Jesus is asking me to do seems to be illogical and maybe even nonsensical.  Maybe the fog is always there but sometimes I don’t see it and so I start to move forward not knowing I’m headed straight towards a cliff.

The author of the devotion ends with two questions: When have you been in a fog of not knowing?  What happened to your faith during that time?  I am humbled by my lack of faith but hopeful that the author of it isn’t through with me yet.

Photo by: Jairo BD

I’m up!

September 24, 2008

I’m up and the coffee is made.  I’m up and ready to dig into the word.  I am up before the sun but not before the Son.  I’m up! The sun rises over the weary land, the Son rises over the weary soul.

Gracious God in Heaven, thank you for waking me up this morning.  Thank you for giving me the breath of life for one more day.  As I spend time in your word please help me see you as you really are and myself as I really am.  Only then will I be able to see where you want to move me and how you want to change me.  Amen.

I find it interesting that the dated devotional I flipped open this morning talks about writing.  She says, “For I’ve begun to wonder how long my husband and I will remain childless in this house, our evenings filled with hours of silence in which to write.  Many authors would give anything for such peace and solitude…”

The passage for the day is Psalm 139.13-18:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you becauses I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15My frame was not hiddeb from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
   were written in your book
   before one of them could be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to ount them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand,
When I awake
I am still with you.

(NIV)

This passage is neat for a few reasons.  First off, it seems that it is quite possible that God has been writing about my writing since I was formed in the womb (v.16).  This is super cool to think about!  Secondly, the last verse is quite fitting in light of my post yesterday and the fact that I actually got up early today. 

When I awake,
I am still with you.

God’s love for me is quite unbelieveable to me.  I think it probably is to most if not all people at least part of the time.  But I walk around quite a bit believeing the lies that I am unloveable, undesireable, and unwanted.  But God loves me passionately not in the physical sense of course but as one devoted to his beloved.  I am my beloved’s and he is mine….. ( S of S 6.3).

If only I could think on this when I am walking around during the day.  If only I could remember his love when I am going about the day’s work.  If only I could remember and never forget.

Photo by: E