Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. Psalm 86:11 (KJV)
Contemporary saint Elisabeth Elliot mentions in one of her books that she attended boarding school where the headmistress required students to keep the oriental rugs (and the fringe?) straight. I look around at the rugs on my floors that have corners nibbled by decades of puppies and fringes worn down to the warp (foundation). If Ms. Elliot ever comes to visit, I will have to remove the rugs so I can “measure up.”
Or not? God didn’t call me to be Elisabeth Elliot or Mother Theresa or Ruth Graham or Julian of Norwich. I would love to think that being part of our household drew to Jesus the foster children, extra cousins, and children of friends who needed a home. But I didn’t prioritize the rugs – instead, they warmed the house and added comfort. We did have a couple of grandchildren who lived with us, and, to my astonishment, one actually went around straightening the fringes.
What God calls one saint to do may not be the calling of another. We all have our own disciplines that he uses, and they are tailored individually for us. Let’s not feel inadequate because our rugs are out of order, but let’s stay tuned (and obedient) to what our personal Lord calls us.
Father, open our ears to your voice, and give us a heart for obedience. Keep us from the temptation of measuring ourselves by others. Instead, be our measuring stick and lead us in your ways. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
FALLING ON JESUS
…for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again… Psalm 24:16
The other night I heard Bob Goff talk about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. He was closely following his experienced guide, which was a good thing because he kept falling. Then he said that every time he fell, he fell forward onto the guide.
Don’t you love it? Whenever we fail at a project or in ministry or in relationships or whatever, we can just fall on Jesus. Not off the path or into the ditch. He’s the Leader, and he has the experience to put us back on the path. We don’t need to waste time beating ourselves about the head and shoulders. He dusts us off and gets us back on track.
Lord Jesus, we’re trying hard to stay focused on you and to follow. But when we do blow it and find ourselves in the dust, thank you that you are always there to pick us up. It’s your promise. HALLELUJAH.
…in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Ps. 16:11b (KJV)
Joy is all around us. It may sometimes be hard to discern through a cloud of suffering, but it’s there. Why not be intentional about choosing joy rather than accepting as a given the despair that confronts us with living in a broken world? We may have to look, but God and his joy are THERE.
This blog is dedicated to people who want to live enriched, abundant lives, who are earnest about digging deeper, and who are dissatisfied with a spiritual status quo. I invite you to join me on Mondays and Thursdays in reflecting upon God’s presence all around us.
Let’s see him and be glad.
Father of life and all good things, create in us a hunger that will be satisfied with nothing less than you. Cause us to desire to glorify and enjoy you forever. In Christ’s Name. Amen.