Sad to say, there’s a lot of “wood, hay, and stubble,” doctrines, philosophies and theories floating around these days. Only truth will stand the tests of life.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is BLOOM
Where we live, this is definitely the season for blooming. Flowering trees and shrubs, including the chokecherries in the woods beside us, are blossoming in preparation for another summer of production. Spring bulbs are blooming; gardeners are setting out bedding plants.
However, my mind went to another kind of blooming. I’m sure you all have stood on a sunny day and watched the cumulus clouds above you expand and change.
I have, and I find observing that process of change fascinating. Before my eyes they seem to bloom. Little white lumps spreading up and out — it’s like watching the time-lapse of a cauliflower developing.
Thoughts are like that in a way — at least mine are. I see a writing prompt and ideas start to form. This morning I chanced to hear another blogger and fellow Christian speaking about the importance of sharing facets of godly wisdom by means of storytelling, and brainwaves started to billow. (Click here to listen to his inspiring talk.)
Thinking of sharing our inspirations, and how ideas and wisdom circulate, I wrote this verse two days ago:
She left a thought that echoed;
her friends bounced it around.
It wasn’t meant to shake the world
but still it seemed profound.
It resonated with her friends
and spread from ear to ear;
whenever it seemed fitting
someone was bound to hear.
It spread to their descendants
this bit of wisdom kind;
it lightened many labors,
eased many a troubled mind.
They were not so outstanding,
those words that soothed one fretter,
but her homespun bit of wisdom
made all our lives the better.
Take care everyone, and don’t be afraid to share your bit of life-learned wisdom today. Who knows but what it may bless many other lives.
by Margaret Penner Toews
Who’ll roll away the stone?
Our arms are far too weak.
A score of willing, muscled men
we needs must seek.
Who’ll roll away the stone
so we can reach the Friend
who lies, a victim of the hate
and lust of cruel men?
Oh! Who will roll away the stone ?
Are all our gifts in vain?
When suddenly a shudder
rumbles o’er the plain —
the earth convulses as with pain!
Afraid, we fall to pray,
when lo! A gaping womb appears —
THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY.
Who’ll roll away YOUR stone?
God alone.from her book Five Loaves and two small fish
© 1976 by Margaret Penner Toews
available from Gospel Publishers, Moundridge KS.
So this morning I’ve been contemplating the various aspects of hanging on. Consider the tree in this photo. It had no easy way in life; it didn’t just thrust its roots down into nutrient-rich soil and grow. Rather, it had to made its own spot and hang on.
A seed sprouted in some bit of dirt that accumulated in a crevice, taking what nourishment it could get from the rainfall. Then its root drilled into the rock tendril by tendril, day after day, to anchor itself against the wild winds that would tear it out. As its root wedged the rock apart, it collected more wind-blown soil and rain and kept on reaching for the sunlight above.
While the tree needed to put forth those efforts to anchor itself, of greater importance is WHAT it’s anchored to. It isn’t clinging to a mountain of cotton candy. That rock has stood from the beginning of time and will not be moved by storms that blast over it.
I recall an account I read after a tornado in Ontario years ago. A man was working in a Dept of Highways equipment shed when the workers heard the tornado bearing down on them. In desperation this man grabbed some solid piece of steel equipment, hoping the twister wouldn’t carry him away. A moment later the tornado ripped the roof off the shed, sucked up the three-ton road grader nearby and carried it away. You could almost think the storm was making fun of his idea of “something solid.”
Right now a wild virus has been sweeping across our whole planet, disrupting our lives like we never imagined anything could — short of a war. And here we are, poor creatures, trying to hang on and carry on as best we can.
We’ve been given many warnings and guidelines to help us stay healthy. Fearing shortages, people have rushed to stock up on necessities — probably making matters worse — but I trust we all know that hanging onto a mountain of toilet paper and dry pasta isn’t going to assure our survival.
How we weather the emotional part of this storm — and future storms — will be determined by what security, what type of rock, we’re hanging onto, won’t it?
In these scary times, here’s the Rock Christians are clinging to:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
ALL IN GOD’S PLAN
“There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus…and all went…every one into his own city…” (Luke 2:1-3)
All in God’s plan. It seems that God wanted the whole world turned upside down for the birth of His Son! All over the known world folks had to make a journey to the place of their birth.
Just like today. The Christ-child wants to be born in our hearts, but before that can happen our life must be turned upside down. That which we hold in high esteem must come crashing to the ground. The way that we would most despise — the way of humility — must become the only one we want to take. That which is hidden deep within us must be brought to the Light. In a sense we come back to the place of our birth and realize we need to take a different path — His way.
“And Joseph also went up…with Mary, his espoused wife…”
All in God’s plan. Joseph and Mary had a destiny and God watched over them as they journeyed among the crowds of people. To fulfill His promise to His servant David, His Son must be born in Bethlehem. Did they sense what an important part they would have in history? Who could have known that what happened to those two ordinary, humble people in an insignificant village would change many people’s lives the world over?
Just like today. God has made His promise to man that “whosoever will may come” and He intends to fulfill this in our lives. He watches as we journey among the crowds of people and slowly He brings us to a crossroads, a place of choosing. Then, if we then choose to walk with Him, the Christ-child is born in our hearts. This gives us a destiny–and how can we know what an important part we may play in changing the course of other people’s lives?
“…Because there was no room for them in the inn.”
All in God’s plan. Not just so people could fault the poor innkeeper all these years for being so hard-hearted. Rather, it seems that God did not want His Son to be born in the inn — as a GUEST — perhaps in the company of the important and well-to-do. In His birth Jesus had not even a room or a bed and in the years of His ministry He had no place to lay His head. He was totally an outsider in this world.
Just like today. Each year at Christmas the normal events of life are disrupted for a season as folks go to and fro, buying gifts, decorating houses and stores, travelling home to their families, gathering for feasting, partying, and generally making merry. But the work God seeks to do in our hearts is something apart from all this. He comes quietly, at any time of the year, whenever a seeking soul opens his heart to Jesus.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
He rarely speaks before a crowd;
he doesn’t teach a class;
but when he comes to Sunday school
he brings his friends en masse.
He cannot sing to save his life,
and stammers when he prays;
but always his jalopy is
just crammed on each Lord’s Day.
So, though he’ll seldom sing or teach
or boldly lead in prayer,
he listens well, he wears a smile,
and he is always there.
and offers rides to all who’ll come
collects folks near and far;
God’s work is greatly prospered by
his consecrated car.