Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Breathtaking

Revelation 22:1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Behold the beauty.

Have you ever seen something so breathtaking you can’t look away?

On our walk, through Sycamore Park, the Virginia bluebells are in full bloom. A day after the solar eclipse, we trekked along the paved trail where there are signs to stay on the path and not walk in the wooded area. The park personnel are working to restore the flora and fauna. This particular day, the sky clouded and light rain fell. In that lighting, the blue of the bluebells shone in gorgeous contrast to the spring green.

All along the path, I couldn’t stop looking at the beautiful shade of blue that blanketed many areas in the woods. You just don’t see blue flowers that often and when they’re in clusters, they are simply stunning.

As in awe as I am of floral beauty, I can’t begin to imagine the splendor of heaven. We catch glimpses of what John saw in his vision in Revelation. A river, a tree filled with fruit, eternal light from God himself, oh the glory. The picture painted in Revelation 22 pours hope into my soul. Nature’s beauty in perfect harmony will surround us in heaven.

I hope as you imagine heaven, you see yourself standing at the throne and praising God. I want to sit by the river and bask in God’s light and taste the sweet fruit of His presence.

Take a moment from the chaos of this life, imagine heaven, and fill up on hope.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What's in the Woods?

I love to hike in the woods with Tim and Rosie in the spring. 
The wild flowers are poking their heads out of the ground.
Their blooms are not as glamorous as the tulips or the daffodils, 
but they're just as beautiful. 

When I see the toadshade trillium and the yellow trout lily, 
I know spring has arrived.
I also spotted the delicate, lavender blossoms of Jacob's ladder and flox.

God created so many lovely blooms for us to enjoy and appreciate.
Take a hike and discover what's in the woods.


 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Through God's Power

Matthew 28:5-10
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

I cannot visit the mountains without hiking to a waterfall.

My daughter Maggie and her teenagers let me tag along on a trip to Greenville, SC to visit my youngest daughter, Hannah. Hannah and Stephen are blessed to live in the beautiful Appalachian Mountain region of our country where a trip to the mountains is just a car drive away.

On one of our exploration adventures we hiked in the Dupont State Forest, southeast of Brevard, NC, to Triple Falls waterfall. I enjoyed the spring foliage and the new life popping in the forest, but at the end of the trail, the true gem awaited.

The falls roared over the rock face of the cliff, and I stood and let the water spray my face. As I reflected on the power of the falls, I considered how powerful God is and how humble and loving Jesus is. With Easter Sunday and the celebration of Jesus defeating death, the truth of Jesus’ life struck me. He lived in obedience to his Father. In living, he knew his death would come and that he’d carry the burden of sin for every person. He knew, yet he obeyed. Even as Jesus died, God knew the outcome. God’s power defeated death and he breathed life into his son and sent his angels to roll away the stone.

Jesus died and rose again from an ugly death. Through God’s power, he lives and loves and wants every soul to follow him and meet him in heaven.

I pray you have a blessed Easter and consider Jesus invitation to be your Savior.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Imagine the Garden

Genesis 1:11-13
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

Spring’s first heartbeat honors winter’s last breath. -Angie Weiland Crosby

Tim and I have been walking Rosie at the local park. As we hike along the trail, I’ve spotted a variety of flowers blooming. The yellow celandine blankets the forest floor, Dutchman’s breeches wave their miniature pantaloon shaped petals, and Virginia bluebell leaves are sprouting. Green has popped all over and the robins are tweeting a welcome to spring.

When I witness the change from winter to warmer weather and the brown shifting to shades of green, I’m reminded of the creation story. When God made the world, He added plants. He knew we’d need not only the produce from the vegetation, but the beauty of the flowers.

As we walked this morning, I considered the Garden of Eden and the glorious place it must have been. All the amazing plants in God’s original creation must have looked and smelled incredible. Imagine the perfection.

I’m thankful He blesses me with the beauty of nature in our little corner. No, we don’t experience a land without scars or blemishes, but we do have a hint of the place Adam and Eve left behind. The hint of the possible beauty of heaven fills my heart with hope. As I spy a hyacinth’s fresh bloom or the brilliant color of a tulip, I’m reminded of how much God loves me. He cares for the flowers and loves His people even more.

Enjoy spring and appreciate God’s gift of beauty on earth and the ultimate glory of heaven.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Beauty

I was delighted to find my miniature tulips in bloom this week. 
The lovely purplish-pink color stirs joy in my soul.
The contrast with the green is simply gorgeous.

I hope this photo brings you hope 
and reminds you of the beauty of God's creation.

Happy Spring!




 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

A Joyful Soul

Song of Solomon 12: 11-12

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.

Bright yellow flowers bob their heads among the purple petals.

As much as I love winter, I adore the first blooms of spring. In southern Ohio, the daffodils are popping. Have you noticed seasons have their own array of color? Right now we’re seeing a lot of yellow and purple. Forsythia bushes are waving branches of golden blossoms and vinca vines are displaying their periwinkle buds. Soon, the tulips will open and add reds and pinks to the display.

All of these flowers fill my soul with joy. Their beauty gives me hope. After the cold, dark season of winter, God graces us with a rainbow of color and days filled with sunshine.

Have you experienced a dark season? They come and go, don’t they? When I’ve traveled through a dark tunnel in life, hope shined at the end of the darkness, because I didn’t journey alone. Jesus walks with me step-by-step. As a believer in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I’m in their company every day, no matter the circumstance. The Holy Spirit dwells in my soul and guides me on the dark days and the bright days. He’s the reason I never walk alone. We don’t talk much about the Spirit, which is a shame.

God created me to have a physical body and a spiritual soul. I’m so thankful for both. Although my body is wearing out with time, the Spirit brings wisdom to my soul. Jesus’ love and grace pour into me and fill me with peace.

As spring arrives and fills the days with beauty, reflect on the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.

God bless you!

Saturday, March 2, 2024

An Elfin Daffodil

Hebrews 6:19-20
 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

wild wind rips the sky—

elfin daffodil bulbs

anchor underground

Before bed, an alert for a serious weather event broadcast on our screens, both television and phone. A late February storm threatened the area. The meteorologists called for a tornado watch in our area from 10pm to 6am and thunderstorms.

Although I don’t fear storms, my mind could not calm and go to sleep. My thoughts raced to my family and friends and how they might cope with a possible tornado. After wrestling with my mind’s tendency to worry, I prayed. Why hadn’t I thought of that earlier? (Insert head smack here.) Once my words reached God’s ear, I dozed off.

I slept through whatever storm blew in and after I awoke and dressed, I checked outside for damage. The birdhouse in the flowerbed had fallen over. When I righted it, I spied yellow flowers in the corner of the flowerbed. Miniature daffodils waved their tiny heads at me as if to say we’re herewe weathered the storm.

How often in life do I forget I have an anchor for every storm? Whether weather related or personal, the storms blow in and Jesus anchors my soul. The Holy Spirit entwines my roots with the Father’s. Like the elfin daffodils, I’ve survived life’s storms because my roots are buried in the One who gives life.

Psalm 62:8 reminds me God is my refuge. He’s there for me all the time. What a comfort to know God loves me so much. He loves you so much, too.

Seek the One who anchors your soul in Him.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Saturated With His Love

Ephesians 3:16-19
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I taste the love Jesus bestows on me.

Steam rose from the toasted English muffin. I popped it onto my plate, then scooped butter from the plastic tub. As I spread the dairy goodness over the muffin, the butter melted and oozed into every nook and cranny and soaked deep into the bread. When I bit into my breakfast, the butter melted into my mouth and filled me with delight.

The way the butter melted into every space and filled up all the dips reminded me of the way Jesus' love pours over me. His compassion drenches my heart, mind, soul, and very being. He replaces the emptiness in my soul with his power and strength. I wish I could say everyday life is easy because of Jesus' love, but that would be a lie. Pain and sin creep in. Despair and stress take over. Paul and Barnabas said in the book of Acts, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” I know living on earth has many difficulties, but I’m thinking of the ones that are difficulties we have as believers. Life differs around the world, so I can only speak of my experience. In situations where I’ve been disregarded because of my faith, or belittled, I know God's love keeps me going.

We have the promise to be filled to fullness, totally saturated with the love and joy of Jesus. Praise God for his love.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I read a post on Facebook recently, written to teenagers who were developing crushes. The writer advised the teen to replace the name of the person they liked for the word love in 1 Corinthians 13. I’ve also heard pastors encourage their congregation to do the same thing with their own names. It’s good advice on both counts.

Love is patient. Whoa! One of the most difficult characteristics to nurture is the very first one Paul, the author of Corinthians, mentions. I used to cringe at the word patience, because I wanted more. How ironic is that? Over time, God has helped me grow through circumstances to gain more patience.

Love is kind. We talk a lot about being kind. My granddaughter bought me a charm that said, “Kind people are my kind of people.” I love it, and I pray every day for a kinder world.

Love doesn’t envy, boast, or think more of themselves than others (pride.) Jesus gave the ultimate example of humility. The Son of God died for me and you.

Love doesn’t dishonor. I enjoy a good joke, as much as the next person, but I shouldn't put someone else down to make myself feel good. Respect others.

Love is not self-seeking. Let’s look out for each other. Time on earth is short compared to eternity, so why not take care of each other to make the journey better?

Love is not easily angered. When I was young, I had a temper, and I spent many hours praying for God to help me control it, and He did. God hears and helps.

Love keeps no records of wrongs and does not delight in evil. Start over every day, forgive, and rejoice in truth.

Love always trusts in God, hopes in Jesus, and perseveres with the Holy Spirit’s help.

Love never fails because God never fails. We can’t do this alone. We need God and each other.

Love makes a difference.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

And God Inspired Books

In this world of constant attention grabbing and alarm creating social media and news, I am thankful for the solid consistency of books.

When I write books, the words go through a process. The stories are not just thrown together and posted without forethought. Instead, they are vetted by me, my critique partner, my beta reader, and finally my editor.

I thank God for books, especially the book He inspired most. I find myself excited to read the stories in the Bible. David’s Psalms inspire me and give me hope and confidence in God. Luke’s accounts in the book of Acts teach me perseverance and inspiration. The gospels teach the truth of Jesus.

God created words for us to communicate truth, to tell stories, and to learn and share.

Do you have a favorite book? A favorite book of the Bible?

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Rejoice With Singing

Zephania 3:17

“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Music is a piece of art that goes in the ears, straight to the heart. – The Minds Journal

Music played, in the home I grew up in, most of the time. My mom listened to what is now classic country, Elvis, and gospel along with music from the forties. I heard rock and roll and fifties classics on my siblings record players. Of course, I had my own stack of popJohn Denver, James Taylor, Carole King, and Carley Simon. My forty-fives (remember those?) lived in a black and white checked case. I’m not sure what happened to them, but I remember sitting on the floor and sorting them into favorites, which changed every week. I can’t forget the cassette player and recording songs from the radio. We seventies teens had our own way of making a playlist.

I mostly listen to contemporary Christian music now and enjoy the occasional foray back to the seventies. But the best music in my life doesn’t come from a radio, or Amazon music. I love to hear my children and grandchildren sing, and I adore the worship service at church when we all raise our voices together to praise God, as we sing to Him in one voice.

When I read Zephania 3:17, I paused and considered the last part. God will rejoice over me in singing. What? I thought singing came from believers to God. What a joy to know God sings over us. As I consider what that means, my heart rejoices. When I walk outside and hear the wind, the birds, the rustle of the trees I’m reminded God sings over mebecause He loves me. He cares about my comings and goings. He delights in me as I delight in Him.

When you feel down, stop and listen to God sing over you. He’s there.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

The First Step

Psalm 40:10a
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (NIV)

“Sometimes we have to let go of what we think we know and trust God.”-David Rimarski

Every year, I look forward to January, and if I’m being honest, I hope for snow. I love the quiet of the winter months and the peacefulness of snow. I view this time as a period to reset, get back on track, and rest.

Although I don’t do resolutions, I like to pen a few goals for the year. Some are things I need to complete, such as the next novel in my series, while others are items I hope to accomplish. It’s not a long list, but it’s a jumping off point for the year. The one thing I’ve learned through the years is to consult God and trust Him to guide me through the year.

I’ve read several blogs that offer advice to Christian authors and the number one call to action is alwayspray. Isn’t prayer the perfect first step in everything?

No matter what I have in mind as a goal, if I haven’t prayed over it and offered it to God, I will fall on my face and fail. Seriously, in my sixty plus years of life, I can attest to this. Sure, I might squeak by, but I’m missing the amazing blessings and lessons from God.

I bought a journal this year that has Be Still & Know embossed on the cover. I like this reminder of the providence of God and His love for me. As our student minister spoke Sunday, I have to let go of what I think I know and trust God with everything.

He has a plan and purpose for each of us. Pray over your desires and goals and allow yourself to be blessed with His guidance. Be still and know.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Streets of Gold

When I saw the golden leaves scattered across the ground, 
the book of Revelation came to mind.
The author, John, described his vision of heaven with a street of gold.

Thinking of heaven brings me peace. 
What a glorious place to bein the presence of God.



 

Saturday, November 4, 2023

A Reminder

2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The other day, I walked Rosie on the little hill behind our condo. Vibrant, red leaves tumbled to the ground from the maple tree. I’m not sure why my mind works the way it does, but I stopped and grouped three of the beautiful red leaves together to take a photo. They reminded me of the trinityGod, the fatherJesus, the sonand the Holy Spirit.

I imagine God knew I could use a reminder of who He is, for He is not a God of randomness. He’s a God of order and plans. There is no such thing as coincidence with Him.

He has mapped out what I would need in this fallen, broken world. First, I need God. He’s the love and hope of life. The one who protects and guards my heart. Second, I need Jesus. He’s grace. The One who covers my sins with His blood. He’s the son of God who took the sorrow and sadness of the world on His shoulders. Third, I need the Holy Spirit, the one who fellowships with me. He hangs out with me on a daily basis. He communicates with God when I can’t and guides me as I seek help.

I love God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and thank the Lord for His work in my life. I can’t think of a better way to begin November than with a grateful heart for the One who created me, redeemed me, and fills me with His joy and peace.

Let’s spend this month thanking and praising the One who loves us more than we understand.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Don't Navigate the Hard Days Alone

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Don't let the hard days win.

I'm in the middle of cataract removal surgeries. About a week ago, the eye surgeon sucked the cloudy lens out of my right eye. Then he placed a new artificial lens in so my vision would improve. The left eye will be corrected soon, but in the meantime, I'm in limbo. The right eye has an astigmatism. Which means, my eyeball is shaped like a football instead of a volleyball. Most of the time, people who have lenses replaced for cataracts have clearer vision in about two days. Not me. Nope. My football shaped eye is betterI can see clear colors instead of a yellowish cast, but I can't see as well as I can out of my left eye that still has a cataract. The eye doctor did his job, but my eye didn't cooperate. So between now and the time my left eye is fixed, the one shaped like a volleyball, I can't wear my glasses. Once my eyes work together again, I'll get a new prescription.

I've adapted by using readers and thankfully my left eye can see distance, but working on the computer and reading are hard. My eyes hurt by evening and I often have a headache. I'm managing, but I could throw up my hands and quit until the left eye is corrected. Instead, I'm leaning into God to help me through this trying time.

Of course, my situation isn't the end of the world, and it should be better by November, but there have been dark times in my life when I couldn't see the end. I felt helpless and disheartened, but you know what? God stood by me and protected me. He always does. God has gifted His people with the Holy Spirit, who gives us power, love, and self-disciple. Those are the things that have helped me through dark days, along with my family and friends.

Don't let the hard days win and don't try to navigate them alone. Give them to Jesus and trust Him to send help.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Relentless

Matthew 4:8-11
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Be prepared.

Sara, James, Ella Cate, and I arrived at Ohio University on Saturday morning to watch and listen to my grandson, Eli, play trumpet with his marching band, along with several high school bands and the Ohio University 110 at their football game. The 110 is one of the best college marching bands in the country. Once we were parked and made our way to the stadium, we met Maggie, Michael, and Zeke, then found our seats on the metal bleachers. Even though the temperature sat in the 80s, the relentless blaze of the sun and the reflection off the bleachers made for an uncomfortable experience.

We watched the pregame performance, which was great, ate sandwiches and watched some of the football game, then James, Ella Cate, and I headed to a shady area. The shade from the bleachers provided a respite from the heat. Just before half-time, we all headed to the end of the field to get a better view of Eli's band. Somewhere along the way, my body started reacting to the heat. As the band took the field, my stomach rolled, and I felt faint. After the performance, James, Sara, Ella Cate and I went to leave. As we rounded a corner, I grabbed Sara's arm and told her I was going to faint. She calmed my panic and walked me to the first-aid tent. The wonderful people there gave me ice, cold-packs, and water and helped me cool. In about thirty minutes, I felt like myself again. In hind sight, I realize I hadn't prepared for the weather. I should have worn a hat and used my cooling towel (made for hot weather events.)

The sun's relentlessness reminds me of Satan. Not just because of the heat, but because, like the blazing sun, he permeates into every possible space. He pokes and prods in whatever way he can to get my attention away from Jesus. If I'm not prepared, or prayed up, as Grammy used to say, I won't be ready for the fight. Whether I want to think about it or not, I fight a spiritual battle every day. I choose my weaponsthe presence of God in my life, my dependence on God and obedience to Him, prayer, and the wisdom of the Bible to wage war on the devil. As believers, we need to be ready to resist the relentless pestering and not succumb to him.

Seek Jesus and be prepared for the battle.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Dance With God

Genesis 1:3-5
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Glory filled the sky.

The best thing I can say about my week at Goodlit Writers Retreat isGod blessed me with a gift. An unexpectedI can't believe I'm here gift. Surrounded by other people who strive to write for God, I witnessed the beauty of minds and hearts opening up and pouring out. Folks from all over the country met in the quintessential small town of Stanford, Kentucky, to better understand the purpose of God's calling to write.

The different backgrounds and experiences meshed together to form a group who, like me, wanted to obey and follow the journey God is leading us on.

On Tuesday evening, Angela and Jess, hosts for the week, invited us to their beautiful farm. For me, a country girl at heart, the trip filled me with joy. After a delicious Kentucky dinner, Jess drove the tractor and pulled us on a wagon (with upholstered seats) to the top of a grass-covered hill and we watched the sunset. As the light and coming darkness played together, the pinks and pale blues turned to glorious red and deep navy. Just before night fell, the sky reminded me how when people come together to create or work, or live as a family, God can bring harmony to the dance.

In whatever I do, I pray God joins me as I pursue my dreams. He's the one who placed them on my heart and poured the talent and skills into me. Angela owns a beautiful soap store in town, Kentucky Soaps and Such. When we toured the production area, this quote was painted on the wall. "Lord, let our workspace, whatever that looks like, be our worship place." When we bring the work we do before the Lord and ask Him to partner with us, we couple with Him and bring Him glory.

Watch a sunset and let the beauty fill you with joy and a desire to dance with God.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Masterpiece

You are God's masterpiece.
Before you were born, God created you for your life's purpose.

I found this quote on Pinterest and wish I'd read it years ago.
It speaks to the heart of why we are on this earth.

God has a plan, and we have a purpose.


 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Are You a Lifelong Learner?

Matthew 11:29
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

It's that time of year again.

On Wednesday, the first day of the 2023-24 school year, I spent the day in Sara's first grade class. Those bright little students took in a lot of information. They got refreshers on how to go through the lunch line, play at recess, organize their desks, and they got to pick out books from the Grammy Penny crates. Sara had them do a drawing activity, that they'll write about this week, and a fun marshmallow story that showed them how to be quiet and respectful in the hallway. All-in-all they had a wonderful first day.

Whether public school, homeschool, private school, college, trade school, or any other learning, being a student takes work and being the teacher takes preparation. Hopefully, when the two meet, a great learning experience happens.

I've worked in the public library, school library, and college library. My mom always said I never stopped going to school. In a way, she was right. I'm a lifelong learner, always seeking to gain knowledge and wisdom about something. Maybe something as simple as what kind of butterfly or flower I saw.

The most important learning I have ever experienced is what I've learned from the Bible. God's word teaches so many lessons, insights, and ways to live. There is no education more important. Jesus wants me to listen and apply what I've heard and read. I'm so thankful God prepared a book I could read and study that teaches life lessons, offers encouragement, shares so many types of literature, tells remarkable stories, and leaves me wanting more. Some say the Bible is boring, but I disagree. It's fascinating.

I choose to read a few verses a day and ponder and pray over it and discover what God wants me to hear and learn. That way I'm not overwhelmed, and I remember it better. How do you approach reading the Bible?

Be a lifelong learner of God's word.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

He Doesn't Give Up

Jeremiah 4:3-4
This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:

“Break up your unplowed ground
    and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    circumcise your hearts,
    you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire
    because of the evil you have done—
    burn with no one to quench it.

An angry sky loomed overhead.

As we drove, the sky turned gray and the clouds rolled. Tim commented that the sky looked angry. Indeed, it did. No sun peeked through, only gray. The sky darkened the further we drove, and within the hour the clouds burst with torrential rain.

I've been reading the book of Jeremiah, which is not warm and fuzzy. It's full of anguishGod's anguish over Jerusalem and the Israelites. They had turned their back on God and gave their attention to the idols they created. As I was reading, I understood and recognized God's deep feelings for these people.

I write a lot about how much God loves us, and He does, more than we can comprehend. Along with the emotion of love, God feels all the other ones, like anger, frustration, and hurt. He made us in His image, with all the feels, so of course He experiences the same emotions.

God and the Israelites had journeyed together for years. He'd saved them so many times, yet they turned on Him and chose to sin rather than follow God. His righteous wrath was well founded and His heart broke over these people who betrayed Him. Sounds kind of familiar. God sees similar behavior out of people today that He saw from the Israelites, yet even in His anger and hurt, He longs for us to turn to Him and seek forgiveness.

Later in the chapters, He offers to forgive the Israelites if they will repent. He doesn't give up on them regardless of how they made Him feel. God's heart breaks over people, yet He loves fiercely.

Seek God. Turn to Him and give Him your heart.