Tag Archives: patient

Evil for Evil…NOT!

 

I lay this day in its entirety in Your hands, Father. There are many elements in it that are unknown. Some are beyond my control. I trust You. May You receive glory whatever the outcome. Use me however You deem best. Fill me with Your love. May I be gracious but may I also stand for what is right. If need be may I be discerning enough to know when I need to fight or submit. Please guide me according to Your will. Amen. So be it!

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (<<click here)

“no…evil for evil” “do good”

Lord, this is really a very simple concept but is definitely counter-culture! Our knee-jerk reaction is to respond in like manner – you hurt me, I hurt you! (worse if possible!) But that reaction is totally, without question, not You. You, the Creator of all that is, almighty (emphasis on the all) God have every reason to punish Your rebellious (putting it very mildly) creation. And pointedly our punishment is death and rightly so. The Bible is replete with accounts where Your punishment was meted out and in every instance, it was justified. But also in every instance punishment was preceded by innumerable attempts at reconciliation! You’re patient and oh so longsuffering. Thank You for Your unsurmountable love!

Ultimately You came to teach us and love us face to face and our response was to return evil for love, ultimately nailing You to a cross… Reason for retaliation? Definitely! But did You? No!! You’re the very epitome of LOVE!  Evil… for evil is not even an option!

Lord, help me to overcome my tendencies to give evil for evil. I am not a vengeful person but I do have a temper and only You can help me temper that temper. May every molecule of my being radiate Your love! May it control my actions and my words in every situation, no matter how difficult. Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Enable me to “do good to all people.” With Your power and wisdom and love, I can do it!

July 31st, 2015, Fri, 6:44 am

Erased?

Thank You, Father, for loving me so much! Thank You for holding on and not giving up on me. You know me through and through and still, You cherish me… Thank You, Father…

Revelation 3:5 (<<click the green)

When I was younger I struggled with remaining faithful to You, Lord, every moment of every day. In my mind, I had this picture of my name written in Your Book of Life and every time I failed You I imagined my name being erased. We all know what happens in you erase the same spot on a piece of paper too many times – a hole is worn in that spot. That’s what I thought my spot in the Book of Life looked like – a hole where my name had been.

As I’ve journeyed long with You these many years I have come to realize that that is not how You work. And once again, my opening thoughts connect perfectly with what You have given me this day. You are patient. You are loving. Your greatest desire is for me to be victorious.

Only if I would throw it all away, only if I would spurn Your love and utterly turn my back on You would my name be erased – blotted out – from Your Book of Life. You would never cast me aside.

Lord, this day as every day, I give myself over to You – to Your will, to Your wisdom, to Your strength, to Your love. Only there am I secure…safe for all eternity. Thank You, Lord, my Redeemer, Savior, and Friend.

July 23rd, Sun, 7:09 am

Rain on Us All

As I look out this morning as the day is just beginning, it has started to rain. Father, the day is just beginning and it is not bright, though the sun is up. In the early light, everything is a dark green – the grass in the front yard, the cattails across the road creating a border to the soybeans and then corn behind them and then the line of trees forming the backdrop under a cloud laden sky.

And it continues to rain, beating down on the highway, pelting the bay window – nothing is missed, everything is wet. Lord, You have brought to mind this morning a passage from the Gospel of Matthew – a portion of Your Sermon on the Mount – and You spoke of rain.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 (emphasis mine)

Lord, You equally bless us all –no one is missed, everyone gets wet – and You are not just speaking of rain here. You are speaking of how you feel in regards to us all. You, in all Your holiness and perfection, choose to love us in all of our sin and imperfection. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that You are “patient…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Lord, Your word is clear. As I read the passage from Matthew again I cannot miss it – no further explanation is needed– we are called to love and pray for our enemies. Help me, Lord, help me to be like You. Amen.

July 10th, Mon, 6:31 am

Honor and Love

What a beautiful day yesterday, Father! The scenery, the company, the food, all made for a great day. Thank You, Father, for Your blessings!

Lord, a good part of our day yesterday brings a passage in Ephesians 6:2-3 to mind.

“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise. If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on earth.”

We had the privilege of spending time with Karen’s parents, a nice meal out, some shopping and sitting and talking. The last several months have been a challenge, to say the least. Following her dad’s broken hip, life has been full of all kinds of hurdles. It has not all been easy or pleasant for that matter, but we have relied on You, Lord, and loved each other.

I’m at that age where those of us privileged enough to still have our parents with us are stretched, sometimes to the breaking point. Physical issues, struggles to maintain independence, the necessity to switch roles of parent and child can be very taxing. But regardless of the hurdles, honor, and love must factor in.

It is surely not an easy road. But rest assured that we do not travel alone. Just in my small circle, I have cousins working with an uncle recovering from a stroke. I have a family from one of my church’s dealing with the same thing. Another family from that same church has called Hospice in to help care for a dying patriarch. And there are many more of us traveling this road together. But most important of all is that You, Lord, are with us. We can lean upon You and You will never cease to be there.

May our love for each other be as Your love for us – patient (long-suffering!), deep, non-judgmental, strong, and without end. May we cherish one another in the time we have together. Every moment is a blessing. Amen.

Apr 3rd, Mon, 6:37 am

Lead, Kindly Light

Father, it has happened literally hundreds of times over the past couple of years but every day I am amazed when You wake me. It is never with a jolt, leaving my heart pounding, but it always seems that I just open my eyes, glance at the clock and it is time for me to rise. And it’s not like I need up the same time of day…but You are faithful and You love me with a strong, consistent love. Thank You, Father.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise but I love music – all kinds of music! But one of my favorites has been a part of my life for my entire life and that is hymns. From the first time my mother carried me in her arms to church, hymns have touched me.

This morning after waking, before I even made it down the hall, a hymn popped into my mind – Lead, Kindly Light. The title itself was prompted by thoughts of You, Lord, for You are surely my patient, gentle guide through each and every day.

I’ve read where this song, written in 1833 by John Henry Newman, has been appropriately sung by many in dire circumstances and rightly so. But it is also a beautiful song that gives comfort along any part of life’s journey. The first verse reads,

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

To me, it speaks of peace. I don’t need to see far ahead as my life moves continually onward for, Lord, one step [is] enough for me.” Lord, there is great comfort with You by my side throughout each stop of our journey together.

Mar 19th, Sun, 7:12 am