I was wrong.
Once upon a time, I thought I had the job I'd always wanted. I thought I was happy. I thought I was doing what the Lord intended for me.
I was wrong.
36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Our four year-old granddaughter blesses our lives with her curiosity and affection. It doesn’t seem to matter what we are doing, she likes to be right in the middle of it. She asks tons of questions, soaking it all up and then asking more questions.
This spring she wanted to join me as I was planting flower bulbs. I hoed up the row and showed her how to drop the bulbs in the ground properly, and cover them up.
I thought this was a pretty efficient and age appropriate strategy for getting the bulbs in the ground along one side of our house, and letting her be involved at the same time.
That was not four year-old thinking. After three or four bulbs, she stood up, stretched, and with all sincerity asked, “Why does this have to be so hard?”
How often do we say the same thing to God? How many times do we long for the beautiful, tantalizing flowers, but frown or fret about the hard work it takes to get them? Do we forget that none of our victories or triumphs is achieved solely from our own efforts?
Entertainment award programs are typically a wonderful example of people giving credit where credit is due. How much more does God long to bless us if we will just stop to acknowledge His hand upon ours? Let us be glad for the benefits of our hard work and His.
Is there someone I need to thank for their hard work?
14 You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. 15-16 Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.
Last month, Tom and I celebrated out 44th wedding anniversary. How did that happen? (Yes, we were infants when our families carried us to the altar.)
A few weeks before our anniversary, I was reaching the panic stage while preparing for a school event that was important to me. One of my colleagues kept asking if I was alright.
I finally turned around and looked at him incredulously. Didn't he know? (In my sane brain later, I knew he couldn't possibly.)
"When Tom is here, I can do anything! I'll be fine when he comes."
We'll skip the conversation about the difference between empowering and enabling for now, Dear Reader. Maybe this clip from one of my favorite movies will help.
As we were cleaning up a couple of hours later, my colleague told me as soon as Tom walked in the door my face lit up, and I became noticeably peaceful.
Dear Reader, God wants our lights to shine, not just for the ones we love, but even more so for the One we love.
And here's a thought to spark a little joy in our spirits. Don't you think Jesus lights up when we turn to Him with open arms?
I fervently hope and pray, Dear Reader, that your light will shine on those around you, and that you bask in "the lovelight of Jesus's face".
11 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. 12 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.
During spring break, my four year-old granddaughter and I were shopping for a few items for a family gathering. One of my favorite places to shop is a discount decorating store.
Their displays of silk flowers are just inside the door. As we walked in, my granddaughter exclaimed, “Those are the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen!” Her enthusiasm was so delightful, I did not point out that the flowers were silk.
As we started down the aisle, she reached over to one of the silk flowers, took a healthy sniff, and with all the innocence and excitement of a four year-old said, “They are the best smelling flowers, too!” A nearby clerk and I exchanged smiles.
As I walk through my world, I wonder how open I am to the pleasures God has prepared just for me. I’ll bet that when we fully experience the wonders of His divine hand, when we touch and sniff and exclaim, God smiles, too.
How can I better express my gratitude for God’s gifts around me?
Are you a baker, Dear Reader? Not a dessert maker, but one who bakes bread?
Is there anything better than the aroma of bread rising or baking? And don't you love warm, fresh bread with a bit of butter?
Our son, James, is an amazing baker! I love walking in the door when he's been baking rolls or bread. There's something kind of comforting about it.
And Jesus told a fourth parable.
Jesus took a topic his listeners understood, one that affected their everyday life, to share an important lesson. Long before Mazlow developed his hierarchy of needs, Jesus knew to use the basic need of all people (sustenance) to teach a lesson.
If you're a baker, then you may have experienced what happens if the yeast gets too old, or is mixed with liquid that's too hot. Or maybe you're like me, and you simply got too impatient waiting for it to work.
But flour and water alone make paste, not mouth-watering hot rolls. The leavening makes all the difference.
In the same way, God has given us specific instructions (Exodus 20: 1-17) to have the best lives possible. As we patiently work them into every part of our lives, we begin to see the character of God begin to rise within us.
Dear Reader, how have you seen God's character rise within you lately? Is there an area that perhaps has taken more patience, and grace, in order to see evidence of God's hand working in your life?
Not to worry, Dear Reader. God's arms are long, his muscles are strong. and He never runs out of patience when it comes to working the best into and out of His children.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
In one of the opening scenes of the movie, “Grease”, the young heroine goes out into her front yard and sings, seemingly to the stars, that she is “hopelessly devoted” to her summer love. It’s a great song. Watching her expressions, she seems to be singing straight from the heart.
As I thought about the title, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, I initially thought, “Yes! That’s how I feel about God.” But something just didn’t set right. Then it finally dawned on me, we are not hopelessly devoted, we are hopefully devoted to God.
When we gaze at the world around us, it’s easy to recognize hopelessness. Hopeless folks frequently trudge through life as though the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Smiles seem to be strangers to their lips, eyes seem dim, and dark words routinely note their passage through time and space.
If we peer into God’s Holy Word, He tells us over and over again that our hope is “built on nothing less, than Jesus’s blood and righteousness”. We have plenty to be hopeful about as long as we know where to place our hope.
How am I sharing hope with others?
Geology was the last class I took to finish a Bachelor of Science degree. The last, and the only one I nearly failed. Of all the college courses I've taken, rocks held the least attraction.
When I went back to this parable, I had to chuckle. At last, a
Rock that got my attention.
Hi, my name is Alice. A Way with Words is about sharing faith,
fun, & encouragement. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find a little something to take