Saturday, November 21, 2009

No second-hand days

I love a good bargain. And I love finding surprises in unexpected places like thrift stores and garage sales. Those discoveries make me feel like the Proverbs 31 woman who brings her treasures from afar.

But when I looked out the window above my desk this morning, I realized that God isn’t always that thrifty. Sure, I saw the same old cottonwoods glittering in their autumn gold, and the ridge tops wore their familiar oak silhouette, but the day itself was unique.

“A brand new day,” I thought. “God has done it again; He’s given us a brand new, never-been-used-before morning.”

There are no second-hand days with God.

If the Creator'd had only one day to give us, I believe He would have. I base that judgment upon how He’s handled other valuable gifts, particularly His son.

God has one perfect son, Jesus, and He gave Him for our imperfect lives. Do we even begin to understand the depth of that giving?

Not only do we have brand new lives because of Jesus, we have a sparkling, new hope because of Him.

And we have never-been-used-before mornings for which to praise Him, every single day.

Now there’s something to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Veterans of a different battle

After two days of excruciating pain and two more of mind-numbing drugs, I learned several things.

1. It is not wise to ignore new, inexplicable pain – it’s trying to tell you something.
2. I can walk and work more slowly and the world will not fall off its axis.
3. Breakfast in bed is not all it’s cracked up to be.
4. And if that bed is “in the depths,” God is still there (Psalm 139:8b).

As I wrote in my last posting, many of us do more than we should, and need to cut back.
But more recently I learned that everything can be cut back, and life does not come to an end.

Sickness was not part of my plan last week, but as hour after hour stacked up more and more unfinished tasks and beautifully orchestrated expectations, I was forced to let go of each and every one, lie back in the arms of the Lord, and let Him carry me.

I found, again, that He is there. And I remembered that He is a veteran of pain.

As we look this week to our military veterans who have offered and often laid down their lives for our freedom, let us also consider the silent suffering by those of whom we may not be aware. They, too, are veterans – veterans of knowing that God is there, even when they don’t understand the why’s of their situations.

I have heard the dear mother of one such sufferer say with deep conviction, “O our God … We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (II Chronicles 20:12b).

Indeed, Lord. Our eyes are upon You