“But those who drink the water that I will give them will never become thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give them will become in them a spring that gushes up to eternal life.” —John 4:14 (GW)
Since the start of this year, we who live in the semi-arid region of the country have experienced very little moisture. Each morning from our breakfast nook, Dave and I have looked out at the dry, brown landscape behind our house, wondering when (if?) we would ever see green grass and underbrush again. We prayed constantly for rain or snow or sleet—any type of moisture was welcome. And, day after day, the moisture bypassed us, moving farther north and east, due to the jet stream's trajectory, ignoring the areas of the country most desperate for it.
Last week, at long last, imagine our joy—and that of all the ranchers, cattlemen, and other homeowners—when a soaking rain fell from the heavens...and the next day a lovely three-inch snow, with even more to come in the days that followed! So, for all the times we had prayed, asking God for moisture, we began to thank Him that much more for sending it our way, answering prayer.
In Jesus’ encountering with the Samaritan woman (drawing water at the well), He knew without a doubt she was yearning for water that would quench her spiritual thirst. She longed for something more than mere physical water. He saw into her heart, which was parched in the midst of a drought, and He had the answer: “a spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (The Message)
This Easter Season, among many other blessings, I want to remember my own desperate yearning for that "gushing fountain" as a young girl when I opened my heart to Christ’s answer. I also want to remember that the gift of suffering brings us to our knees...to Him. And to life eternal.
A most blessed Easter to my dear reader-friends!
“The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Direct my footsteps according to Your word.” —Psalm 119:130,133
Have you ever visited a particular location so many times you were absolutely convinced there was nothing new to see or experience?
My husband, Dave, and I have spent numerous weeks in New England during peak autumn foliage over the years; so many, in fact, that we no longer need a map to get around. We've also visited some of the same touristy spots repeatedly (the Norman Rockwell Exhibition, Hildene—the Lincoln Family Home—Mystic, CT Seaport, and so on) that we might think we couldn't possibly spot anything new.
When we read the Bible, do we ask the Lord to open our hearts, our spiritual eyes, to the new things He has planned for us to discover each day? One of the beautiful aspects of reading this Holy Spirit inspired treasure is that we will always find whatever is needed for any particular challenge. Whatever we need for body, mind, and spirit.
Think of that! Just as the verse in Psalms 119 declares, God's Word will unfold to us—open our understanding—and bring the Light of Truth bursting into our lives.
The more we read and study God's Word, the sweeter the honeycomb is to our taste. We crave it, we continue to return again and again, and each time there is something vital, powerful, directional, hopeful, energizing, and, yes, peace-giving.
Jeremiah 15:16 refers to the Word of God as food: “Your words were found, and I ate them. And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts."
My young mother was diagnosed with inoperable cancer when I was a little girl, and she memorized this verse, and others like it, when she could no longer eat solid food for six months. She meditated on the "heart-food" of God's Word and a miracle of healing eventually came. (She lived a full life until her Homegoing in 2006. Her compelling story—and my childish reflection of what happened to her, and to our family—is chronicled in my novella, The Sunroom, if you're interested in knowing more.)
God endears us to Himself by His Word. Psalm 43:3: “Send your light and your truth to guide me. Let them lead me to your house on your sacred mountain.”
My prayer is that you will be drawn to this Lamp to your feet and Light to your path. That your heart will yearn for it and be made tender by its message of grace and hope.
“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” —Mark 12:33
I remember one of my all-time favorite teachers saying to the class, “Tell me what you spend time doing, and I’ll tell you what you love.” The students were stone-silent.
And isn’t it true? Where we spend our money, our time, and our energy always points to what we most enjoy doing—what we love.
Ask yourself these questions: Do I spend more time reading and scrolling through my phone than I do delving into God’s Word? What about when it comes to my hard-earned money—do I spend it all on myself or cheerfully give God’s portion...tithes and offerings? Do I give my all to answer His calling on my life, even when it’s trying or exhausting? When it means sacrificing time away from other things or people?
This Valentine month, what if we decided to love God 100%, with everything we have—time and talents…body, mind and spirit? What would that look like? How would it change our lives, our families, our coworkers, our friends—and our corner of the world?
Blessings…and, yes, love,
“I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.” —Ecclesiastes 2:13
As I ponder this brand, spankin’ new year 2017, instead of making a long list of resolutions, I’ve been thinking about making things easier for myself. So, I’m going with some basic and simple principles to live by.
For instance, this year, instead of looking too far into the future, (which I’ve been known to do!) I’d like to focus on living each day and not get so distracted by what’s coming up, including those dreaded writing deadlines.
I want to laugh at myself more, too. And, why not? Life’s too short to take things too seriously, right? I also want to run first to the Lord with my struggles…even the little ones. Especially the little ones which tend to pile up quickly and create a mountain. (Can you relate?)
In addition, I want to steer clear of negative influences and people, if at all possible…of course, with the measure of grace that such a task requires. And to emulate a positive attitude myself, as well.
Above all else, I want to live for Jesus…isn’t that what matters most?
Here’s to an inspiring New Year!