Mag's Thoughts

The Rough Waters of Today Are Lessons Tomorrow

 

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness


Psalm 25:4 ESV

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.

Psalm 32:8 ESV

I will teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

There are life lessons that God teaches us in all situations. In  2 Timothy 3:16 Paul comments to Timothy that God's  Word is indeed from Holy God,  and he  details exactly what the Bible accomplishes in man. The key, however, is that man must read what God says.  I am so thankful that God instructs His children so clearly in the Bible.. Like  we tell our children, however, we must pay attention!

I have had more  time to study God 's Word . As I sit in my favorite place, my porch, I've had time to be with God and allow him to speak to my heart through His Word.  He does indeed make known his paths for His children if we take time to be with Him, to read His Written Word. We miss opportunity to glean meaning in our lives from scripture if we let that dust gather on the Bible.

Dave and I have taken  walks in this beautiful place called Hilltop.  We have had time  to talk. God chose the man for me to spend my life with, and I am so thankful for my sweet man. Our Heavenly Father has planned our lives and has chosen our path, but it is up to us to obey God's direction. Along those  walks, we both have seen the beauty of Hilltop, the amazing wildlife, God's amazing creation! The silver lining in all this is having time to take in God's creation.

Lastly, God has again revealed to me
the kindness of fellow Christians and the truth that we, the people, are the church. As or pastor said, "The Church is simply deployed at this time."  I've seen the Church busy serving God as that "deployed Church"  reaching out to their neighbors in love. Christ taught us to care for each other. Those lessons are written down in the New Testament for all of us.

This pandemic has been tough on many, and the fear and confusion are real. God, however, gives us hope in the middle of this chaos. That lesson of a guaranteed eternal hope for His children through Jesus Christ found in 1Peter 1:3-9 calms the heart and settles the mind. You see, God has the answers and through Jesus we have hope in an eternal life. That makes the rough waters of today lessons for tomorrow!

Every Day

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This prayer called the Shema (Sh'ma Yisrael) is repeated as  part of the daily prayers for the people of Israel. This passage declares the Lordship of the Creator, and  this   allegiance to  Almighty God by His people is recited daily in obedience to God. We, as Christians, are called to pray as well to our Heavenly Father  who  alone has the answers we seek in this confusing world. Christ taught us how to pray in the Lord's Prayer  that we so often pray together as the Body of Christ.

We are presently in a time when our heavenly Father can calm the soul, bring order in confusion, and give clear direction to our lives.  I cannot say it enough. Find quietness and talk to God for awhile, and yes, I say it alot! 

We seem so fractured these days, yet it is our God who can bring us together. This prayer said to God in Deuteronomy is as  applicable to us as it was to the Israelites as they traveled across unknown lands  and entered the land God promised them.  My prayer is that through this fearful time in our lives,  we discover anew the steadfastness of our Mighty God, and revival awakens  this country to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Lesson Learned in Darkness


There is a threefold lesson that I learned Easter of 2001 and the weeks following Easter into the hot days of summer. These lessons have come to mind these last few weeks of uncertainty. In Psalms 45:18, the psalmist says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” David praises his God for His greatness, His mercy, goodness, and in verse 18 David addresses the closeness of God, literally within us as we call on Him in complete trust and faithfulness. It was during those  days in 2001 that I truly understood this passage as I called and sometimes screamed to God for help and wisdom. I was taught my entire life the life-saving meaning of trusting in God. He literally knows every corner of our heart, and if we are honestly trusting Him, the significance in our lives is eternal.

Sarah, our oldest daughter, was hospitalized on Easter morning of 2001 with a devastating diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Our daughter died on August 1, 2001. It was a dark, life-changing and awful experience for me and my family. Although the loss is always there, scabbed over after time, I can attest to the work of my Lord and Savior though this journey. Right after Sarah’s death, our nation experienced 9/11. I saw our nation, those countless families grieving, confused, looking for the same answers my husband and I needed. We found our answers on our knees in the very first minutes after we learned of Sarah’s death. The grief we experienced tore at our faith, challenged our cognitive abilities, and went to war with our physical health; but through total dependence on our Lord and Savior, we found new strength in God, in His Word. God comforts, heals our pain, and offers ways to minister to others through it all. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides us. Our Father in heaven brings light and clarity to the journey and is with us though all the valleys and straight to the mountain tops. Our part, being in a right relationship with our Lord and Savior before the valleys hit. God reveals what he does for us so clearly in these verses below, and that is the second part of the lesson we all must learn. He offers peace, comfort, discernment, direction, and a light to see past the tragedy.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, the comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.
Psalm 91:4

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

In the days following Sarah’s death, we learned a great deal about servant-hood and humility through those who took care of our every need. Jesus taught us all much about humility and servant-hood in John 13, and that is the third part of the lesson.  As Jesus finished washing the disciples’ feet He said in verses 14-16, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater that the one who sent him.” The washing of one’s feet in ancient times was often done and offered by a hostess upon entering a home, yet having another wash one’s feet was done by slaves or showed a sign of humility and willingness to serve. Jesus knew his time was at hand and wanted his close friends to understand this life lesson before he returned to the Father. It is actually through our experiences that I discovered where God called me to work in His Kingdom. This was hard lesson learned in tragedy, but this  lesson brought light into our darkness, the light of the Lord.  

 

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