The Comforter

I had a devotional in draft to post for my second scheduled post for this week, but felt it wasn’t the right time for that particular one. Instead, I struggled with something to put in its place that could be an encouragement during this time that so much of southeast Texas has been devastated by flooding and especially in Houston where we lived for twenty five years before moving to the Dallas area in 2008.

This brief poem above is something I wrote many years ago when several families I knew were going through difficult trials. I hope its message resonates today with anyone who is going through a time of hardship whether it is related to Hurricane Harvey and the flooding or any difficult circumstance you may find yourself in today.

I just have a few words for you. 

Sometimes a few is enough. 

I pray these encourage you in the depth of your soul.

A Thousand to One

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!  ~ Psalm 46:10 

Every time I read Psalm 46:10 my heart hears this message: Be still, and know Me… really know Me. 

I believe this goes a step beyond knowing He is God—it’s a step toward knowing Him as God of your life and getting to know Him in close relationship. It starts with knowing and acknowledging that He is God. Then it grows into knowing Him in the intimate relationship of Father and child.

This has been a life changing message for me, as I’ve learned to be still and spend time with my God. My heart greatly desires to obey this message, because I know the benefits that come with it. My prayer is that I will consistently and diligently choose to be still and know Him throughout my entire life.

Being still brings me into His presence and causes me to know His nearness. As you continue to draw near to the One who is God, the One who has shown you grace and mercy through His love, you will also discover that the relationship you share takes on new meaning.

Don’t let all the duties, activities, and distractions in life rob you of this precious relationship. Knowing Him is life. Make time for Him. Let Him bring your thousand thoughts down to one. 

Be still and know Him. Be still and know He is your God.

The Unforgiving Message

I had already walked nearly a mile along the woods on the neighborhood trail, across the creek, along a field and by the small lake when I looked up and noticed a teenage boy walking my direction. He was wearing a bright red t-shirt and jeans and when he was close enough I could read the words printed on the front. The top line said in big white letters:

God Forgives

Great! He is a Christian I thought to myself. As his next steps brought him even closer I could see what was printed under it in even bigger black letters:

But I Don’t

I could not believe my eyes. I was shocked!

We passed each other and I was already thinking of at least ten scenarios that would explain the depth of anger and bitterness that resulted in him wearing that bold proclamation.

Do people ask him what is the story behind the words on his t-shirt?

Who won’t he forgive?

Why won’t he forgive?

It would have started in a huge painful event of course…

My heart felt heavy thinking of his pain. My thoughts ran in all different directions considering what must have happened to him at a very young and tender age.

I am never going to know his story. I am never going to know who he won’t forgive. I am not going to know why it impacted him so strongly that he is declaring it on his t-shirt.

Remember the first line, he is right. God forgives. I think it is amazing that this young man put that on his t-shirt. God forgives.

I hope a time will come when the young man will choose to forgive. Maybe he will make a new t-shirt that says:

God Forgives

I Forgive

I hope he does. There is power and freedom in our forgiveness of others who have hurt us.
“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  ~ Matthew 18:21-22  

The Earth and the Sun

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Weekend before last, my husband and I were on our way to a family reunion in Sweetwater, Texas, about a four hour drive from our home. We were on the road by 6am heading to west Texas.

Gazing out the car window while my thoughts were wandering in several directions, I quickly caught a glimpse of a billboard with a glaring statistic about the sun.

The billboard stated that 1.3 million earths could fit in the sun. I wish I could go back and see it again to fully describe it since it happened in a flash. I do remember these words were also on the billboard: God did that.  

I knew the sun was big, sure. I know it is 93 million miles away.

I know our planet is just far enough away to not burn up and thus sustain life.

I did not know 1.3 million earths could fit in this orb we call the sun. 

It just staggered my mind. I cannot even think of a superlative word that accurately describes the gargantuan size of our sun.

Oh how great is our Creator!

Here is what also staggers my mind…

Even more.

The scientists that measure space and distance, who must be in awe of this universe and all its grandeur - why don’t they believe in God who created it?

When they study the scope of planets and stars, why don’t they see the One who made them?

I know there are some that do but many do not.

In frustration I asked my husband again as we continued down the highway thinking about the billboard.

His answer was they don’t want to. They don’t want to because their hearts are unto themselves and not submitted to God. 

But we know God created the heavens and the earth. God did that.

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.