In Quietness and Rest

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

I spent time yesterday just being at the ocean’s edge, watching the waves come and go. 

Occasionally a group of pelicans would fly silently overhead. 

Lying down, I could see jet streams from time to time streak across the cloudless blue sky above me. 

It was windy and cool. 

Walking barefoot into the shallow water the cold water moved sparking sand past me as each wave receded back into the sea. 

It was good to be quiet. 

I read from the Bible and from a book on praise. 

I have found that I need quietness. 

Time to listen. 

Time to rest….

Your Light

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
—Matthew 5:16

As I walked on the beach the sun’s light was reflecting on grains of sand, probably numbering in the billions. 

One light—yet the wet sand reflected its  likeness. 

As we reflect God’s love, faithfulness, mercy and forgiveness, we let the light He has given us shine for others. 

In seeing this, they may praise God. 

Puzzling Reflections

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In my journey of faith, there are many things that I do not understand.

Yet, even in my lack of understanding, I must trust God.

He sees things perfectly.

His knowledge is complete.

His love for me is great.

Like a little child trusting in her father as she grasps his hand while crossing a busy street, I must put my faith in God’s wisdom and guidance as I walk through this life with Him at my side.

~

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

—1 Corinthians 13:12

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reflections

Everlasting

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Answered prayer.

How could I possibly describe what it feels like to see God work?

People experience answers to prayer all the time—–

When they pray for funds and an unexpected check comes in the mail.

When they pray for healing and the tests come back negative.

When they pray for a marriage and the divorce is cancelled.

When they pray for the salvation of someone they know and that person comes to know the Lord as their Savior.

I could try to describe it.

There’s a feeling of gratitude that bubbles forth from deep within.

Praise rises from your thoughts to your lips.

A testimony of God’s goodness can hardly be contained.

Several weeks ago, my heart was heavy concerning those I was praying for.

I told God that I needed a miracle.

I was praying this prayer with my head covered with a towel, because it had just started raining as I was sitting in a chair at the beach.

When I uncovered my head, a beautiful rainbow had appeared above the ocean in front of me.

I thanked God for showing me a rainbow, and I felt that in His time, there would be a miracle concerning my request.

In the past several days, miraculous occurrences have been taking place in the realm of that request.

I have been thanking God for His work.

Praise and gratitude fill my heart.

Yesterday, I was driving to a Bible study, or so I thought.

As I drove, I saw a rainbow. I stopped to photograph it.

Within minutes, it was gone.

As I drove on further, I saw an incredible site.

A rainbow-like patch had appeared by a cloud.

I had been thinking about how I could see God working in one person’s life that I had prayed for, but I was still hoping for miracles in the other person’s life.

As I watched the rainbow patch, a dark cloud began to cover it.

I could tell that the bands of glorious color were still there, even though the dark cloud was beginning to hide it from view.

I believe that God is going to answer my prayer from that day on the beach for BOTH the people that were on my heart.

Just because I can’t see a rainbow, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Just because I may not see God working in someone’s life, it doesn’t mean that He isn’t.

As I pulled up to the home where I was to attend the Bible study, there were no cars in the driveway.

Checking the message I had received about it, I realized that I had come on the wrong day.

If I had not gone out to go to the Bible study, I might never have seen the rainbow patch and the dark clouds that floated past.

God wanted me to see it, I believe, to encourage me.

To remind me of His message to me that day at the beach.

His brilliant arc of blazing light in the sky as I uncovered my head.

God is with us, you and me.

He hears our prayers.

He knows our hearts.

He loves us with an everlasting love.

But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

Psalm 103:17-18

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everlasting

Ever-Present Help

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It was a day to relax, mostly.

Reclining on the beach with friends, I looked out toward the water.

There was peace.

The steady, yet calm roar of the waves never ceased.

Predictable…..

Consistent…..

Then, I saw it!

What was that?

My friends hadn’t noticed, but I peered more closely toward the water.

Something jumped a couple of feet above the sand and flopped back down.

It did it again!

Could a jellyfish do that?

Ever curious, I got out of my luxury lawn chair, complete with a built in neck pillow, cup holder and supply bag and started walking toward the object in question.

As I grew closer, I realized what it was.

A TREE FROG!

He had his arms tucked under him as he sat still in my presence.

Along with sunglasses and sunscreen, I had decided to bring my camera to the beach.

It was time to take a few photos before embarking on the task of getting the little creature back to a more hospitable environment.

One of my friends had a ball cap on, which came in very handy when trying to catch a hopping frog.

When she had him secured, she walked to the nearest area of palm trees and other foliage to let him go.

The adventure complete, we settled back into our chairs, basking in the sun and the mist of the sea.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder….how did that frog get to the beach?

After some thought, I decided that he could have hopped into someone’s fishing supplies.

Maybe in a garage miles away, an unsuspecting sportsman picked up a bucket or bag, placed it into their truck and transported it with the tiny, green stowaway on board.

How he got there was not really the important thing, however.

Getting him back to a safe place was.

 

People do this all the time, you know.

Surroundings look interesting and relatively safe, like a bag or bucket with fisherman’s gear.

We crawl in, feeling quite accomplished.

Before we know it, we decide it’s time to hop out, but when we do, things have changed.

Tall, leafy trees and damp, green grass have been replaced by salt water and burning hot sand as far as the eye can see.

In a panic, we jump high into the air, not realizing that doing so alerts predators to our presence in an unforgiving and hostile place.

Even so, God is watching.

He knows where we are when we ourselves do not.

He knows the danger when we venture into the bag.

He watches us as we are filled with fear when we see where our decisions have taken us.

He knows we can’t live in the salty waves.

When we hop frantically on the shore, He can pick us up and take us to a place—

a safe place we can call home.

 

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

—Psalm 146:1-3

 

 

help

New Every Morning

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The beach was glowing in the sunlight as the new day began.

I sat, watching the splendor unfold before me.

The clouds filled the sky with white, cottony patches that changed in hue as the sun rose.

Every day is a new day.

A new day to live for God.

 

 

 

 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

—Lamentations 3:22-26

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every morning

Forgiveness

When we show love to others, something happens. A bridge to a wounded heart begins to form. A passageway that was previously non-existent is now a possibility to consider. A broken spirit begins to mend. The flower of forgiveness starts to bloom where once there were only weeds. The debris on the edge of the shoreline is washed away, leaving smooth sand that beckons our feet to travel the uncharted distance into another’s life.

 

 

November 19, 2007