Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Oreo Cookie Kind of Day

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life
He who comes to Me shall never hunger,
          and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”         
                                                                         John 6:34-35 (NKJV)   

I am having an Oreo cookie kind of day.  
Nothing makes my daughter happy today.  She’s crying one minute and growling at me the next.  This mother does not take too kindly to being growled at by a two year old. Nor do I appreciate the ugliness in the tone of her voice. 
Her strong-willed temperament takes charge of my to-do list.  I am accomplishing nothing and my attitude is going downhill fast.  I am frustrated at her behavior and my response.  Just plain frustrated.  I’m already in tears and it’s only mid-morning.      
I tell myself, “You need a snack.  Oreo cookies dipped in ice cold milk sound perfect.”  Creamy, white filling sandwiched between two crunchy, chocolate cookies, MMMM, comfort to my soul.  Oreos don’t growl or talk back.  No, they provide relief from my stress.   Oreo cookies are just what I need.   

Then it hit me.  Is this what I really need?  My daughter isn’t the problem and Oreos are not the answer.   My reactions cause the tension.   The solution is to immerse myself in the Truth.
All too often I turn to food for comfort, only to realize it will never soothe my soul.  The only source of lasting satisfaction is God.  When life’s circumstances come against me, my first response should be to feast on prayer and God’s Word.  This morning I neglected to find nourishment from the Truth in God’s Word.  As the condition of the day deteriorates, my mind has no Truth on which to meditate. 
The lack of Truth causes me to respond very poorly to my child’s behavior.  In turn, her responses mirror my poor choices.  The more frustrated I become, the more the situation escalates until we both are in tears and growling.
My soul hungers for peace.  Food never satisfies, but Jesus does.  He says, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  Turning to Oreos or other sources of comfort will only starve the soul.  Lasting nourishment comes from Jesus, the Bread of life.

Dear Heavenly Father,
My actions reveal the famine in my soul.  My soul is hungry for You.  May I feast on Your Word, the everlasting food that satisfies and nourishes. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blind And Deaf

“Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ear, but he does not hear.”
                                                          Isaiah 42:20   

Dear Lord,
Do I see You, but not observe?  Are my ears open, yet I do not hear You?   Have I become insensitive to Your existence in my life and the lives of others? 
Open my eyes.  I no longer want to be casual and only glimpse at things.  I want to observe You and Your purposes in my life.  To discern opportunities to glorify You.  I pray You will take the blinders off of my eyes so I can be aware of Your presence all around me.  In the beauty of creation.  In the lives of those who are hurting.  In my role as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
My ears are open, but I want to hear You.  Make my hearing sensitive to Your voice.  Give me ears to hear Your direction and guidance in my life.  To hear You when You call my name.  May I be quite enough to hear Your whispers in my soul.  Give me wisdom to know Your voice.
Increase my faith so that when I observe and hear You I will be willing to obey.  What a shame it is to see and hear, but not act.
I pray for my friend who is reading these words, open their eyes and ears that they may observe and hear You today. 
The evidence of Your existence surrounds us daily.  Creation shouts of Your glory.  Our innermost desires cry out for Your comfort.  Consume our thoughts with You today.
Living with eyes and ears for You,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a letter to my Father

Dear Heavenly Father,
How awkward it is for me to call you Father.  For so long I have only thought of you as “God”.  A being that resides in a realm that my humanness cannot fathom, sitting on your gold and jewel-encrusted throne.  Looking down on the earth as we mere humans go about our daily lives.  The All-Powerful God who can change the course of the day with the simple motion of turning Your raised Hands in the air.  The God who speaks a word and the weather obeys.   Always watching and leading from Your throne.
Oh, how wrong was my thinking.  You are not a God who solely dwells on Your Throne in Heaven.  Your are a God who wants to walk with me throughout my day.   You are a God who cares about the small things in my life as well as the big.  When my SD card won’t work in my camera and I try three times with no luck.  In my spirit You whisper, “Just ask me.  I want to help you.” 
“This is silly, Lord.  Can you really fix my SD card?  This is so small,” I question You. 
“Just ask and see,” You encourage.
“Dear Lord, Please help me.  I need this card to work.”  I pray not really expecting the result to be any different.
I hear You speak, “Oh, ye of little faith.”  Doubt turns to amazement as my camera actually comes on and is ready to take a picture.  No error message warning me to format the card, resulting in the loss of all my cherished pictures. 
You prove Your faithfulness to me.  I am so sorry for doubting.  For believing that my prayers as less than desirable in Your ears. 
The words of my mouth penetrate Your very presence.  They do not bounce off of the lining of the clouds and fall to the Earth.  My words of my heart are heard even when my mouth makes no utterances. 
Please forgive me for not trusting in You.  The longing of my heart is to follow you with everything I am.  Increase my faith and confidence that You are not a God who solely sits on His throne waiting for my words to travel through the Heavens and enter Your dwelling place.  You are my Father who hears the silent whispers of my heart because You are walking next to me.
Oh, to feel Your closeness.
Your daughter,