First. We need God.

Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. – Max Lucado

How often have you heard someone say to a friend or acquaintance, ‘Go jump’. Sometimes it’s not abbreviated, as in, ‘Go jump in the lake!’ You may even have other versions in your repertoire!

I’ve heard a few sayings on the radio and wondered, Do these people know the origins of the words they’re using? I’m referring to a particular kind of saying, one that comes from the Bible. The way they use it makes it clear that they have no idea of its context or its real meaning. I know language changes over time, and after centuries, words can become a shadow of their former selves. Some now have a completely different significance. Others have even turned around again and ended up back with their original meaning! But a few still mean the same, but are used out of context.

How would we react to someone who spat out these words: ‘Take a long walk on a short pier’? They’re probably telling us to ‘get lost!’ Do they realise that it was Jesus who originally used the words: ‘Jump in the lake’? Of course, he never told anyone to get lost; his purpose was always to find the lost. But when he dealt with an unfruitful fig tree, and saw it shrivel and die, he had a lesson for his friends who witnessed this amazing thing. He told them to face their own situations in the same way. He only spoke to the fig tree and the tree died. And he told the disciples that a mountain was no different. He said to tell it where to go! He wasn’t implying that they could make a hill move by magic. He was saying they could deal with it by commanding it to make itself move. ‘Go jump in the lake’.

We might think we can deal with big issues in our lives by telling them that we have the authority to move them. But Jesus actually said we can tell them to do the moving. There’s a subtle difference. If we have a large problem that’s making our life hard, messy or painful, we have a few choices: go around it, stay where we are, pretend it’s not there, or move it. That’s hard work. It’s more satisfying to tell it to do the moving! And much easier. But first, we need God!

I’ve read about people who, in faith, have moved literal mountains, but there has to be a good reason for such large-scale landscaping measures! On the other hand, we all have mountains in our lives that need to get lost. They won’t hang around if we make their presence unnecessary. Like the fig tree that Jesus spoke to, they are not doing us any good. They have no purpose. They might seem good-looking, nice, and be a comfortable, familiar part of our life, but if they don’t benefit us at all, their ‘beauty’ is false and needs to be challenged. Let’s take a look at them and decide if we want to own them forever. Don’t think you can get rid of them on your own either; shovelling dirt is back-breaking labour. No, we must do what Jesus did; speak, and leave it to God.

As he said to his disciples, If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer ~ Matthew 21: 22.

 

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Cultural Traditions

Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? ~ Desmond Tutu

Are cultural traditions important? Should we try to save the old ways, the unique styles of worship or dress that have been an acceptable part of our nation’s life? Or do we feel that an influx of people with different ideas might change our comfortable habits?

Our church has been celebrating the worship traditions of the various members of the congregation: the Indians, Africans, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, Sri Lankans and others who’ve joined us and contributed to our church’s rich life. I’ve wondered if we would also have an Australian Cultural Night. Would there be enough of us in the church to show our uniqueness or our contribution to the mix? What customs do we have? And how would we demonstrate them? The other groups had set such a high standard when they’d presented their own joyful worship! I could think of a few things to do…but enough to fill a whole Sunday evening?

As for myself, I could contribute by baking something for the supper. A batch of Anzac biscuits, some Lamingtons and a couple of Chocolate Ripple cakes! I could wear a top with native flowers on the front and hope to be recognised as an Aussie! Fortunately we have many people among us who are full of good ideas and they organised a great night.

We sang ‘The Great Southland’ by Geoff Bullock, the song said to be about Australia’s other name, The Great Southland of the Holy Spirit. With those words resounding throughout the auditorium, my heart thrilled at our deep Christian heritage.

There were also moments of laid-back Aussie humour! When it came to the church announcements, Strine, Australia’s nasal language of innovative sayings, was used instead of the normal English. All the activities on the church calendar were expressed in words such as blokes, sheilas, cobbers, ankle-biters and fair dinkum; even dunnies! And rhyming slang featured heavily! I wondered if those who’d only been here a short time would need a special dictionary to understand it! These days, we don’t use many of those terms ourselves; our unique speech has become obsolete in some quarters. But we had some good laughs, though occasionally the ‘announcer’ had to explain herself!

The part of the night that touched me most  was when we sang our ‘unofficial’ anthem: ‘I Am Australian’, written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton. Tears came to my eyes at the chorus, ‘We are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come’. I watched as a line of people climbed the steps and joined the soloist on the platform. Her casual clothes contrasted well with their lovely saris and the gorgeous fabrics of their bright garments. The scene spoke to me of my beloved country: relaxed and welcoming. Yes, each one of us has an important national contribution.

I couldn’t help but think of the amazing way God planned for everyone to be citizens together in his land. He provided a way for all of us to become his children by sending his only son, Jesus, to die in our place, so our sin wouldn’t separate us from him, our heavenly Father. Whoever believes in Jesus will never be turned away. And it won’t be boring in heaven! From all the lands on earth, God’s children will mingle together and enjoy his company!

As Paul of Tarsus wrote in a letter: …we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ ~ Galatians 3:28. So wonderful!

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Quotes

Have you ever questioned the origins of the wall plaques in gift shops? Succinct sayings with clever calligraphy. Many are also online, with the name of the person who wrote or spoke the words. Unfortunately some are misquoted or attributed to the wrong person.

I know a lady who wrote a lovely poem for her mother. Later, she discovered it displayed in a calligraphy album in a store…without being attributed to her! She approached the man and demanded payment for her work. He wouldn’t admit he’d plagiarised it, but he did pay her a small amount of money!

Quotes can be tricky. You may have seen the more common ones. I itch to correct the punctuation and grammar on a few! Unfortunately, many don’t include the author’s name.

I have one like that. It’s an attractive black and white one in my study. It matches the decor and fits the narrow space beside the window. Whenever I look at it, I’m reminded that there’s something missing.

It reads: ‘The best things in life are unseen. That’s why we close our eyes when we kiss, laugh and dream’.

I’ve seen another on a similar topic: ‘The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been and the memories we’ve made along the way’. And maybe we’ve all heard this one: ‘The best things in life are free’. Are they all the best things?

Our grandson was looking at mine and said, ‘Grandma, there’s another thing that should be on there: “We close our eyes when we sneeze!”‘ He’s right. How many of us have sneezed in the car as we’re driving along a road, and hoped we wouldn’t crash?

But sneezing isn’t the thing I miss. There’s another, more important matter that we do with our eyes shut. Praying.

Why do we close our eyes to talk to God? Is it necessary? Did the ancients pray with their eyelids lowered? I don’t think there’s a rule in the Bible that says we must. We teach our children to close their eyes in prayer, but I think that must have started to keep their concentration on the Lord so they wouldn’t be distracted by the things around them. I pray in the dark and how much difference does that make! I don’t need to shut my eyes when the light’s turned off.

For many years I’ve collected quotes that I enjoy; ones that teach me more about God and life, even about myself. I have a couple of notebooks for them. My daughter once gave me a collection that she’d meticulously compiled. Each one was in its own blue envelope and they were all in a lovely little basket bound with a blue ribbon. She knew they’d be the perfect gift for me; one of my favourite things. There were enough for me to read one every day for a year! I still treasure them.

Here on my Blog, I include a quote on every post I write. Sometimes they’re scripture texts, others I’ve found elsewhere. They’re called Analecta, which means ‘gleaning’.

Here’s one we should always remember. It comes from the Amplified Classic Bible and is quoted by the Apostle John in chapter 8, verse 12 of his Gospel. It gives us important guidance that we can never truly live without. It’s worthwhile to keep it written on our hearts. Only Jesus could say these words and I’m so glad he did.

I am the Light of the world. He who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life. 

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Resolutions

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ CS Lewis

I’ve never made any New Year Resolutions! Perhaps I don’t like making promises to myself, to others, or to God, that I might break. I’m not keen on sudden change in my life either, and I definitely have a dislike for being pinned down to someone else’s values. When other people are saying they’re going to do this or that, I wait and see. And why is it always on New Year’s Day that we’re expected to make these ‘brave’ decisions? I’ve heard of too many broken resolutions and wondered why people feel obliged to make them every year.

But I was interested in last Sunday’s sermon, where the preacher gave us some advice on how to make New Year resolutions. His title was ‘Taking the Leap’. Now that’s hard for me. Before being willing to step out, I like to know all about things. I’m not a risk-taker! There are enough of them in our family, so I think there’s a need for some balance to counteract what I call their recklessness!

The preacher did offer some good points, though, and the first one was that many resolutions are too general. Now that’s exactly what I think. How often have I wanted to know more details about the big challenge that’s about to come into my life? One that we’re choosing to take on…well, someone is!

But I’ve learned that it’s perfectly alright to take the hand of God and go where he leads me, even if I’m fearful. I mustn’t let fear be my guide in any decision-making. I have the Holy Spirit as my wise counsellor. God knows I need to understand some things, but he requires faith. Now why is that? It’s because I must first believe he exists, and that he’ll keep his promise to never leave me. It’s hopeless to think I can do it all by myself. That’s why many resolutions fail; they’re not God-given ones. He has the best priorities and when he sent Jesus as a baby, it was his way of making a promise to us: ‘Here’s the only way you can come to me; here’s my hand, now hold on!

Jesus also had something to say about holding on. One day a man offered to follow him, but Jesus said, No man who puts his hand to the plough and looks back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).

I wonder how that man felt. If it were the first day of the year, he might have written down this resolution: ‘I’ll tell Jesus I’ll follow him anywhere!’ But he had a proviso: first he wanted to say goodbye to his family. Why hadn’t he said goodbye to them before making that declaration to Jesus? It’s far better to count the cost first.

A ploughman won’t make a straight line if he’s continually looking behind. Neither can the driver of a car keep looking at the cattle in the paddocks by the road; the vehicle will veer in the direction the driver is looking! Do we want to continue to make the same old resolutions every New Year’s Day, leaving a trail of crooked furrows, or perhaps killing a slow cow or two? Of course we don’t.

Any time of the year is suitable for setting goals. God doesn’t only have his ear open on the first of January So let’s be resolute! With him in charge, we’re safe to look ahead and we can expect him to lead us on.

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Kith and Kin

Jesus said to his disciples, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father – John 15:15.

Playing with a couple of nouns in my head

I see the first word lacks life

when it exists alone.

Strands from its name,

like the arms of a longing child,

forever reach towards the comfort of the companion it knows,

shaping the word

and…

                                                                                ~~~

A lisped kiss,

with a longing to be complete in its other,

kith is always known with kin, its family.

Kith and Kin

  ~~~

© Lyn Thiele  ~ December 2017

 

Most of us know what kin means, as in ‘next of kin’. But I’ve been thinking about those two words and wanted to be certain what kith meant; its origins. I checked it out and found that it means ‘known’. It refers to our friends and acquaintances. Kin, the more commonly-used word, means ‘gave birth to’, so refers to our family.

As I pondered on these meanings and the use of them, I thought about the way God sees his relationship with us. Who are the ones whom he’d consider ‘the known?’ And who are the people to whom he’s given birth?

To begin with, he knows us all, inside and out! He’s familiar with our foibles and our good habits. Our gifts came from him. He watches over us all the time. So it’s we, not him, who might see our connection to him as different to those he’s birthed. We may presume we’re not as close to him as family.

In the scripture at the top of this post, we see that Jesus didn’t think of his disciples as  people who were merely obliged to do things for him, or as acquaintances who might come and go in his life. He chose to call them friends.

We can choose to have friends and ignore our family. Or we can be family-minded and put them before our friends, but that’s not the way God does it. He doesn’t differentiate between kith and kin. 

When a man says, ‘Love your enemies’, it’s not hard to see that he’ll have to put his words into practice if anyone’s going to take any notice of him. Well, he did it, even unto death. Jesus’ words from the cross were, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing’.

His reason for saying, ‘Love your enemies’, was so we would become the children of our heavenly Father. He proved he was the Son of God by loving his enemies. And when he was telling his listeners to do the same, he added this: ‘Pray for them’.

It’s not enough to only have kin or to choose to value our friends the most. The love that God has embedded in our hearts is there to be used…for everyone! If you think you’d struggle to meet the expectations and example of Jesus in this area of your life, so do I. I’m conscious how often I fail to live up to his standard. Only if I choose to let him help me will I be able to do it.

Jesus doesn’t only call us friends, he expects us to call him our friend. When Jesus came as a baby, the plan was for him to eventually die as our friend so we can be forgiven for the wrong things we’ve done, and have a new birth. He wants to have us as both kith and kin. This is how the Apostle Paul put it:

You are now citizens together with God’s people and members of the family of God – Ephesians 2:19. 

 

 

 

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Scar Tissue

‘Scars show us where we have been. They do not indicate where we are going’. ~ Edward Allen Bernero.

Nearly every part of the skin on his body had been used for grafts, but an area on his shoulder still looked suitable for another one. The surgeon decided to use it. Full thickness burns make a mess of the body’s largest organ, the skin.

After eighteen years, Matthew is now having more operations to deal with the scar tissue that the burns had left from his accident when he was three years old. As he grew, his skin grafts didn’t grow with him. Scar tissue’s like the boss of the area where it sits, hard and ruthless. Now it was time to deal with it.

Last week, as I thought about our dear grandson in the operating theatre with the plastic surgeons, I prayed for them all. Matt had said to me, ‘God will be there’. What a comfort to know the Lord was watching over him and guiding the hands of the surgeons: one working on his twisted tear ducts, the other on his left hand.

I’ve been thinking about scars this week. Since then, Matt’s had another operation to deal with some on his neck; they were pulling his ear out of place. He still has more surgery before Christmas. What a brave young man! And he never complains.

These events have made me think about the way injuries affect our lives. We’re sometimes exposed to sad events: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. They damage us and often leave us disfigured. Some scars aren’t easy to hide. Others are unobtrusive, but painful. What’s the best way to deal with them, I wondered?

I knew the answer would be in the treasure trove of God’s wisdom: the words he’s given us. They may be in the form of stories or proverbs. Words of advice can also be found in the experiences of God’s people. We’re wise if we let him apply his solutions to our pain. And the Holy Spirit will be there to remind us of the words that Jesus said, and the things he did. We just have to ask him!

There was a time in my own life when I couldn’t dislodge the grief and condemnation that was hanging on like a misplaced sinew. Fortunately another Christian told me about the perfect answer in the Bible. It reads like this: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. At first, I couldn’t ‘see’ it because I’d formed an intractable thinking-habit. But I was desperate for release, and suddenly…I understood!

God’s clear words mean there’s nothing I can do that will condemn me when Jesus has died to take away all the sinful things I’ve done. Imagined or real sins, Jesus dealt with them all! I immediately knew for sure that the tight-gripping ‘scar’ was dissolved forever! No longer did I have to let it pull at me and distort my God-given peace.

I love those same reassuring words in The Message version of the Bible.

With the arrival of Jesus, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those of us who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us, no longer have to live under a continuous low-lying black cloud. 

And it goes on to say: A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fateful lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death – Romans 8: 1-2

What a wonderful solution to free us from the effects of every scar!

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Our Times are in His Hands

At this time of the year I like to post our Christmas mail early. As I look at my list, I wonder, how many of them are still alive since last year? We’re often only in touch at Christmas and I don’t know all their families, so I’ve started to check the obituaries online  and I’ve found several who’ve died. Part of growing older is losing more family and friends.

Last week I found a death notice for a lady who’d reached ninety years, but died a few months later. Wilma was part of the writing group that I attended many years ago. She was a dress-designer and did an enormous amount of sewing for her local hospital. In her card to us last year, she said, ‘it keeps me busy!’ She was involved in her church and walked everywhere. In the writing class, she’d begun an historical story that I hope her family will appreciate. It was a fascinating tale. When her children were young, she was also a writer for a State-wide school magazine and always on the go! She’s earned her rest.

Another friend of mine found that she was attending a lot of funerals and so she decided to visit as many cousins and friends as possible before they passed on! She’s also kept busy! In a couple of years she’ll be eighty, but in the meantime, she has a large garden to tend and gathers flowers from it to arrange for her church and a local nursing home. Some people are given health and strength; some are not so able, but they continue to press on with their activities in spite of pain. Connie’s one of them.

A couple of my friends have developed dementia. I still send a card at Christmas to Louise, and another for her birthday which falls earlier in December. Her daughter says she enjoys them, but may not remember who I am. She had some shocking experiences in her early teens during the Second World War when she was interned in a camp in China with her mother and sister. Maybe this present situation has released her from those melancholic memories. And then there’s Gillian, a friend who struggled with many issues throughout her life and had dementia before she died this year. Such a compassionate lady.

It seems strange now, to write on the Christmas cards, and address the envelopes, without including the name of the one who’s gone on ahead. There are husbands, cousins, mothers, grandmothers, who’ve all left their imprint on our lives and it’s hard to think of them not being around anymore.

During our life, whether we’re young or old, some friends and family die, but it’s more common in our later years. It’s a precious thing to know that we don’t have to worry when our name will be called. And it’s essential to know that we can prepare for it. I’m glad my parents taught me not to leave it too late to get ready to go. I don’t need to grab a new coat to cover my old body before I rush out on that journey to my new life. God has another garment; one that will fit perfectly. That’s because he has a new body ready for me. Amazing!

Jesus said, ‘Don’t be afraid…I have authority over death’.  ~ Revelation 1:18

Our bodies die, but our spirits live on because we believe that our times are in God’s hands. Our life, our death, and especially our eternal future, are all arranged in the timing of God. What a wonderful thing to know!

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Letting the Light In

Since we began renovating our new home, Catherine, the real estate agent who sold it to us, has been watching the improvements…from the street. She passed by from day-to-day and was keen to see the inside again! At last we agreed. As she stepped through the front door, she cried, ‘It’s much better with that wall gone! So spacious and light; you’ve opened it all up’.

She slid the glass doors open and looked out onto the garden, recalling all the rough old spiky plants. It’s a soft, peaceful place now. Espaliered fruit trees grow against the new fences, so we’re looking forward to  apples, peaches, pears, apricots, avocados, grapes and more. The two tiny vegie patches are gone and low brick walls now hold rich composted soil in the seven large beds where beans, corn, spinach, rhubarb, and many more plants thrive.

Flowers bloom by the door: golden freesias and purple pansies with their faces turned to the sun. Herbs grow at the base of the wall and sweetpeas scramble up the fence. Neat compost bins in the corner contain yummy food for the worms, and peas grow along the edge of the new lawn, their pendant pods tempting us to pick them.

We’ll have to invite Catherine back in another season to see more. There’ll be liliums, daffodils, kale, coriander, capsicums…and anything else you can grow to eat and enjoy in our climate! She doesn’t have time to tend a garden at her own home. ‘My lemon tree’s dying’, she lamented. When she described it, Maurie said, ‘It needs more water!’

We came inside and sat for a while, with Catherine enthusing about the way we’d improved everything. ‘A new kitchen!’ she said. ‘New flooring and nice paint colours’. She remembered the huge bathroom which was now transformed into three wet-area rooms. ‘I love the colours on the splashbacks’, she said.

Before Catherine left, she gave us an updated valuation on our home. I asked her why it was much more than we’d expected. ‘It’s so light and inviting!’ she said as she waved her arms in the air. ‘It would sell any day of the week!’

Later, I reminisced about the changes in our home. I’ve already written about the difficult, drawn-out process and how impatient I was for it to be finished. In the end, I appreciated it more this way than having everything done at the beginning. In a short time, we’ve achieved a lot, but we had help, mostly from our family and church friends. How I love them all for their willingness to be there for us. And Maurie’s been amazing, learning new skills and working hard on his own without much assistance from me. My part was to clean up after him!

I’ve learnt many lessons in our new home. I’ve wondered, Do I have other ‘walls’ in my life that need demolishing? Is anything blocking God’s light in me?

I’m reminded of the home the Lord’s preparing for me in heaven. There won’t be any walls there to stop his light from filling it and there shouldn’t be here either! I can experience a foretaste of my heavenly home now, but, seeing God wants to get it ready, he needs me to send him the materials: my treasures. Can you think what they might be?

Jesus said, Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust…or stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven…where it’s safe. The place where your treasure is, is the place where you’ll most want to be… – Matthew 6:19-21 (The Message Bible)

 

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Learning From A Men’s Choir

Whenever I go to a women’s conference there’s always something lacking: when we sing, I miss the men’s voices.  My favourite singing voice is not the soprano! But I do love to listen to the Welsh Male Voice Choirs. Pardon my preferences, but give me a bass, baritone or tenor any day! So imagine how thrilled I was to see a few dozen men coming into our church’s evening service recently. They were so friendly and happy, warmly shaking our hands before they sat down in two blocks. Later, they stood up and sang for us and how I loved their wonderful harmonies!

I guessed where these men had come from. One of our branch churches is at Koo Wee Rup, the asparagus capital of Australia! One day a ‘little old lady’ – as the local pastor, her son, calls his mother – saw a man riding a bike past the church door. She ran out and called to him, ‘Why aren’t you in church?’ He replied, ‘I’ll be back’. The next week he returned with his fellow workers, all asparagus pickers. Since then, they’ve become part of the church family there and are a great blessing to the congregation.

They come to Australia regularly so they can earn money to send back home to their wives and children in Vanuatu. They’re very good workers and love to sing. Their bosses appreciate their work ethic and now we’ve had the pleasure of meeting them too.

A couple of weeks ago some of them came back to our church to sing for us again and lead the worship. Here they are in this skinny photo, crowded onto the platform! I’m sorry that it’s hard to see the ones at the back! How wonderful it was to participate while they sang songs in English. What fun we had when we tried to join in, even when they used pidgin, which some people in our congregation understand. I loved the way they clapped, swayed, raised their hands and harmonised beautifully. A wholehearted choir, glorifying God together. Lovely!

A couple of them also read from the Bible, in their own language and in ours. I admired their facility in English. When I think how little I know of any other language, I feel embarrassed. These people are successful at what they do. They make me wonder, How successful  am I? I see that I can learn from them. I’m not a natural risk-taker, but they’ve taken risks that I never will. Leaving their homes for such long periods during the year is a big undertaking. They must miss their wives and children while they’re here.

As I’ve written before on this blog, we have regular Culture Nights in our church. Different nationalities in the congregation lead the worship and show us the way they danced and used drama and song in their birth countries. Bright garments, scarves floating from their hands above their moving bodies and different music styles make for regular experiences in cultural diversity for us all; something we’d never see otherwise.

I remember from my childhood how Vanuatu used to be called the New Hebrides. Missionaries went there with the Gospel of Jesus and taught the people about him. Times have changed and now they’re coming to our country. I love their smiling faces and wish I could meet their families. The church is a great place to start getting to know them. We all have the same Father. It will be great one day in heaven when we meet each other again and worship him together. In the meantime, we’re practising here!

 

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I Didn’t Understand

Christian Endeavour Membership Certificate

When I was a small child, I signed a pledge, promising to follow God all my life. Now, when I look at that old certificate, I think how little I understood what I was doing then. There are good promises and statements there, but it took a long time for me to grasp the whole picture, and I’m still learning!

I was sincere when I said I believed Jesus was my Saviour, and I did want to follow him, but I’ve only let God give me morsels along the way in comparison with what he was generously offering. Over the years, I’ve meditated on this and discovered how differently God views his place in my private sanctuary. He doesn’t think of me as another person to visit for an occasional bite to eat. He wants a feast with me! All the time!

It’s understandable, that at the age of eight, I wouldn’t fully comprehend the depth of a commitment to the Creator of the Universe. Neither would I clearly perceive what God was promising to do on his part. It wouldn’t have been possible for my elders to explain it all to me at that time, either! Why did it take so long for me to see what God was getting at when he showed me himself? Before I was born, he loved me so much, and wanted to live in me forever! What love! What close companionship! What a friend! But first he had to send Jesus to die in my place so I could have my sins washed away. That was the only way I could have complete peace and be with him in heaven. 

We all take time to develop our relationship with God. Anything that’s going to last forever isn’t made in a hurry! While we’re young, we’re growing in natural knowledge, and God takes on the task of teaching us how to become acquainted with him. That’s the most important thing we’ll ever know! He’s the most important person we’ll ever know!

He approaches us; we just have to respond. He’s never satisfied with a superficial friendship with his children. He wants a deep, intimate one! So I’m not sorry that I didn’t know him better when I was young. I realise he came regardless of my lack of understanding. He began by showing me a fascinating life with him. I’m learning to know him better everyday, and he’s wonderful!

I Didn’t Understand

You wanted to come. You saw I needed you.

I knew you were my Saviour when I signed, in my childish hand,

a contract with you for eternity.

But I didn’t fully understand.

 

You longed to fill me up, came to spread Your life in rooms that sparkled.

What beauty You planned:

Your holy light, Your fragrance.

But I still didn’t understand.

 

You came to stay forever and laid a spread for me.

You rejoiced in celebration. We ate and drank together.

In the background, did I hear a band?

But still, I didn’t understand.

 

I thought You were out there, busy being creative and good.

Not looking inside myself, I settled for the bland, the second-hand.

I only faintly sensed Your glory.

I certainly didn’t understand.

 

You wanted first place, to give me everything,

You needed first place; my attempts were puny,

like sand; no foundation for a home in heaven.

I began to understand.

 

You only have one way of living: gloriously!

Your home at my place is a heaven, a haven You’ve made.

So grand.

And now I’m learning how to understand.

 

Lyn Thiele  ~ 10/2017

 

 

 

 

 

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