Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Under the Copper Beech

     Sometime during the last stretch of incredibly warm days I realized that there is almost always a cool breeze under the copper beech tree out back. Branches that would be better trimmed, when it comes to ducking and dodging around them to cut grass, provide a graceful canopy to sit under. My feline buddy and I are loving our free moments in that spot.

     Jesus encouraged his disciples to enjoy a quiet place. (Mark 6:31) That could mean a few days at some lovely get-away location, but it can also be a comfy seat in a quiet corner, indoors or out. We need time for the eyes of our heart to begin to realize the hope we have in Christ. (Ephesians 1:18) It takes time "to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge." (Ephesians 3:18-19 NIV)

     The place we choose can be ours to meditate on God's goodness. It can be where we take a moment to thank Him for the blessing of family. I can't gaze up through the branches to the top of the clothesline post without remembering the day Hugh wrestled that heavy pole into place without help, and I'm so thankful he did. Can't imagine not being able to dry the clothes outdoors, and love to see them blowing beyond the crossbar, a reminder of the cleansing Christ accomplished for us at Calvary.
My shady nook has also become a favourite place to enjoy a good book. These days it's Marcia Lee Laycock's A Tumbled Stone. I'm hooked. Loved One Smooth Stone and reconnecting with Alex on his quest to track down family in the sequel has me greedy for moments to settle back in that chair under the copper beech. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

He's Not Hiding

     Wednesday morning I needed to leave for a meeting. I thought Mr. Whiskers had come back inside, but I hadn't seen him for some time. The search began...on the beds, under beds, under dressers upstairs, couches and chairs downstairs - no cat. Before leaving I went back into one bedroom and there he was in plain view on a chair. I didn't see him because he wasn't in any of the places I expected. To spot him on that chair I had to look specifically across the high bed.
 Our search for God is similar in some ways. He too may be right in front of us, yet we fail to see Him. We ask for a clear answer to a troubling problem and no apparent solution comes. If we can trust that He is working out every aspect of each situation we've given over to Him, the dilemma is settled as definitely as if He had answered in an audible voice. Whether or not we hear Him speak or feel His presence, He is with us.
 Jesus said He was anointed to bring the good news of salvation, heal our broken hearts, give us the ability to see, free us from bondage. (Luke 4:18) I Peter 2:24 declares His stripes provide our healing. Sometimes we have to make a specific search, then apply the principle of Romans 10:9, to believe in our hearts that the need is met and declare it aloud.
 Our God is not hiding. He is revealed in His Word, through His people, through divine circumstance, and in all He created. The fragrance of the mock orange blossom, a parking spot just where we need it, an unexpected gift, a scripture verse giving clear direction... our God is with us encouraging, comforting, leading. Jesus said the pure in heart shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) As we ask Him to make our hearts pure we will see Him more and more.

Do visit www.gracefox.com/blog. You will enjoy the devotionals Grace posts and those of the guest bloggers she is hosting over the summer.