Wednesday, January 15, 2014

COOKIE CUTTERS ARE FOR COOKIES

     Does nature's infinite variety of colours, shapes, sizes and textures boggle your mind? Father God has never used anything that remotely resembles a cookie cutter. I have to take the word of the experts that no two snowflakes are alike, but I can see for myself the differences in cones on spruce, pine, and hemlock trees; the array of colours sported by blue jays, flickers, cardinals, woodpeckers. More than three hundred species of hummingbirds have been identified! Do we agree that the Creator does not hanker after everything being the same?

     If we realize this is true in nature, how much more so in His children? God loves the uniqueness of every one of us. Joy comes from discovery in relationship with a loved one. Father God knows us. He delights in our coming to know Him. Any hindrances in this regard are on our side.

     When we are getting to know someone, often what we've heard about that person gets in the way. It takes time together to find our for ourselves what is true. From the first episode in the garden, our enemy has not stopped raising doubts about Father God and His intentions. James 4:7 states an effective antidote to his poison: submit to God - receive His love; resist the devil - reject his lies. We can take the initiative in furthering the relationship by acting on James' words in the next verse, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8 NKJV) 

     Love, joy and acceptance spill out of Zephaniah's declaration in Zephaniah 3:17, "He will rejoice over you with singing." (NKJV) Father God may even enjoy our quirks. He's definitely not into cookie cutter production of His most prized creation. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

LET'S FINISH THE PUZZLE

     Do you enjoy working on a jigsaw in a cozy nook when it's cold and dark outside? You find the corners and the outside edges, then colourful patches that can be spotted easily. But how about when all the remaining pieces seem to be the same colour?

     Everyone is gung-ho while the picture is filling in quickly. When progress dwindles to almost zilch interest disappears. You find a piece the right shape and colour but it does not fit.

     Often we have some challenge that confounds us. We will stick with our search for the solution if the issue matters enough. Sometimes a clear answer comes fairly quickly. When it doesn't, a mind open to God in prayer and as we read scripture will allow us to receive the key if we don't give up.

     James 1:5 states, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let his ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (NKJV) Various possibilities may look okay, but there's one solution that's a perfect fit. Once we know in our "knower" that we've discovered it, hanging on until we see it manifest is crucial.

     When Mr. Whiskers is curled up with his head between his paws and his tail wrapped around him, he still sees everything that is going on. God's answer comes first to our spirit. Until the solution transpires in outward circumstances we can snuggle into His keeping without doubting that all will be well.

     That final piece of the puzzle is a gem. My friend's Mom once managed to tuck a piece in her apron pocket when she was busy preparing dinner while the rest of the family worked to complete a jigsaw. When they got down to the very last piece, Mrs. Harris had the satisfaction of reaching over a shoulder and pressing it into place. I can imagine the sparkle in her eye and the glee with which she produced that special one that was missing. How about starting out this new year with determination to persevere until we find the best solution to whatever quandary comes along?