Friday, April 15, 2016

RESTING

     Laverne settled on the hearth before class enjoying the warmth of the fire and meditating on God's goodness. She was a living picture of the image on my heart. I'd been thinking of what it means to rest in Christ and about Jesus and His disciples on the Sea of Galilee in a storm.

     It was more than a patch of rough water. Matthew described it as "a great tempest...so that the boat was covered with the waves." (Matthew 8:24 NKJV) The disciples were afraid for their lives. They didn't have Paul's letter to the Philippians, but they had been with Jesus on the mountain and heard Him teaching the people not to worry. (Matthew 6:25) And Jesus was with them in the boat!

     Waves were crashing over them. The boat was pitching in the storm. It could have capsized. I'm not a screamer, but I would have had a white-knuckled grip on anything that seemed secure, and my eyes on that wild sea.

     In a financial storm it's natural for our focus to be on gigantic bills; on what we feel and see in a storm of illness; on what has been said or done in a relationship storm. But believers in Christ are not limited to the natural realm. If the Lord Jesus is in our boat, we have an alternative. We can choose to look away from the turmoil and fix our gaze on our Saviour.

      And today believers do have Paul's words of faith. "Be anxious for nothing...let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6,7 NKJV) As soon as the disciples cried out to Jesus He calmed the sea.


     He is our place of rest in the centre of every storm. He was sleeping in that boat. In him there is no fear. When we begin to realize our place of safety in Christ we can dwell in the peace which Paul said protects our hearts and minds - the cast-your-care zone.

     Like Laverne, we can remember God's goodness and the many times He's seen us through troubled waters. I think of Mr. Whiskers flaked out without a care and know I have not yet achieved total abandonment from the cares of this world, but if we choose to trust and rest in Christ that day will come.  

             

Friday, April 1, 2016

SPRINGTIME?

     Mary Hale Woolsey wrote the lyrics for "When it's Springtime in the Rockies". She could not have had this Colorado portion of the Rockies in mind - at least not if weather like we've been having was happening. The flowers with their colors are definitely not aflame and birds are not singing all the day. That's just not how it is.

     The Colorado Low that caused heavy snow here twice last week carried freezing rain to the area of my home in Ontario, Canada. Ice brought down lots of tree branches, sometimes entire trees and power lines, leaving homes without electricity. Overcast skies don't make for perky photos, but that's what I have for this post.

     Solomon said, "the winter is past...The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come." (Song of Solomon 2:11,12 KJV) The time has come, but in at least two corners of North America, we don't have the evidence.

     So do we assume there will be no spring? No! We know warm days with flowers and birds singing will come. God has promised, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22 KJV)  Seeds are planted in the spring and seed time is coming.

     If we can be sure of the promises of God that apply to nature, we can be equally confident in the promises that apply to every area of our lives. If circumstances upset and trouble a child of God, he can claim II Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (KJV)

     When illness tries to come against us, we know that Jesus took every infirmity and bore our sickness (Matthew 8:17) and by His stripes we were healed. (I Peter 2:24) God blesses those who walk with Him and that blessing includes finances. (Proverbs 10:22) No matter what the need, God has promised to meet it. (Philippians 4:19)

     The sun will shine and melt the ice in Ontario and the piles of snow in Colorado. Overcast skies will clear. We can trust our God who brings the warmth of spring to fulfill all His promises. He cannot fail.