Tag Archives: Peace of God

Snake on My Toe!

brown firewood
Photo by Paula on Pexels.com

The six cords of wood are now stacked in neat piles in our backyard right beside my clothesline. (I have the type of line that is looped around pulleys so you stand in one spot, hang the clothes, and pull the line for more space.) As I’m standing there, I hear the tarp atop the wood rustle. My mind instantly wonders what made the noise, and visions of the snakes we found there while moving the wood into our garage came into view. Then, I felt something on my flip-flop covered foot! SNAKE! Of course, I jumped and looked down to see the extra rope from my clothesline brushing across my foot.

Now, I really don’t mind snakes. To be honest, if I had looked down and seen a huge hairy spider on my toe, the jig would have been much more exotic! Fear can be paralyzing, literally paralyzing! For just a moment the fear of a snake coiling around my leg overtook my senses.

What do you fear?  What is your worst nightmare and has it come true? Oh, the agony and dread that situations—real-life situations—put us through! One of my favorite phrases that I often heard from my mom was this, “I don’t see how people get through life without God.”

Last evening, as we watched an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” I was amazed at what I heard. The Ingles’ son had just died (Yes, I realize that was an addition from the original books); he was only a few months old. And as they stood there in the doctor’s office, Charles holding Carolyn his arms, he began to quote Psalm 23. Wow! As he quoted it, even my heart became quiet!

“There is a place of quiet rest—
near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest—
near to the heart of God.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UnFNHWJ0tA

One of the most amazing verses in the Bible is, James 4:8:

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Do you see what this says?  It doesn’t say…

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh…

  • If He has time
  • If you deserve it
  • If He thinks you are serious
  • If you…

You fill in the blank! The only requirement—and it is a serious one—is to draw close to God. How do you do that? This post is long enough. Maybe I’ll study that one out for next time!

But remember, as a born-again child of God…

The worst can never happen because I will never be forsaken by God!
(Quote from Jennifer Marks :))

Hang on!!

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him,
Master, carest thou not that we perish?
IMG_6783And he arose, and rebuked the wind,
and said unto the sea,
Peace, be still.
And the wind ceased,
and there was a great calm.
 And he said unto them,
Why are ye so fearful?
how is it that ye have no faith?
And they feared exceedingly,
and said one to another,
What manner of man is this,
that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Mark 4: 3-417

Years ago, I saw a picture of this verse and loved it so much that my husband surprised me with it months later for Christmas.  It illustrates the sea at both ends of the verse: The left side portrays the waters calming and the right side shows the dark clouds, angry waves, and flashing lightening.  In between them is a small first-century fishing boat being tossed by the waves; however, in the boat among the frightened disciples, is Jesus: arms raised, telling the storm to cease.  And it does.  The picture loudly proclaims in word and picture: Peace, Be Still, often just the reminder that I need for the day!

Are your days filled with tempestuous waves?  Does it seem as though life is a constant storm?  Life is not easy: it never has been and never will be until we see Jesus face to face!  Oh that will be glory for me!  But today, financial weights drag us down, conflicts in relationships toss loads of water into our little boats, children stress our nautical structures with their bent for the world.  At times, we truly feel like those disciples and ask, “Lord, we’re perishing!  Don’t you care?!”

Of course, we do know that He cares – in our heads; however, there are times when we don’t feel it in our hearts.  Isn’t that strange!  Our hearts are the very place where Jesus dwells!  He’s there!  Always there!  His Spirit never leaves us.  That’s His promise! (Hebrews 13:5b … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.)

Jesus is in my boat!  I can’t sink!  There is NOTHING that can sink my boat!

Though the angry surges roll
On my tempest driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I’ve an anchor safe and sure,
That can evermore endure.

And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

Mighty tides about me sweep,
Perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o’ershade the sky,
And the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest’s shock,
For my anchor grips the rock.

I can feel the anchor fast
As I meet each sudden blast,
And the cable, though unseen,
Bears the heavy strain between;
Through the storm I safely ride,
Till the turning of the tide.

Troubles almost ’whelm the soul;
Griefs like billows o’er me roll;
Tempters seek to lure astray;
Storms obscure the light of day:
But in Christ I can be bold,
I’ve an anchor that shall hold.

~Daniel B. Towner

I hope you took the time to read all the verses. We don’t often sing all of them, but notice that each one starts with a description of the tempest and ends with the promised security in Jesus, our Lord.  Truly, we can be just assured and shocked as the disciples when (not if) the Lord rebukes the winds and tells the waves to cease…and they do!  So, just hang on and ride that thing!!

“Eating” Sorrow” ?

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Psalm 127:2

 “It is vain for you … to eat the bread of sorrows…”

Just a quick nugget from my devotions: This verse says it is vain to “eat the bread of sorrows.”  At first glance, we might just skip over this, saying, “Yea, yea, whatever,” especially if we are not sorrowing. At a second glance, we might come up with this: it is useless to be sorrowful; but then, what do you do with Ecclesiastes 7:2?

“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting:

for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.”

Don’t we gain something from our times of sorrow?  We go to the house of mourning or the house of death or the funeral home, and we sorrow.  We also see what “is the end of all men” and we are sobered and thoughtful about life.

The key in both verses is the verbs: to eat and to go.  Eating is an everyday occurrence.  We must eat or we become weak and die!  The picture here is of a constant sorrowing.  There are certainly seasons of sorrow, and they may last for a long time; however, if our sorrow turns into a live-long habit, then our lives become vain.  Eating “sorrow” as a daily continual habit will change our focus off of living and onto whatever it is that has gained our focus.  THAT sorrowful focus becomes our source of “nutrition,” but instead of nourishing our bodies it destroys the soul!

Dear reader, if you are in the “house of mourning,” do go there, but don’t stay there.  Notice how Psalm 127:2 ends: “for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”  Blessed rest!  Blessed quietness!  Peace in the midst of our storms of life!  It’s also interesting that he finishes the psalm talking about children – life in the future!  It would benefit us all to remember the rebuke of our Savior: Mark 12:27 “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living…”  Please don’t think me callous.  Sorrow is real.  Grief truly is a process, and its length differs from person to person; just don’t forget to start living again!

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”. Hebrews 13:20,21