Monday, June 21, 2010
"Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).
I have always been a tea drinker, but my cup usually consisted of a little tea with a large amount of sugar and cream . Because of developing sugar intolerances I stopped drinking tea for awhile since it tasted too bitter. Recently however I have discovered many different teas with unique flavors which I am learning to enjoy without the extras.
As I was reading this verse I realized some interesting truths. In my healthy years as a Christian I certainly loved God, but I was quite caught up in the “sugar and cream” of life – all the many things I could do and enjoy on my own without giving much thought or thanks to God. When those things were removed, life seemed very bitter. Just as I am learning to enjoy my teas and appreciate them alone, savoring their taste and aroma along with the peace and comfort they bring to my day, so I am also learning to savor God alone, without all the extras in life that I once had.
There are mornings when I do add a little sugar and cream to my tea, which I can tolerate in small doses. Those cups are so enjoyable! In the same way God gives me times when I enjoy a special outing, trip, or activity. I appreciate these sweet times even as I accept the fact that they are not daily occurrences.
Some teas and some days still seem bitter and I miss my “extras”. I may never lose my taste for sugar and cream completely, but as I continue to develop my new tastes and new attitudes, I am experiencing the sweetness of knowing that God is indeed good and He is enough.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to see all the sweetness and completeness that Your presence brings into my life, and to believe the truth that those who seek You truly lack no good thing. Amen.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”
(II Peter 1:3).
Many times I put limitations on this verse, depending on the kind of day I am experiencing.
There are the great days – days when I feel well physically and emotionally and am able to enjoy life. These days are sometimes few and far between, and when they come, are very precious. There are the trying days - days when I feel well but circumstances are difficult, from the insignificant to the overwhelming. Then there are the hard days – days of pain and discouragement, when all I can do is to endure and breathe a sigh relief when it ends.
All of these days have a common thread – God’s power to get me through them well. I love the all-encompassing word “everything” in this verse. There is no day, no circumstance, no pain that His power is incapable of handling. In John 16:33, Christ said we would have trouble in this world, but He has overcome it. We forget that we have “his incomparably great power. . . which he [God] exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19,20). That resurrection power is within believers every moment of every day through the Holy Spirit.
On a great day, we can praise God and sail along, enjoying the blessedness of it. On a difficult day, we can cling in faith to the fact that He will get us through, giving us a memory to draw upon the next time we are sinking. No day is too difficult for God. “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Praise God, there is not.
Prayer: Mighty God, thank you that all of my days are ordained by You and that nothing in my life is beyond Your control. Help me to live victoriously, relying on Your great power within me. Amen.