Saturday, January 16, 2016

“What Are You Asking From God?”

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him”
(Matthew 6:8).

I don’t know about you, but many of my prayers are requests of God.  They are not necessarily selfish, but they are based on what I think I need not just to enjoy life more but to serve Him better.

I can across this little writing when I was in college - another lifetime ago that was relatively free from pain and problems. I don’t remember who wrote it, but even then the words affected me.  They have become even more meaningful to me as the years have gone by.

I said:

I need:
Good Health

He said:

Always remember:

All laughter would be monotonous
All wealth would not satisfy
All success would stifle growth
All power would be misused
All good health would be taken for granted
All happiness would grow dull
All sunshine makes a desert”

We may never understand this side of heaven why God is allowing us to endure such pain and suffering. That’s where faith comes in.

But we can be assured that whether we understand and agree with it or not, God really does know what we need most - all the time. So if we don’t always get what we ask for, God has His reasons, and those reasons are rooted in perfect love.

Prayer: O Lord, so many times I think I know what is best for me, but You choose otherwise.  Give me the faith to trust Your decisions. Make me aware of Your presence even in the hard times.  Give me joy in knowing You love me enough to not always give me what I ask for, because in Your wisdom, You see what I cannot.  Amen.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Does Your Soul Need a Spa Experience? Try a Scripture Soak.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7).

Not too far from me is a famous luxury hotel and spa called the Grove Park Inn.  Although I have not been there yet (it’s a bit cost-prohibitive for my pocketbook!), my dream is to someday get a day pass just to soak in the beautiful cave-like pools that look so inviting.

Of course this spa offers various treatments as well. Massages, facials, manicures, herbal soaks, – you name it and they offer it. Given the popularity of spas today, it seems that many people are looking for relaxation, relief, and escape from the tensions and stresses of life.

Soaking in a mineral bath or cave pool may be lovely, but soaking in Scripture has its own benefits.  Here are a few.

Do we need to brighten our look?  “Those who look to him are radiant” (Psalm 34:5).

Do we need to relax and let go of tension and fear? “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Do we need to find lasting joy rather than temporary relief? “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart” (Psalm 19:8).

Whatever our pain or problem, there is a Scripture to meet our need.  All we have to do is take time to soak in God’s Word and act on it in faith.

I would love to escape and indulge in a visit to this world-renowned spa, and maybe someday I will.  But in the meantime, praise God, soaking in Scripture is free, requires no reservation, and is easily accessible.  And better yet, its effects remain with me long after the treatment is over.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, so often I want to escape from my pain and problems.  The world offers such experiences, but their relief is only temporary.  You should be my first resort – not my last.  Your Words have the power to refresh and restore me like nothing else can. Thank you for reviving my soul. Amen.