You enter a banquet hall; before you is a long, beautifully carved wooden table set with fine china, crystal goblets, polished silverware, and linen napkins. You may eat whatever you desire. Perhaps your first choice is a juicy steak, cooked to perfection. With it you may desire a baked potato, loaded with butter and sour cream, perhaps topped with bacon and green onion. A tossed salad, chock full of your favorite vegetables and topped with your favorite dressing, rounds out the meal. Perhaps instead of steak, you prefer a different dish? A crispy taco, filled with flavorful meat, shredded lettuce, tomato, and two kinds of cheese. Guacamole, chips, and salsa come with the dinner. Whatever your favorite meal, you may eat to your heart’s content. Next, of course, is dessert. Would you care for a chewy brownie, topped with creamy vanilla ice cream and hot fudge? Or perhaps a bowl of juicy, ripe red strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream?
Would the opportunity to eat your fill of your favorite dishes make you glad? Just looking at the delicious food and inhaling its wonderful odors would make most of us quite happy. Unfortunately for our waistlines and our pocketbooks, we cannot indulge in a feast like this, at least not very often.
Now it is easy to imagine joy in a feast of delicious food, but “joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16) from eating God’s word? Do we desire the word of God as much as we desire delicious food? Is reading God’s word something we eagerly anticipate? Probably not, but this is a feast in which we can indulge. We need not fear gaining weight and depleting our wealth; we only fear gaining knowledge of God’s wisdom and love and depleting our sinfulness.
Oh God, creator of the entire universe, I desire delicious food more than I desire Your word. I don’t regard Your words as a sumptuous banquet for my soul. Forgive me. Change my heart, O God. Create in me a create in me a hunger to feast at the banquet of Your word.
Jeremiah 15:16 (NKJ) “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Softer than a breeze rustling the cottonwood trees
Sweeter than a first kiss
Your almighty hands cradle my soul.
The very hands that created the stars, the moon, and the fiery sun
That formed every animal—the fierce tiger, the massive whale, the purring kitten
That “knit me together in my mother’s womb”
Cradle my soul.
As a mother cradles her baby, you cradle me.
Your hands guide, protect, and, yes, like a mother with her baby,
Rock away all my doubts and fears.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
In the beginning, you hovered over the waters, wings beating like a mother bird watching her young. Wings strong, silent, stirring the waters, whispering to all of creation, bestowing life. You who hovered in the beginning, you who made the heavens and the earth, you also made me. Your wings beat and the “breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).
I have known your presence and seen you hover, heard the whispering beat of your wings as you watch over me. I have felt the quickening of life within, the first breath, the stirring of spirit within my soul. I know your presence in day’s first light, the infant’s cry, the pull of ocean waves, and the gnarled trees raising their arms heavenward. All around and all within, you hover. I feel the wind of your wings and hear their whispering beat.
Let the whispering wind of your wings become a violent storm within my inner being. Spark the embers of your spirit within my soul that it may flame brightly with your power and love.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The little soul lived for many years in the same woods. The sun shone on her leafy branches and she produced much fruit. After many years the trees around this soul grew and their branches met above her head. Those branches provided comfortable shade. She was content in the place she’d always grown. She knew every plant in the woods.
After a time the little soul felt discontent. When a storm raged overhead, the towering branches swayed and clashed together. Sometimes huge branches broke off the trees and crashed to the forest floor, clipping her own branches. On sunny days, she never saw the sun, for the shade had grown too deep. After a time, the little soul realized she was not being fed; she was no longer growing. She no longer felt the sun’s rays stimulating growth. Even though she was content in her comfortable shady woods, she was hungry. Her leaves drooped. Her fruit dried up and dropped to the ground. She no longer produced new fruit. She had become stagnant.
She pondered her situation. The woods were dark, deep, and comfortable. She wanted to stay, but she longed to grow and once again bear fruit.
After much thought, she made her decision. With great effort and great sadness, she pulled her roots out of the familiar soil and moved from her shady spot. She traveled to another, less familiar location. Here she lived with strangers. Here she was the outsider. Here the summer was harsh and hot with the unfamiliar and the new. But she planted her roots in the sunny spot where she knew she’d appease her hunger. She longed for the challenge of new growth. She looked up at the sun, lifted her branches heavenward, sighed as the breeze rustled through her leaves, and grew once again.