A Thunderous Voice

The bible tells us that God speaks in a still, small voice.  But sometimes when I enter a still, small state, His voice shouts and thunders:  How can my people be so blind?  How can you be so deaf?  Open your eyes!  Open your ears!  My glory is all around you and you ignore it.

Look!  Behold my glory in the sky:  The brightness of the sun, the vastness of the blue dome overhead.  The moon and the host of stars glow at night; all these reveal my glory.  Open your eyes to see Me.  The majestic, snow-topped mountains and the heaving waters of the oceans, their waves crashing against the shore, are all shouting out my greatness.  The brilliant bolt of lightning electrifies the night sky.  How can you not see Me?  Look in the eyes of an infant, in the caress of a loved one. Look at your own skin and hair.   My glory is everywhere.  See it, and glorify my name.

Listen!  Everywhere you hear testaments of my greatness:  The rumbling thunder in the midst of a storm.  The early morning songs of the birds and the rushing waters of a mountain stream proclaim My majesty.  Listen!  You will hear my voice.  Listen to the laughter of a child.  Listen to the wind in the trees.  Listen to music: the piano, guitar, violin, and saxophone all sing of my glory.  Hear the voices of those who love you.  Listen to your heartbeat.  Hear your breathing.  All these provide testimonies of my greatness.  Open your ears; glorify my name.

O my people, how can you be so blind?  O people, how can you be so deaf?  Open your eyes; open your ears.  My glory resides all around you!  See it.  Hear it.  After you finally see it and hear it, do not be mute.  Tell others how great I am.  Open your mouth and glorify Me.

Father, forgive me.  Forgive me for the countless times I fail to notice your glory all around me.  Forgive me for not listening for your voice.  Keep my eyes and ears open that I may behold your glory.  Let my mouth open in praise of my almighty God.

Job 37:2-5 “Listen!  Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.  He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heavens and sends it to the ends of the earth.  After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice.  When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back.  God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.”

Friday Friends’ Favorites

Romans 8: 38, 39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Thank you, Lord, for your ever-present love and your faithfulness through all generations.

Detour Ahead

Detour Ahead

It happens when we least expect it. We’re traveling down the highway, making great time, knowing we’ll reach our destination on time. And then, out of nowhere, we see it: the bright orange sign. It has two simple words printed on it, “Detour ahead.” Before we know it, we’re off the highway, traveling some winding two lane road. Our speed slows dramatically, and the traffic resembles a caravan of snails inching toward their destination.

Our typical reaction to the detour? We whine, we gripe, we bemoan our fate.

Jesus experienced a detour too. One minute He was in the fast lane. People crowded around Him, begging to see Him and hear Him speak. They call Him “Savior” and wanted to make Him king. They threw palm branches and their robes at His feet, praising Him as He entered Jerusalem. Surely, He was traveling quickly toward fame, riches, and royalty.

But a detour caused an abrupt about face to that trip. Jesus was arrested, beaten, humiliated, and nailed, nearly naked, to a rugged wooden cross. How did He react to this detour? He uttered two sentences that show His attitude to the detour. “Father…not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) and “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Because He traveled the detour, which of course was the plan all along, believers receive eternal life.

On our highway of life, we will encounter unexpected detours. How will we react? Will we whine and complain? Or will we submit to the One who knows the final destination?

Choose Worship

I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways: I can whine or I can worship! And I can’t worship without giving thanks. It just isn’t possible. When we choose the pathway of worship and giving thanks, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances, there is a fragrance, a radiance, that issues forth out of our lives to bless the Lord and others.
— Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Ordinary Beauty

Today, heeding the words of Robert Frost, I took “the road less travelled.” As I walked the familiar gravel path, I noticed a trail to my left, and it beckoned. Venturing off the six-foot-wide, highly travelled walkway, I stepped through the trees onto the sandy dirt trail. Just wide enough for one, it wandered through sections of the woods where I’d never before ventured.

I savored the sights: bright green leaves, backlit by the bright sunlight, downed trees with their intricate roots pointing in all directions, and a steep drop to the creek meandering a dozen or more feet below. Typical sights in this area, yet specific ones I had never seen. I reveled in God’s creation and the beauty He created.

By venturing onto a new pathway, I was rewarded with unexpected beauty. Yet, I see similar beauty whenever I walk the wider, more familiar paths. I realized that I had allowed myself to become immune to the beauty around me, just because seeing it often had made it become ordinary.

It seems this is true of my life, too. Sometimes I allow myself to become immune to the ordinary beauty around me. Do I even stop to notice the roses, let alone inhale their perfume? Do I appreciate the deep green of summer’s grass? Or hear the whisper of the wind rustling in the trees? How often do I pause to appreciate a child’s laughter or notice the color in a friend’s eyes?

Creator God, help me to slow down, appreciate, and thank you for the beauty all around me every day. The birds’ cheerful song, the vibrant flowers’ colors, the love in my husband’s eyes. Don’t allow them to become mundane in my life, but give me eyes to see Your amazing gifts surrounding me every day.