Growing Stronger

For years, I’ve had thinning bones. I faithfully take my calcium pills and make sure I get weight bearing exercise.

After a recent bone scan showed additional thinning, I really stepped up the exercise. In addition to tap dance classes and walks in the woods, made an effort to get up and walk every hour for at least 250 steps. For two years, I faithfully did my additional weight-bearing exercises.

Recently, I had another bone density scan. When I called for the results, the nurse said, “You have a statistically significant increase in bone density.” Wow! I was thrilled. While I was hoping to prevent bone loss, I had actually gained bone mass.

I was so excited that all my hard work made a difference. While I danced and walked, my body was growing new bone mass. With every step and every tap, unseen changes were happening deep inside my body, making me healthier. What wonderful news.

After the excitement died down, I thought about my soul. Just like my bones, it can weaken or grow stronger. No matter what I do, unseen changes are happening deep within my soul. When I become spiritually sedentary, neglecting time in the word or time with God, changes happen within my soul, and I become distant from God. I rely more on myself than on Him.

But just as my bone health improved, so my soul health can improve. When I spend time reading God’s word, praying, praising him and communing with Him, my soul changes. My relationship with God grows stronger, strengthening my soul.

I walk 250 steps every hour. I wonder what would happen if I took a minute to pray every hour of the day? How would that strengthen my soul?

We don’t have scans that can show these changes inside a soul. Nothing concrete measures improvements in love, peace, joy, or other fruits of the spirit, but we know faithfulness strengthens the soul. Even without a scan, we know that God enables our soul to grow and we become stronger and more Christ-like.

So, if you’ve neglected your soul, don’t be discouraged. Instead, rejoice. Seek God’s wisdom and let Him guide your soul growth. He will see the ways you are changing and growing, and will work deep within your soul to strengthen it.

Trusting God

“Trust Me, My child,” He says. “Trust me with a fuller abandon than you ever have before. “Trust Me, as minute succeeds minute, every day of your life, for as long as you live. And if you become conscious of anything hindering our relationship, do not hurt Me by turning away from Me. Draw all the closer to Me, come, run to Me. Allow Me to hide you, to protect you, even from yourself. Tell me your deepest cares, your every trouble. Trust Me to keep My hand upon you. I will never leave you. I will shape you, mold you, and perfect you. Do not fear, O child of My love, do not fear. I love you.”

Amy Carmichael

Father God, forgive me for not trusting you with abandon. Teach me to trust you as a child trusts her parent to throw her into the air and catch her, or as the climber trusts his rope. Too often, I want to see the end of the path instead of trusting you to guide me for each and every step.

Savoring the Small Beauties

In the rush of the day, I paused to look at the sky.

The bright blue drew me in, the white cotton clouds

Scattered throughout.

In a pause of busyness, I watched the children playing,

Their small bodies running and jumping,

I smiled at their laughter ringing in the air.

While hurrying to an appointment,

I saw the weeds on the side of the road.

Orange flowers on the stems waved a hello in the wind.

At the end of the day, I savored the taste

Of a bite of dark chocolate,

It’s gooey goodness melting in my mouth.

In a few small moments,

I absorbed the beauty around me

And touched the heart of God.

Creator God, keep my eyes open to the beauty you have created. I thank you for providing so many lovely ways to savor that beauty and honor and adore you.

Spiritual Growth

II Peter 1:5-9

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

Father God, help us to continually grow in faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness. and love. Open our eyes and minds that we may remember you have cleansed us from past sins and enable us to be effective and productive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whispering Wings

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.