One minute I was walking beside my husband and the next I was on the ground. It happened so fast that I didn’t realize I was falling until I hit the ground.
Loose gravel on a slight slope had been the cause of my tumble. We’d walked this area several times over the previous days and I’d never noticed the gravel. I hadn’t noticed it this time either until it was the cause of my fall.
Fortunately I landed on the grass beside the paved path. This cushioned my fall somewhat. Things could have been far worse.
I had instinctively put my arm out to brace myself as I collapsed to the ground. Initially I thought that my sore wrist was the only injury sustained. Over the next few hours an ache started in my shoulders and continued down my spine. This little fall had a bigger impact on me that I’d realized.
If only I’d been watching my steps this accident may have been prevented.
In my everyday life I also need to watch my step.
When I don’t have a firm foundation to stand on there is a good chance I’ll slip and fall. It may not be physical but the consequences will be suffered just the same. Poor decisions can cause a unpleasant reaction that I don’t see coming. Seldom will I be the only one affected.
My firm foundation is built on a close and personal relationship with Jesus. When my focus is on him my steps are secure. The danger comes when I cease to rely on him.
The times that I am not looking to Jesus are the ones when I still stumble. Through his love and grace he provides a safe landing place and protects me from the fall.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. (Psalm 37:23-24 NLT)
According to the calendar, it was now spring. Thursday night snow had fallen. Not the fine, icy crystals of winter snow, but the fat, wet flakes that fall in spring and accumulate quickly.
Therefore, it was no surprise when I woke up on Good Friday to see our yard covered in a blanket of white.
I thought the symbolism behind this was perfect. Good Friday is the day we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He shed his blood and gave his life in order that our sins may be forgiven.
In the Bible the Lord says our sins are like scarlet and he will make them white as snow. The blood that Jesus shed so many years ago paid the ransom for my sins to be forgiven.
I stood in church singing the words “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”
On Good Friday I thought of the blood of Jesus and then looked upon the earth that was now white with snow. The result of his ultimate sacrifice had a new visual to remind me of the greatest love ever shown. There is nothing I could ever do to deserve this grace.
I am humbled as I praise him once again and pray that my life will be lived in a way that is honouring to him.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18 NLT)
So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (Ephesians 1:6-7 NLT)
Sunshine and warmth embraced us and a gentle breeze kissed our cheeks. Wispy white clouds stretched liked cotton candy in the sky. Near the horizon we could see a fishing boat bobbing as sea birds circled, hoping for an easy meal. It was a perfect start to our morning. I sent up a silent prayer, thanking God for the blessing of this day.
A few hours later clouds started rolling in. We noticed the wind getting stronger. Soon dark grey clouds filled the sky. A storm was on its way.
During the afternoon the howling of the wind drowned out the once peaceful sound of the surf. Waves crashed and thundered to shore, topped with foaming white caps that rose ever higher. Wind lashed the rain onto our windows. Our view became obstructed.
We stayed inside to wait out the storm. With the sun tucked away behind storm clouds, darkness came early. Our power was disrupted and we relied on flickering candle light to see across the room.
When the day started we had no idea of the changes we’d face before nightfall. Such is the way of life.
Challenges appear and hit like a gale force wind. There may be little or no warning. The bright sunshine of promise gets blown away. As though in flickering candlelight I can only see far enough to put one foot in front of the other.
This is when I trust on the power supply that never fails. The power of Jesus in my life will guide me safely through the darkest storm. When I lean into him I am given the strength to take the next step. I don’t know how long it may take to reach the sunshine again but I do know that Jesus will help me navigate the darkness when I walk in his light.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)
On the outside of the patio door stood a cat that seemed to be pleading to be taken in and loved. It was mid-January and extremely cold in Northern Alberta. A young family was visiting aging relatives when they saw this pathetic creature.
It was obviously malnourished and the long hair was dirty and matted. The older couple said the cat had adopted them and they put bits of food out for it when they could. There was no intention of making this animal a member of their household. In the ice and snow they weren’t even able to go outside to show it any attention.
The young son of the family was enthralled with the cat and finding it to be gentle, spent much time bundled up and sitting on the deck holding it in his lap.
His dad knew the cat wouldn’t survive if left like this. Compassion took over and the decision was made to rescue it and take it home with them. The children were thrilled.
With proper nutrition and a loving home the cat has flourished. I wonder if it realized that the decision to adopt it was life-saving.
When I learned about this situation I thought of the rescue mission Jesus performed on my life. I was lost and seeking the love and acceptance that only he could give. Jesus adopted me into the family of God and gave me the spiritual nourishment I needed.
This has allowed me to thrive rather than just survive. He rescued me in this life and ensured that I will be with him forever more. I will be eternally grateful that Jesus brought me into his loving care.
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. (1 Thessalonians 1:10 NLT)
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5 NLT)
My first thought as I entered the recreation centre parking lot was, “I wonder what’s going on? It’s not usually this busy.” Normally there are an abundance of parking spots available at this time of the morning. That definitely was not the case this time.
I was slowly making my way through the lot when I spotted someone preparing to back out of a spot close to the entrance of the facility. I couldn’t believe my luck! As the car reversed in my direction another vehicle came from the opposite side and pulled into the barely vacated space.
My first reaction was surprise, followed closely by frustration as I resumed my search for an elusive empty parking space.
I realized that I had a choice to make that would directly affect the rest of my day. I could choose to be angry and resentful or I could look for the positives in this situation.
I chose the latter. I was thankful I had allowed plenty of time to get to my class so wasn’t feeling rushed. My health is good so walking a little farther wasn’t going to be a problem. The weather was pleasant which meant I wouldn’t get cold or wet as I walked.
I remembered the scripture verse I’d read that morning saying that God wants us to be kind, gentle and patient. As I headed into my class I thanked God for the reminder he had just presented me with. The positive reaction he prompted in me ensured that I would have a good day.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 NLT
I’ve heard it said that expectations are premeditated resentments. Although the statement rang true, a recent experience took the meaning to a whole new level.
A situation I was in fell far short of my expectations. Going into it, I wasn’t consciously aware of the expectations I held. That’s how sneaky they can be!
Not only did I come away upset, there was also resentment towards the person that I felt was responsible for my disappointment. I’m ashamed to say that it took me several days of nursing my wounded feelings before I fully realized my part in this.
It’s impossible for another person to know my expectations. How can they when I am not fully aware of them? Even if I am able to vocalize what I expect, I’m sure there is more that I just assume. Variables and the unexpected come into play, throwing off even the best laid plans. The only thing I can be certain of is my inability to control the final outcome.
My life works much better when I put my complete faith and trust in Jesus. I have found that the fewer expectations I have, the more he is able to work. In essence I believe this is because I stop resisting the changes to my plans.
The only expectation that works for me is to know Jesus is able to handle anything that comes my way and to use it for his greater purpose.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ( Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Let me start by saying that I am not a swimmer. I enjoy being in the water as long as my feet can touch a firm surface and my face doesn’t get wet.
Our vacation was nearing an end. I had walked along the shore daily but had not ventured into the sea. The conditions were perfect with sunshine, hot temperature and calm water and I knew I needed to make the most of the opportunity.
I waded into the refreshing water. Soon I felt adventurous enough to take hold of a small boogie board that was handed to me. My intention was not to ride it but to lie across it and float.
Balancing my body across this board without tipping was a much bigger challenge than I anticipated. When I achieved my goal I was filled with satisfaction.
I relaxed, laid my head on the board and closed my eyes. What a wonderful feeling! It seemed like only moments before I looked around and realized I had drifted quite a distance from my husband. The water was now deeper than I was comfortable with. My feet could no longer touch the bottom.
I hung on tightly to the board as I kicked my feet and fought back the panic. The tide seemed to be working against me and the shore was not getting any closer.
Then I saw my husband making his way towards me. He took hold of the cord attached to the board and towed me to safety. I was so relieved that I didn’t mind his admonishment that I should have been more attentive to my surroundings.
This was an example of what happens in my life when I drift along without paying attention. Soon I’m in over my head. The Lord is always there to rescue me. Sometimes he waits for me to call for help. Other times he sends someone to help me even before I realize I’m in trouble.
Drifting aimlessly is never going to get me where I want or need to be. The prudent thing for me to do is to be attuned to the wisdom only he can give. Then I will have clear direction and not drift off course.
The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15 NIV)
It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 GWT)
My husband and I were out for our morning walk along the beach. The fresh sea air was invigorating. Several times we stopped to watch fish swimming in the crystal clear water beside us.
Up ahead we could see some piles of seaweed. It was an eyesore but that wouldn’t keep us from continuing on.
As we approached, we here hit by the noxious smell of damp, rotting seaweed. My first instinct was to hold my breath. Fearing it would be worse when I had to gasp for air moments later, I decided against this course of action.
The decision we faced was obvious. We could either turn back or brave the smell until we had passed through this area. If we turned back, we’d miss the opportunity to experience what was on the other side.
We chose to keep going and soon were rewarded with a lovely stretch of beach to walk along.
I thought about the times I’ve been faced with a situation that was unpleasant. Sometimes I have turned back thinking, “This stinks.” Whenever that situation comes to mind, this is the only impression that remains.
If, however, I have carried on and worked through things, the noxious feeling has been replaced by one of satisfaction at the outcome that was achieved.
The choice is mine. Do I want to turn back when things are not as I imagined, or do I keep going to see what waits for me a little farther on the journey?
A saying that I hold onto is “If God brings you to it; he’ll bring you through it.” I know that my trust in him will be rewarded as I follow the path he has set for me.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4 NIV)
We see many types of shore birds on our morning beach walk. One day I saw a large white crane up ahead. I kept watching as we drew near and was surprise by how still it remained.
When I was close enough to see the outline more clearly, I started to laugh. The crane that I had been watching was actually a pole standing upright in the sand with the remnant of a white sandbag tied around it! The graceful white crane was only an illusion.
I paused to think of the many times I have looked on a situation from a distance and saw an illusion rather than the reality.
Most people only allow us to see what they want us to. I am no exception to this. Pain, disappointment, loneliness and rejection are hidden from the world. They are concealed behind a smile and the words, “I’m fine.”
Personally this has happened when I felt I needed to put on a brave front. The illusion seemed safer than exposing the truth of my weakness. You may not like the real me.
A few loved ones may see what’s behind the illusion but only Jesus truly knows what is in my heart and mind. He knows the real me and loves me for who I am and not who I pretend to be. When I truly accept this love I am free to be all that he created me to be.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? Romans 8:35 NLT