If you are looking for shells, I have discovered that a great place to search is in the shallow waters of a fishing area. There are an abundance of them. Some are scattered and easy to spot as they sit on their own. Most, however, are in large deposits, sometimes in a few close groupings and other times in trails that stretch across the sand. The more I pay attention and look for them, the more I find.
They remind me of the blessings in my life. I am aware of a few scattered here and there, but when I stop and really look, I can see them everywhere. There are clusters of them and trails that stretch throughout my life. The sheer abundance of them is staggering. So much so, that it is easy to take them for granted.
Every day I want to take the time to stop and appreciate my blessings and to thank God for the gifts that he has given to me.
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. Ephesians 1:3 God’s Word Translation
Be inspired this week.
As we drove through the mountains we passed several lakes. One was a bit choppy from the breeze coming through the valley. The wind had stirred up some waves and the occasional white cap. Most of the lakes were calm and a few were so smooth that everything on the shoreline was reflected in them, like a giant mirror.
Gazing at these lakes, I realized that they had some good lessons for me. One of the things they teach is that it is best to stay calm. I am not nearly as inviting when I let things stir me up. When calm, I have the opportunity to make positive ripples.
Some of the lakes are crystal clear and I can see to the bottom. This reminds me to look below the surface. Things are not always what they seem at first glance.
The smooth, glass-like water has more than one message for me. The first one is that I need to take time to reflect. Sometimes in my busy life, I forget to do this. Even more important is to remember that it is God who calms my choppy waters. The more I come to him in prayer, the smoother my life becomes. He alone can calm the wind and the waves that stir up my discontent. The more I come to him, the more peaceful I become. This is what will enable me to reflect him to others.
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39 NIV
His Son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven. Hebrews 1:3 God’s Word Translation
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12 New Living Translation
There are many disasters that we hear of in the news. Most of these take place far from our homes and those of our loved ones. This week it hit close to home for us. Heavy rains caused massive flooding in Southern Alberta. Streets were turned into raging rivers. The downtown core of a major city was evacuated as the water rose. Bridges and highways were washed out. The number of people evacuated from their homes in many cities and towns was staggering. Most people could not prepare for the flooding as it hit so fast that there was little or no notice.
As I think about the little time we have to escape the raging storms that come our way, I wonder if I am doing enough to shore up my life. Have I taken the time, put in the work, to ensure I will make it through the storms? When the waves of adversity hit, as they do to all of us at some point, will I be swept away?
The assurance that I count on comes from my faith in Jesus. He hasn’t promised that there will be no more storms in my life, but he has promised to walk with me as I go through them. He is my refuge and my strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. This is the assurance that I need.
When you go through the sea, I am with you. When you go through rivers, they will not sweep you away. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flames will not harm you. Isaiah 43:2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Have you ever watched a bumblebee in flight? Laws of aerodynamics say that bumblebees do not have the capacity to achieve flight. In other words, they are not shaped right for flight. Their body is too fat and heavy and their short wings should be incapable of lifting their heavy bodies. The fact is, God gave them the power to fly, so they do. They haven’t stopped to listen to those that say they can’t.
How often do we not do something because somebody told us that it wasn’t possible, or that we couldn’t do it? Many before us have achieved great things that others told them were not possible. They just believed in themselves, learned from their mistakes and made it happen. I found a great quote from Henry Ford that sums this up: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” So, don’t waste time listening to those who say you can’t. Use the abilities that God has given you, take inspiration from the bumblebee, and get out there and do it.
Have an inspired week!
I’ve just returned from a road trip with a couple of friends. This seems to be the time of year that there is a lot of road construction going on. Some roads had barriers blocking off one lane while the road was being improved. Others were full of potholes that jarred the vehicle as we drove through them. One stretch of road had so many patches of fresh tar, that driving around them was like being on an obstacle course. A few times we travelled on gravel for several kilometers.
All of this reminded me of life. Our lives are constantly under construction. We are jarred by the unexpected potholes we encounter. Lots of times we have problems stick to us like tar. We don’t fully appreciate the smooth road of life until we have bumped along on the gravel for awhile. Just like driving on roads under construction, things may be tougher to navigate but we can do it if we slow down and consider the situation we are travelling through. God is working in us, reconstructing and repairing the damage that has been done. The process is not always pleasant, but it is necessary to enable us to travel the road that He has prepared for us.
Philippians 1:6 And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. (Good News Translation)
My goal on this site is to provide short writing that will inspire, give a fresh outlook or food for thought. Enjoy!
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