We were holding our annual Easter egg hunt for the family. The grandkids were excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Once everyone had arrived, they were given some instructions and then we counted to three so all could head off at the same time.
We heard many squeals of delight as they discovered the hidden treats. There were always adults nearby to give assistance to whichever child needed it. Everyone had a good time and memories were made.
Our grandchildren know that we always have treats for them in our pantry. It would have been so much easier to gather goodies from there than search through the house for the unknown. There’s something exciting about the hunt
This reminded me of my life. Many times I’ve set out searching for something even though I didn’t know what it was I was searching for. When I saw others finding what they wanted, I grew frustrated. Where was the treasure I needed to be fulfilled? If I couldn’t find it on my own, was there someone nearby to point me in the right direction?
What I discovered was that it was within my reach all along. I had been so focused on my search that I’d missed the treasure right before me. Jesus provided the answer to all of my needs. All I had to do was to put my life in His hands and trust Him for the outcome. He has led me on bigger adventures than I could have planned for myself. His faithfulness is so great that I am excited to see what treasures are in store for me as each day unfolds.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions neverfail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
I watched some children playing in the sand. Three were siblings and the other someone they had just met. An elaborate sand castle was being built.
What made this scene special was that three of the children spoke only English while the fourth spoke only French. The fact that they could not communicate with words made little difference to them.
The language they shared was that of working together towards a common goal and having fun. That was all that mattered.
These children reinforced an important lesson for me. When we focus on a common goal, the differences we have are not a concern. It is when we allow ourselves to become distracted by things that aren’t important that we run into problems.
We don’t need to speak the same language as others in order to work, play or get along together. All we need is respect and cooperation. In other words, we need to play nicely with others even though we may not fully understand them.
God has gifted each of us with different talents and abilities. I need to not only share my strengths but also to embrace those of others. In that way everyone will be a winner in the game of life.
To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. (Matthew 25:29 NLT)
I was attending a large function and briefly stepped out of the room with my six-year-old granddaughter. There were over one hundred people in the busy room and she needed space to burn off some excess energy. After playing in the hallway for a few minutes we decided to rejoin her parents inside.
Someone was exiting the room as we approached the door and my granddaughter quickly ducked through ahead of me. At that point, I lost sight of her. My daughter was standing nearby so I headed over to her. Our little one had not been seen.
Soon we were doing a sweep of the room, the corridors by the meeting rooms and the hotel lobby. Unable to locate her, we enlisted more people in the search. After what seemed a long time, but in reality was only about five minutes, her older sister found her in the washroom. She didn’t consider herself lost, so had no worries about heading off on her own. Relief flooded over us as we had her beside us once again.
This incident reminded me of the parables Jesus told about searching for the lost. The point of these stories is that Jesus will drop everything to come and find me when I stray. I may not realize how far I’ve gone or the potential danger I face. When I am intently focusing on other things it is easy to lose sight of what really matters. When I am under his care, I need only call out and he will find me and gently bring me back.
In their distress they cried out to the Lord. He rescued them from their troubles. Psalm 107:6 GWT
We sat on a bench in the sunshine enjoying the sights and sounds of children in the playground. When we first arrived there with our grandchildren I heard shouts of, “Take my picture;” “Look at me;” or “Push me on the swing.” The longer we were there, the less the adults were noticed.
What impressed me was the imagination of children at play. They were unselfconsciously creating the worlds that existed in their minds. New children arriving were welcomed into the fantasy. During this time anything was possible. We watched as one became a superhero. Another waved an invisible magic want to make it rain cookies for those around her!
At one point in life I must have had the same creative imagination. I wonder when and why it disappeared. Perhaps it was when I became too concerned with what others thought. In striving to be like everyone else, I gave up the freedom to dream about who I could become.
The good news is that Jesus has bigger dreams for my life than I could ever dream for myself. He is not limited by my lack of imagination. He also has the power and ability to bring those dreams to reality. My part in this is to pray for his leading and then trust and let him direct me. Instead of limiting his power in my life by asking, “Who am I to …?” I need to give him full reign by saying, “In his power, who am I not to?”
For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, put gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
One of the joys of being a grandparent is playing games with my grandchildren. Some of the games that they have enjoyed the most involve hiding. It may be people hiding or it may be objects that have been hidden for someone else to find.
Recently I was spending time with a 5 year old. She had some small inflatable rings that we’d take turns hiding for the other to find. When it was my turn to find, she would lead me right to them and then be so happy for me when I found them! Even though I made my best effort to hide the rings in plain sight, it was not always easy for her to spot them. Discouragement set in quickly so I added another aspect to the game. Telling her she was cold, and then warm, warmer and hot as she neared the object made it much more fun.
Although this was a game that brought fun and laughter to a little girl, I did find a deeper meaning in it. When I play games and attempt to hide from God, my life becomes cold. It is only as I move closer to him that my life warms up again. When I read the Bible and hide those words deep in my heart, God warms my life enough that I can pass on that warmth to those around me.
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I may not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 NIV
My husband and I had a unique experience on New Year’s Eve. We stood outside in a park watching a fireworks display while snow was falling all around us. The snowfall didn’t deter the large crowd gathered to enjoy the fireworks display. Somehow, it added an almost magical quality to the experience.
The exploding bursts of colour in the sky were lovely to watch. Just as much fun for me, was observing and listening to the children around us. There were many “oohs” and “awes” and a few “oh wows”.
Not everyone was standing outside. Some had arrived early enough to get a good parking place so they could remain in their vehicles and still watch the spectacle. Nearby I heard children excitedly commenting. Turning to see them, I realized that they were not looking at the sky at all, but were leaning out of an open car window, eating snow they were scooping off of the side of the car!
This made me think of the wonders and blessings that God has provided for me. Often they are right before me; all I need to do is turn and look. Instead I busy myself with little pleasures of my own making. I settle for crumbs when God has prepared a feast for me. This year I am going to consciously seek the good things that the Lord longs to provide for me.
Make your ways known to me, O Lord, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me because you are God, my savior. I wait all day long for you. Psalm 25:4-5 God’s Word Translation
We had our 4 year old granddaughters here for a sleepover. Early in the morning we were awakened to the sounds of giggles and whispers. We enjoyed the happy sounds and realized that they had no idea we could hear them. Their lively chatter made us smile. Soon that changed as one got upset, started to cry and appeared at our bedroom door. I held out my arms and she rushed into my comforting embrace. It wasn’t long before everything was right in her world again.
This is similar to my relationship with God. I carry on with my day, sometimes forgetting that he hears everything I say. He enjoys hearing my laughter and happy conversations. Most of my words please him but there are others that cause concern. When I am upset he is always there to give me comfort and set my world right again.
The important thing for me to remember is that even when I am not consciously aware of it, God is always with me. When the communication between us flows freely, my life is so much smoother.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. Psalm 86:15 God’s Word Translation
Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are. 1 John 3:1 God’s Word Translation
I was standing in the grass on a highway median, doing my best to keep three little girls occupied while a tire on their vehicle was being changed. They were starting to get restless when I spotted movement in the tall grass. Showing them the grasshopper was a wonderful distraction. Soon we were on the hunt for more of these insects.
Two of the girls excitedly spotted several more and delighted in watching the hopping action. The other one complained that she couldn’t see grasshoppers; all that she could see were bugs! Explaining that these were the grasshoppers didn’t help. She wanted nothing to do with them.
Reflecting on this later, I wondered how often I have missed the wonder of something new because I couldn’t see past my perception of what I thought it should be. Life is full of exciting adventures but only if I open my heart and mind to accept and receive them. Immediately deciding that I don’t want or like something means I will miss these discoveries. It is when I forget my routine life and enter into the adventure that I can truly experience what God has in store for me.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV