Clouds had been gathering and now obscured the sun. The few remaining patches of blue sky were slowly disappearing. Then I saw it. Through one patch of clouds, the sun was beaming down in clearly defined shafts of light. It was these sunbeams, bursting through the clouds that captured my attention.
Without the clouds to block it, the sun’s light is often taken for granted. Looking at the sunbeams, forcing their way through the clouds I was reminded that, although I may not always see it, the sun is still there. It may be temporarily blocked by circumstances in my life. Above the clouds the sun is still shining. If I consciously search for it, I may be rewarded with shafts of light that are like rays of hope shining through the dark sky.
One thing I have learned is that I tend to find whatever it is I focus on. Life is gloomy when I only focus on the clouds that block the light and warmth of the sun. By shifting my focus to the glimmers of light, soon I don’t notice the clouds, only the positive effects of sun reaching out to embrace me. God’s son, Jesus, is always willing to pour out His light upon me. All that I have to do is consciously seek Him. When filled with His light and love I can, in turn, reflect this to others, so they may also feel the warmth of His love.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father. Matthew 5:16 NKJV
A phone call came inviting us to go boating. It had been several years since I had been on a boat so was quite excited. We had to leave in just over an hour so quickly packed lunches, sunscreen and towels to prepare for our adventure.
Once on the lake we spent a little time exploring the area before the motor was cut and we drifted, relaxing in the warmth of the sun. The boat was not being steered and there was no anchor dropped to keep us in one spot. Since we were not close to any other boats it was calm and peaceful. When the wind changed and started tossing us about it became necessary to have someone take control again to keep us from being blown off course.
As usual, this made me think about life. While it may be pleasant to drift along for short periods of time, this is not going to get me to where I want or need to be. Every wave will toss me to and fro and I will have no direction. Even in the harbor I need to have an anchor to keep me steady. Jesus is that anchor. He guides me safely and keeps me secure. All that I need to do is pray and have faith. He will provide me with the wisdom that I need.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6 NIV
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
I work in a lovely little gift store. It has a wide variety of items for almost any occasion which makes it a favorite place to shop in our area. We have just finished taking our year end inventory. Everything in the store had to be counted and its value recorded. This was a time consuming, labor intensive task in a store filled with so many treasures.
As the items were counted and recorded, I started thinking about taking inventory in my own life. Imagine taking the time to sort through everything tucked away in my conscious and subconscious mind. There are so many memories and experiences to think about. Just as was discovered in the store inventory, there are probably things that are no longer useful and those that had been buried under something else and forgotten over time. There are also others that are more plentiful than I first realized. In my personal inventory, anything negative needs to be discarded. Old hurts and anger have no place in my life now. What I choose to focus on is the abundance of blessings that I have experienced over the course of my life. There are wonderful memories of love and laughter with friends and family. Times I have been able to bring a smile or encouraging words to someone have added meaning and purpose to my life. Yes, when I take my inventory I see that what holds the greatest value for me are not the things that I have but the people that God has put in my life. I am so thankful to count my blessings.
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
Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. Be happy in confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. Romans 12:10-12 God’s Word
Be Inspired this week.
The river was flowing steadily as I headed upstream. It was lovely walking beside it with the sun peeking out from the clouds, warming my face. As I walked along further I noticed that the pace of the river had changed. The previously rushing water had now slowed and was much gentler. This slower pace was very calming. I wondered what had happened to cause this change in the flow so started watching it more carefully. Continuing on I came to a place where trees had fallen into the water, partially obstructing the flow. This was what had slowed its pace – a log jam.
Looking at this, I was reminded of the obstacles that have suddenly appeared in my path, slowing me down. What I perceived as a log jam could have been something put there to serve a purpose in my life. Maybe I need to slow down, reflect and re-evaluate where I am going instead of being caught up in the current of life. The blockage does not stop the river. It keeps flowing, just changes course. This is another part of the lesson. Obstacles do not have to stop me. They enable me to change my course, often to a better one I would not have taken otherwise. When I take the time to listen and observe, I realize that God has placed many lessons in the beauty of nature that surrounds me.
A person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 God’s Word Translation