Dear God, show us the road
that you have chosen for us,
and give us the courage
to walk down it... Amen

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thoughts from my rocker

Jesus taught, "In gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest."
-Matthew 13:29-30

(more thoughts inbox yesterday afternoon)
This morning I've been thinking about rocking.
Have you ever noticed how people sit in a rocking chair?
Some just sit and never rock - in my opinion, that's a waste of good rocker space.
Others rock gently back and forth, peaceful like - definitely my style preference.
Some use rockers like exercise equipment - hands gripping the armrests, pumping and pushing off with their feet.
And there's definitely a correlation between talking and rocking.
The more excited the talk, the faster the rock.
That's how I instantly recognized that I had a problem this morning.
I was sitting in my rocker, conversing with my Father, bringing him up to speed on all that's going on
in my life and on the sorry state of the world - when I realized I'd rocked myself halfway across the room,
propelled there by my endless recitation of problems and needs.
Back up that rocker and slow down!
Look again at what I read just 3 days ago in The Message translation of 2 Corinthians 4:

"We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken." (vs 8-9) "We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, 'I believed it, so I said it,' we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever." (vs 13-18)

And say what I believe.
I believe God is in control.
I believe God loves me.
I believe God is good always and in all ways.
I believe God holds me in His hand.
I believe God will never release His hold on me.
I believe God.
There it is - the gentle rhythm of peace once again.

I love gardening, but I was unsure of what vegetable seeds to plant during the fall and winter. My father suggested mustard. He also suggested scattering the seed on the prepared ground rather than sowing in rows. I took his advice.

Usually, I plant in rows, which makes it easier to recognize the weeds; anything not in a uniform row is usually a weed. So if I scatter the mustard seeds over the ground, how will I distinguish between mustard and weeds? Then I remembered the parable about a worker who had a similar problem. He wanted to pull up the weeds as soon as he saw them. However, he was instructed to wait and let them grow together with the crop. If he acted too quickly, he might inadvertently pull up the crop along with the weeds. In time, their difference would become apparent.

Likewise, Christians are called to be different from non-believers. As followers of Christ we are meant to talk differently and behave differently. However, we must not judge, criticize, and condemn others; God is at work in their lives, too, and we cannot know what they may grow to be. Let us obey and trust that God will bring about a good harvest.
(W. Leon McBride)

Lord, help us to obey your word and not judge others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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