Living in the Present
“Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.”
Henry David Thoreau
Living in the Present
Dear Striving Christian, His eyes are not only upon the nations but upon you and even the very number of the hairs of your head; the grand as well as the detail.
You are living a gift. A portion of time has been allotted to you and your Maker watches to see what you will make of it. As we enter this busy holiday season may I remind and encourage you to not lose sight of that which is truly important. An orderly home, kind words as well as kind looks are a gift to your family and an act of worship to your God. How we live is integrally tied into the importance of why we live.
In the striving to achieve any goal there always comes a point when we question ourselves, “How badly do you want this?” We all reach a point where exertion becomes necessary in order to conform to all we had hoped would be.
Truly nothing just happens. We are faced with a choice to strive or to merely survive. I ask you, dear lady, how badly do you want to see well-mannered children in your home? Then dig into the Word and study the character of Christ and see the pattern you will use in training your son or daughter. How badly do you want that vibrant relationship with God? Then you must covet your time alone with the Master and record what you learn in your private sessions with Him realizing that the God of the Universe is instructing you. You must dig deeply into the well of wisdom as if you sought for silver and gold.
“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” -Life’s Little Instruction Book
I have this quote in my Bible as it struck me to be a great truth. “You reap what you sow, you get what you grow.” Or, said a bit more eloquently, “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Happiness doesn’t just happen, it takes a choice. A well-mannered child or young adult doesn’t just happen; it takes great pains and careful attention to details. A fruitful life doesn’t just happen; it takes planning, discipline and great daily efforts.
“It’s God’s job to set the course, it’s our job to run it.”
“And the child (Jesus) grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40) The phrase, “waxed strong in spirit”, according to Strong’s Concordance, refers to “the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of anyone.” Curious, isn’t it…a disposition or influence that will fill and govern me? I know of just two influences that wish to govern me: good (God) and evil (anti-God). So the question needs be asked, how does one “wax strong” spiritually?
“Dry places” in these verses refer to specific locations without water. How interesting it is to me that the unclean spirit seeks out such places to abide. How can fruit come from such a place? I am reminded of the Parable of the Sower. Some seed came to rest on the stony ground, a dry place indeed. That seed was gladly received, but found no place to root there; and so withered and died. Seed cannot grow in such a place. We will look in vain for fruit in a barren place.
John, the disciple that leaned upon our Saviour’s breast, the one so privileged with having received the heavenly vision recorded in Revelation, closes his gospel account with this melodious and intriguing sentence. John was a witness to the Creator’s dealings with mankind as that great One walked in feet of clay, when the constraints of time and physical being clothed His eternal being.
A holy hush falls o’er my heart,
The snow is falling outside, muffling the world.
The glow of the dancing flame lights my room
And kindles a warm rush of thankfulness within my soul.
My soul is in search of rest; and I am aware of a desperate longing and frantic searching for that rest. Offers abound within a single thought’s grasp, within the glance of an eye, or perchance a seemingly harmless diversion, but none, yea none, can soothe the anxious wrestlings of my eternal soul. Praise the Lord it has known rest. It has been enveloped in its comforting assurance. And though it is foolishly drawn away, it yearns for a return.
I want to know this God who loves me so;
Who has done so much for me;
Who, for me, gave of His precious Son.
I want to know this God who is pleased to dwell
with the humble, contrite and seeking soul.
Good seed being sown produces a blessed harvest. In fact, all seed sown produces a harvest of one kind or another: blessing or cursing. Mother, you are sowing seed all the time. With your words, looks, body language, actions, and choice, you are sowing seed.
What is it that you possess? Valuable to you is your time. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Doth thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” Each day is filled with moments that we can use for His glory and honor. Our every service can be devoted to Him and done as for Him. If we don’t waste our time plodding through our daily tasks, then we will have time “left over” to do that which God has equipped us to do, thereby being a blessing to others.
Desperate and dependent. Naturally, I strive for independence: “I can do this, and I will do it my way.” Christian, beware: To be dependent is contrary to my natural being; to be independent is to be contrary to my God.
Whom seek ye? Jesus of Nazareth? The power found in that name alone knocked the soldiers off their feet that night. Whom do you seek? Do you seek this same Jesus? What is your intention once you find Him? Are you going to bind Him with chains and crucify Him yet again? Or are you going to usher Him forth to His rightful throne cleft within your heart? Will you allow Him the title and reign of Lord, or will you have Him waiting near only to call upon in times of need? Does the power of His name still take your breath away and cause you to press your face to the dirt?
In the early morning hours, I have a very special meeting planned. As the house is sleeping still, in the quiet of the morning, I meet with my God. He is a most Gracious Resident: always prepared to meet, and waiting for me to join Him.
One of the greatest blessings afforded to we mortals in this life is that of choices. Like habits, however, they can become that which give us freedom or that which places us in imperceptible bondage at the beginning that progresses quickly to tangible chains encumbering our steps and therefore our very lives. Choices.
I love taking pictures. Photography is an art to me.I am thrilled when I feel I have not only captured the moment, but have truly captured the subject’s personality in a picture. Likewise, how exciting when I feel I have been able to transfer to photo paper the beauty of a created treasure of nature from God’s hand.
Dear Christian, do you feel a lack in your Christian walk? Do you read about the Christian life and know what this life should look like, but find it wanting when you examine your own life? Has your heart sunk within you as you feel that the best you can expect from your Christian life is one of alternate failure and victory?
This too shall pass. Always remember, this too shall pass. Tired, weary wife and mother surrounded by never-ending tasks and never-tiring children, this too shall pass.
We hear: “You can’t do it! You are all alone and there is none to help. You Fool, you Fool! If you were going the right way, the way would not be so steep, so sharp; so very, very hard.”
Our God says: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23:4-6