CHOSEN

 

I had polio when I was an infant. The resulting disability was severe scoliosis – a twisting of the spine in both the thoracic and lumbar regions. The evidence of this twist is that one shoulder blade sticks out and the opposing hip is raised.

 

As a child, I was terribly self‐conscious of my condition and the attendant ramifications. Because of medical treatments attempting to stem the potentially fatal twisting, I was prohibited from participating in the elementary school’s physical education program. As a result, if there were teams for anything, whether a game or any competition, I was never chosen.   I was always the last one standing along the wall waiting for some compassionate leader to place me on a team, even though the team members were looking at me with eyes that were pleading “No, not here, not on this team!”

 

While I am certain that my experience is not typical, I suspect that there is a universal understanding of the feeling of not being chosen – of being left at the wall, waiting – of rejection.

 

But, praise the Lord, He has looked on me with favor.   In John 15:13‐17, Jesus says:

 

Greater love has no one than this: that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

 

John 15:13-17

 

God has chosen His people, from the foundation of the world. Indeed, in Deuteronomy 7 we read:

 

It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

 

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 [ESV]

 

In the New Testament, Paul reiterates the concept of God’s intentional selection of those who would be His people:

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

 

Ephesians 1:3-4 [ESV]

 

Being chosen by God includes recognizing His intimate knowledge of us, not merely as one of millions of creatures that inhabit this planet called Earth. Centuries before Jesus lived, David wrote that God knew him even before he was born.  Specifically, in Psalm 139:16 we read:

 

“…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

 

This tells me that God’s knowledge of us is personal and intimate. Such intimacy is further described in Psalm 139 when we are told that God knows my thoughts, my words, and my ways.

 

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

 

Ps 139:2‐4.

 

Who else knows us like this? Not even my husband, who knows me very well, can predict what I am going to say before I say it. Indeed, this is often evident by the look on his face after I say something that catches him by surprise!

 

Yet Scripture says that, despite knowing all about me, God loves me and that He chose me to be a child of His even before time began, before the foundation of the world.

 

Just think of it – the God of the universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, knows us as specific individuals on this minute planet in just one of the galaxies of the massive universe. And, in His sovereign majesty He has chosen us! He loves us, guides us, counsels us, and is present with us moment by moment. Indeed, His Spirit indwells those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior … that means intimate communication with Him, now and forever more.

 

Shouldn’t this personal God receive our honor and worship? Shouldn’t His love to us cause us to follow Jesus’ example in love and service to each other, and to all those we come in contact with as we live our life for the Lord? I pray that we would respond to His wondrous grace and mercy with gratitude, love, reverence, obedience, and overwhelming joy!

 

Father, forgive me when I have accepted your love and grace without recognizing the incredible cost of my salvation; without remembering the magnitude of my sin that has been atoned for by Jesus’ death and resurrection; and forgive me when I fail to give others grace, mercy, love and encouragement. Father, thank you for your mercy in not giving me what I deserve, and thank you for your grace in giving me that which I could never acquire on my own, adoption into your family through Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord.

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME?

It certainly is no secret that a new baby in the house upsets the applecart for parents as well as for older siblings.

Newborn baby ready to come home from hospital
Newborn baby ready to come home from hospital

It sometimes is a stressful time with the older siblings wondering if Mom or Dad have enough love to go around.  This is especially true given the emphasis (rightfully so) on the newborn baby which has now taken the place of priority over that of the older children.  “Mom, do you still love me with all your heart?  You love me more than the baby, right?”  Of course Mom would respond that she loves both the children with all her heart. Then she is asked: “How can you love both of us with all your heart – you have 2 hearts?”  Math and biology have now become real issues!

Child looking at infant sibling
Child looking at infant sibling

We smile at the question, but as adults, don’t we sometimes wonder how much we are loved, whether it is by our spouse or our children or our friends?  Sometimes, during hard times, we even wonder if God still loves us … if He did, surely He would have prevented “X” from happening.  [You fill in the blank.]

When it comes to God, I think the answer to how much God loves us is encapsulated in the saying:

“There is nothing that I can do to make God love me more than He does; and there is nothing that I can do to make God love me less than he does.”

I believe that this saying captures the definition of divine security.  Human love is strong, but it is sometimes fairly conditional.  Not so with God.  Scripture teaches that His love for me began even before I was born and it will continue throughout eternity. I did not earn it, I did not merit it, and I cannot lose it.

In Psalm 139, the Psalmist describes God’s creation of his being and the intimacy of God’s knowledge of him personally.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.

Psalm 139:2-4 [NIV]  (Emphasis mine)

The Creator of all things knows me so intimately that He knew the number of my days even before I was born, before I “came to be”.  Further, He knows what I am going to say, even before I say it!  [That thought is difficult for me to even put into a post – praise Him for forgiveness!]

The scope of God’s knowledge of us and of His love for us is beyond my comprehension; I can only bow in thankful praise and abject submission to this God of love who sent His Son to be my Savior.

Easter at Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England
Easter at Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England

The depth of His love is shown by Calvary and the tomb; and, His power over death is shown by the Resurrection!

Philippians 2:8-11 describes Jesus’ sacrifice like this:

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  [ESV]

Praise the Lord that He has reached out and has adopted us into His family, by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  We are children of the Sovereign Almighty God.  We are members of God’s family, and we are sisters (and brothers) of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  See Romans 8:15-17.

There is no question that God loves His children.  His love is more than sufficient for His children; it is perfect and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.  We read in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 that:

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. [ESV]

Thus, the real question is “Do you love Jesus?”

Jesus asked this very question of Simon Peter, the disciple who often seemed to put his foot in his mouth before thinking.  The impetuous Peter had affirmed his devotion to Jesus in the Garden before Judas and the guards came … then, during Jesus’ “trial”, he denied that he knew Jesus, not just once but three times.

After the resurrection, Jesus was with Peter and he asked “Do you love me?” three times – paralleling Peter’s three denials.   The story is told in detail in John 21:15-19.

Peter said that he did love the Lord and Jesus’ response was to direct Peter to “feed my lambs”, to “take care of my sheep”, and to “feed my sheep”. [NIV]  In other words, saying you love Jesus is not the end of the inquiry … you have a job to do.  In Peter’s case, it was to be a missionary feeding, caring and tending for the Lord’s sheep, and ultimately dying a martyr’s death.

That may not be what Jesus calls us to do … but He does call us to do something for which He will equip and provide direction and strength.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 [ESV]

So, how much do you love Jesus?  Enough to obey Him?  Enough to be a witness for Him wherever you go?

Father, help me to be a witness for my Lord.  Give me strength when I think I cannot go on, and give me wisdom to know when I should simply express love.  Help me to let Jesus shine through me in all things for your glory and praise.

THE BOBCAT AND THE TULIPS

Have you ever felt like something picked you up and plunked you down somewhere else, much like tornado does when it swirls through a town?  Have you ever just been lost and not sure where you are or how you got there?  (As noted in a prior post entitled “The Elongated Trip”, my being somewhat lost is not unusual, at least in terms of directions and routes.  But that’s not really what I am thinking about today.)

I am thinking about how events, people, trials and blessings all worked together to put me where I am even though there were upheavals in every sense of the word during the process.  I guess the question becomes “What am I to do after an upheaval has created chaos and made a mess of my plans for my life?”

Front yard in desperate need of landscaping
Front yard in desperate need of landscaping

Our house has never been the garden spot in the neighborhood.  If we ever had the “best garden” award in the front yard, it would be because someone swiped it from the deserving house and got tired of carrying it, so he plopped it down at our house to get rid of the load.  We did have some tulips in the dirt below the picture window and a few of them would pop up in the spring, but it hardly deserved the title of landscaping.   Along the street, the yard was barren due to the surplus of leaves that pile up in the fall, killing the grass beneath.

Front yard before landscaping
Front yard before landscaping

We finally decided that we would do something about it.  A bobcat was brought in and we dug up and hauled off the old dirt, rocks, dried up bushes, etc.

The bobcat removing all the dirt and debris in the
The bobcat removing all the dirt and debris in the “flower bed”.

New soil and new bushes and shrubs were brought in for a coordinated landscaping effort.  A new sidewalk was installed.  No rock was unturned and no plant remained.  In a matter of weeks, we had a landscaped yard!

Fence line after landscaping
Fence line after landscaping
After landscaping
After landscaping
Front yard along street after landscaping
Front yard along street after landscaping

Next spring, we looked out the window to see the new plants with their spring foliage, and there they were! Tulips ‐‐ a “leftover” from the plantings that had languished in the dirt for decades below the front window. These delightful red tulips were in full bloom with the new shrubs as their backdrop.  They didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be there … they just did their thing – they bloomed where they had been planted.

Tulips that survived the bobcat
Tulips that survived the bobcat

How could they possibly still be there?   The bobcat did all in its power to scoop out every bit of the dead dirt and roots of shrubs and flowers.  It hauled off multiple scoops of debris from that, loosely described, “flower bed.”  But somehow, the scoop missed the tulip bulbs.

Somehow the bobcat’s tines missed the flowers’ roots and they held tight, embedded so they could bloom in the spring.  Somehow the new shrubbery did not overwhelm the simple tulips that had survived the onslaught of redesign.

Out of place?  Perhaps.  They are the only “flowers” not attached to a shrub, but I am not moving them!  Does God care that the tulips were attacked by a mechanical bobcat and did God put His hand on the little bulbs for protection so they would bloom again?  I guess theologians and academics could debate that question.

Scripture teaches, and I personally believe, that

  • God knows the hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30 ),
  • He remembers the sparrows (Luke 12:6) and
  • He called the plants good (Genesis 1:11-12).

Given these absolutes, I believe that He protected the tulips for His purposes.  Perhaps they were saved from destruction so that He could remind me that I, too, need to bloom where I find myself — even if it is the result of what I perceive to be an upheaval and is a long way from where I started and from what I thought I would be doing.

Upheaval in our lives can come in many different forms ‐‐ a loved one’s death, divorce, cancer, loss of employment, disappointment, forces of nature, declining health due to aging, downturn in finances ‐‐ but no matter what the occurrence or how long it persists, the end result is that we are in a different situation or surrounding.

Scripture says that God is sovereign and all-powerful – He knows us and what will happen during each of our days, even before we were born! (Psalm 139:16)  (I love Psalm 139!)

So, while the result of upheaval in my life may make me feel uncomfortable because, as a result I am in an unfamiliar situation, it cannot be something of which God is unaware.  Our circumstance does not take Him by surprise, nor does it present a problem or situation which He cannot handle. Think about the “upheaval” that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego experienced in the fiery furnace.  God not only protected them, He walked in the furnace with them. Daniel 3:25.

No matter where we find ourselves when the dust of upheaval finally settles, you will find that God is still in control and that He was in the situation with you even when you could not see Him.  If you find upheaval distressing you, remember the steadfast tulips; they are beautiful in front of the shrubbery backdrop that God provided for them.

Survival tulip with shrub backdrop
Survival tulip with shrub backdrop

By God’s grace, you too will beautify your new circumstance with His love shining out to those around you!  Praise the Lord and bloom where you are planted … even if you are the only one, you will still be a witness to God’s love, providence, grace and sovereignty!

Father, forgive me when I rebelled and struggled against Your bobcat as You were rearranging my life for Your purposes.  Forgive me when I was unable to comprehend any good coming from the pain of the situation.  Forgive me when I griped at the circumstance and refused to look to You for wisdom.  Thank you for Your grace, patience and unrelenting love.  Thank you for being present with me in the upheaval even though I did not recognize it, and thank You for changing my world, and me, even if it took a spiritual bobcat to accomplish the task.

BOO-BOOS AND PRIDE!

Boo‐boos.  That is one of the terms for that time in a child’s life when they hurt themselves. Children from time immemorial have scraped, cut, and bruised themselves by running without watching where they were headed, focusing on playing with some toy while they are walking around, jumping off a ledge onto a hard surface, or perhaps playing with a sibling and coming out on the short end of the stick!  Whatever happens, when there is an injury, the child comes running, crying, to the parent or caregiver, pointing to the newest boo‐boo.

Boo-boo with fancy Band-Aid!
Boo-boo with fancy Band-Aid!

All of us hope and pray that the injury is not serious enough to require emergency medical attention; and, for the vast majority of boo‐boos, we are correct.  The kiss from Mom or Dad, the hug from Grammy or Papa and a decorated Band‐Aid will usually take care of the hurt.

Then too we have the child who gets injured and for whom medical attention is required.  Broken arms and legs do not heal well on their own – they need the expert guidance of the physician to set the bone and secure it until the body is fully healed.

Little boy's cast after breaking his leg.
Little boy’s cast after breaking his leg.

While adulthood gives some perspective to hurts and difficulties of childhood, simple aging does not eliminate the existence of boo‐boos nor does it stop the creation of new ones.  Now, most of my boo‐boos do not result in physical injuries or marks for which a colored Band-Aid or designer cast is the remedy.  [Okay, I did break my ankle when I fell on vacation in Alaska and that resulted in surgery with scars on both sides of my foot … so some of my boo-boos are actually physical, but the majority are notl]

Oh no, most of my boo-boos are much more subtle.  They are much more longstanding, and they have significantly greater consequences if left to fester without repentance.  And, they usually cannot be healed by my actions; rather, they need the expert hand of the Great Physician to attend to the wound.

  • The temper flare‐up when I feel that I have been misused.
  • The gossip passed from my lips under the guise of enlisting prayer partners.
  • A sudden fit of blindness when I fail to lend a helping hand to someone in need and who is plainly in my field of vision.
  • Doing something good but then being upset when I think that I have been ignored.
  • And countless others … need I go on?

I expect that your boo‐boos are not the same as mine – we each are unique in our ability to err and not follow God’s will for our lives.  But, I suggest that, ultimately, for each of us, it comes down to pride.   Are we going to submit ourselves totally to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?  In all things?  At all times?

The goal of the Christian life is that we live so that we are transformed into the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  While that is the goal, Jesus knows we are human and that we cannot live a life without boo‐boos.

In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young provides thoughtful daily devotions that are written as if Jesus is talking to us directly.  For the devotion for May 9, she refers to Romans 8:28 and Micah 7:7 and then says:

Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes.  Thinking that you should live an error‐free life is symptomatic of pride.  Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses.  Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me and watch to see what I will do. [Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004.]

Yep, it all comes back to pride.   I want to do it my way – or I don’t want to do what He commands – or I think I can accomplish it in my own strength – or … well it comes back to the focus on I/ Me/ My rather than Him.

All we see are the minute details of our own lives.  We don’t see the effect our actions have on others.  We don’t know how our words affect others for good, or bad, and we cannot anticipate what the future will be for anyone.  We see our mistakes and lost opportunities, and sometimes we see good things that happened along the way.  It is as if we are seeing the fabric of our lives on the backside of the fabric, the side where the knots are.  (The picture below is of one of the quilts on display at the DAR Museum in Washington D.C.;  it is a floral applique quilt that was created in 1840-41.)

Floral Applique Quilt [circa 1840-41] on display at DAR museum in Washington, D.C.
Floral Applique Quilt [circa 1840-41] on display at DAR museum in Washington, D.C.
God, however, sees the front of the fabric and sees the pattern that He has created for each of us.  Read Psalm 139, especially verse 16, where the Psalmist is describing God’s intimate knowledge of him and saying:

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Our days were written in God’s book even before we were born.  Clearly, our lives are the design that He created for us, and He will develop our lives according to His plan, including our boo-boos. In fact, sometimes what we may consider a boo-boo is transformed by God into the door to greater blessing than we could ever have imagined!

Praise the Lord that He is able to take my boo‐boos and use them for my learning, growth and ministry to others.  He promises to take both our good and bad choices and use them as part of the fabric of our life in Him.  (Picture below was taken at the Homestead Museum of the spinning wheel and quilt reflecting life on the Homestead in Cumberland County, Tennessee.)

Quilt and spinning wheel on display at Homestead Museum, Crossville, Tennessee.
Quilt and spinning wheel on display at Homestead Museum, Crossville, Tennessee.

Praise the Lord!  The sinless One cares for me and He helps me overcome and heal from the boo‐boos of my life.  There might be a scar or two, but that’s alright.  Jesus has scars too, and His were from the nails that were meant for me!

Praise the Lord for His unfathomable love and grace.

Father, thank you for sending the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your obedience to the Father’s will and for your atoning sacrifice for me.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for quickening my heart and for your presence with me to guide and direct as I live for my Lord.  Forgive the boo-boos that I have created and grant mercy as I continue to live my life so that I may bring glory to my God and my Savior

REST – GET IT WHERE YOU CAN!

We were out to eat last weekend when a family passed us on their way to the restaurant table … a young child was asleep on his Daddy’s shoulder. What caught my attention was this sleeping child’s hand that was hanging over the man’s arm – the child was so sound asleep, his hand was absolutely limp so that it waved and wobbled with each step the man took.

Think about the last time you have really watched a child sleep. They seem to be able to sleep almost anywhere, with no trouble. Asleep at the porch table … I guess the food was not brought fast enough!

Child fell asleep waiting for lunch!
Child fell asleep waiting for lunch!

 

Then again, swinging and bouncing can sometimes lead to a tired child; touching the carpet with your tip‐toes can be hard for a little guy!

Swinging and bouncing can be exhausting!
Swinging and bouncing can be exhausting!

Think about being asleep with all sorts of commotion going on around you.

Asleep sitting up!
Asleep sitting up!

We have all seen little ones who are asleep in the car seat or carrier. A common sight often as infants are being carried through the store, swinging on Mom’s arm.

When we see these little ones we want to pray for their future, that they would know the Lord and for all the dreams, hopes and aspirations that come with new life.

 

Sleeping newborn.
Sleeping newborn.

 

Then there is the sleep of a child in the arms of one who loves him/her.  We love the times that our children and grandchildren have climbed up into waiting arms and cuddled, secure in the embrace of a parent/grandparent who loves them, who will defend them, and care for them even when they are asleep and dreaming their wonderful infant dreams.

Grandfather and infant grandson resting together!
Grandfather and infant grandson resting together!

 

 

Grandmother holding sleeping grandson.
Grandmother holding sleeping grandson.

While we know that sleep is mandatory, that it is something that we must have for us to be healthy, often we adults simply do not get enough of it. Unfortunately, the pace of our world with jobs, housework, family, church, social obligations and who knows what else [you fill in the blank], creates such a frenetic atmosphere that we as adults simply cannot rest, relax … or sleep.

But sleep does not elude us just because of our calendars. Sometimes we have physical issues such as pain from an injury or surgery. Then too there are the psychological, emotional and spiritual issues that claim our night hours. It might be that we have worries about finances or health of ourselves, family or friends. There could be concern about employment security, about financing retirement, or about obtaining that first job in a market where jobs are truly scarce.   Perhaps it is concern about words spoken that should not have been; deeds that we knew should be done but which were not; attitudes that colored our views of people and conversations which were unkind, at best.  And aging, for some reason, seems to rob us of sleep so that it is harder to fall and stay asleep than it was years earlier.

Just as we cuddle our grandchildren, Scripture teaches that God longs for us to come to Him with outstretched arms.

God says in Isaiah 49:15 [NIV]:

 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

 

Again, in Isaiah 66:13 [NIV], the Prophet records God as saying:

 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort  you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

 

 

David knew of this longing. Psalm 139 is an incredibly beautiful song talking of God’s love and His care for His children. I urge you to read the entire Psalm, but verses 8 through 10 [ESV] describe the omnipresence of God’s love and care:

If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

 

 

Hundreds of years after Psalm 139 was written, Jesus said:

 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 [ESV]

 

 

As Christians, the closeness that we have with God is described by Paul in Romans 8:15:

 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” [ESV]

 

 

Where can you get rest? Ultimately, true rest is only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who has, through His death and resurrection, secured our ability to call out to God, “Abba Father”.

Believe in Him, then rest in Him, Beloved. He will hold you through all your difficulties, and He will never let you go!

So, where do you find your rest?

I SEE YOU!

Did you ever play “peep-eye” with a young child? You know the game – the adult puts their hands over their eyes or perhaps covers the baby’s eyes and then says “Where are you?” After an appropriate pause, the adult quickly allows the child to see again and says “Peep-eye, I see you!” Almost always the young child laughs in glee and sometimes they laugh so hard they get hiccups!

Baby sitting with bib after playing I see you with grandparent
Baby sitting with bib after playing I see you with grandparent.

Actually, watching the adults playing this with the children raises the question about who is having more fun!

The childhood game is fun and grandparents love to play it with their infant grandchildren and it is a harmless way to bond together. (Usually the parents are too busy to do it, but that’s why God created grandparents!)

I was reminded of the “I see you” game when we were on our camping trip recently when we were joined by some dear friends and their two German Shepherd dogs, Quincy and Dixie.   I was trying to get a picture of Dixie whose canine face is beautiful, and I was using my Kindle camera rather than my little red electronic camera. All this to say, I could “snap” multiple pictures rapidly in an attempt to catch her face just right.

Dixie, the German Shepherd Dog
Dixie, the German Shepherd Dog

Ultimately, I believe that I did get a good representation of her face, when we were at the campfire later in the evening.  It was not until I was looking at the pictures to see if any of them “caught” the character of Dixie that I saw the following series of pictures.

Doggie I see you #1
Doggie I see you #1
Doggie I see you #2
Doggie I see you #2
Doggie I see you number 3
Doggie I see you number 3

It was as if Dixie was playing “I see you” with the camera while it actually was my inability to get her face inside the lens parameters.

But, I wondered if the Lord was speaking through this series of pictures.

We often act as if no one is watching when the reality is that the world is, indeed, watching how we live our life if we proclaim Christ as our Savior. What difference does He make in how we conduct our business, how we interact with our neighbors? Does Christ make any difference in how we train our children? Is our marriage a testament to the vow that we took, to love and honor our spouse?

Does Jesus have any connection to our day to day life or is He relegated to Sunday morning services?

I see you! Children see their parents talk about how important church is while they lay in bed and let the church bus pick the kids up. Children see us as we ignore the stop sign, ignore the extra change mistakenly provided by the fast food server, and ignore the call to help in our community or church while at the same time telling the children that they should always be helpful on the school playground. They see when we lie about something or when we say something cutting about our spouse, only to tell the children that we were just kidding!

Inconsistencies between actions and words – guess which the children will remember!

I see you! Even for those who have no children, the world is watching. Our co-workers see when extra pens and paper are taken from the office, under guise that “I do work from home sometimes!” Or they see when the hours on the clock indicate 8.5 but we forget to deduct for the extra time we took at lunch. Our neighbors will resent our preaching that they should go to church when they see us doing yard work when the worship service is beginning. A visitor at church will wonder about our loving fellowship if we start to belittle a fellow worshipper in our post-service visit with them.

Inconsistencies between actions and words – guess which the children/ neighbor/ world will remember!

The Psalmist in Psalm 139 recites the numerous ways in which God knows each of us. In verses 2 and 4 David says that God even knows our thoughts and words:

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. … Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether”

I see you!   It is more than a game to play with a baby – it is something to remember every day of our life. Even if no one is around to see what we are doing, the omnipotent, omnipresent God sees us.

Let Psalm 139 be in our minds and hearts as we go through the week … let us remember that God sees what we are doing, He knows our path, and He desires that we live for Him.