Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blessings and Showers


Back to the Beginning, back to Genesis. This week allowed me to rejoin the community group Bible study on Genesis that I had attended in the Fall.  After taking a 9 week break to help facilitate a ministry class at our church, it was good to see the Bible study gang again. I had continued the study on my own so I'd be ready to merge into this week's lesson with my answers filled in and ready to listen and share. It had been good to learn from the lessons in the green rocking chair in my living room, but I had missed the insights and aha moments the group meeting afforded. So we discussed Joseph. And marveled at his faithfulness to serve God even though his own family grossly mistreated him. And how he chose to honor God and resist sexual temptation even though it cost him job, position, defamation of character and ending up in prison.  And how he embraced God's honor and character even though he was all alone in a culture that didn't know or care about his God.

When he is left in prison because someone forgets to use their influence to ask for his release, Joseph continues doing good while he waits. The lesson asks us to consider how we can make good use of times of waiting in our lives. We're directed to Psalms 37:3-8 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good;-carry on, stay faithful, it's not just a passive sitting until something happens, but we do good even when it feels like nothing good is happening to us
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.-STAY! so often I want to make something happen somewhere else, or just walk away from a difficult situation, or give up.  But isn't this verse saying there is safety in staying and waiting it out?(I'm sure there are difficult situations where we are released to move on, but maybe sometimes we move on prematurely, just ahead of a breakthrough)
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.-he is always there, full of joy, pleasures at his right hand, acting towards us as a Lover, even when the circumstances aren't to our liking or nothing seems to be happening, let's play with him while we wait
Commit your way to the Lord;- it's full surrender, not holding onto something, just in case he doesn't come through...
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.-we will be rewarded, guaranteed!
Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.-oh boy, not just waiting patiently, but NOT fretting when others are getting ahead, help me, Father!
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.-I guess He had to say it twice :)

So I'm encouraged. The evening of study is like sitting at a table the Father has prepared for us and feasting on the rich array of food he offers.

The week brought abundance of another kind. Walking from car to my work building one morning turned my light gray slacks to various shades of deep gray as the sideways falling rain pelted my legs that stretched below the umbrella's protection. The splish-splashy day was cold and windy. Unrepaired pot holes in the roads, some big enough to swallow tires, where now able to disguise their depths as water puddles covered them. Someone even said it-"Snow would be better than this!"

That's why when the call came from my sister-in-law to be a substitute for someone who had backed out of a women's vacation get-away, I jumped at the chance. Oh, yes, to have the sand for my bed and music of lapping waves playing me lullabies while the warmth of the sun penetrates into my body and senses, is an unexpected gift to look forward to. Thank you, Father! and thank you, Kevin, for giving me the freedom to go.

So while my appreciation for Joe's story increases, and the soil soaks up and relishes the springs rains I grumble about, and I plan the packing for the spring fling ahead,  my heart is thankful for the "reigns" of love the Father uses to guide my steps. Even as I pray that no hurt or disappointment I experience fails in its character training purpose, so I pray none of these gifts be selfishly consumed. May they instill within me more love for the Giver, a generosity to share freely from what I receive and an appreciation for how present un-pleasantries (yeah, those cold driving rains)are prepping things for future beauty and function.

What showers of blessings are you enjoying?

1 comment:

  1. I love those kind of "reigns" too. :) Glad you're getting to take a surprise vacation and that you got to return to your Bible study group. I love those aha moments with study buddies as well.


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