Category: Experience


Known

I am, the rose
blooming in splendor,
shaken by the breeze,
looking up to heaven,
smaller than the trees.
Stop, and take a whiff,
a gander, if you please.
I will still be,
the rose-
loved,
by the bees.

Hazy

Am I,
just a little boy,
holding up pictures,
to Papa?
Words
and images
flash, ssshwip!
ssshwip! ssshwip!
Jotted down,
capturing
the blur…
Lifting it
High, do
you see?
Do you,
see??

Scripture

2 Kings 6:5-7 (NIV)

5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”
6 The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. 7 “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

Observation

Every Sunday at my church we have a testimony service where people can stand up, sing a song, recite a poem or otherwise give thanks to God for what He’s doing in their lives. There’s not a person alive who God hasn’t blessed in one way or another. He has given each one of us the breath of life and as long as we are alive the purpose that He has for our lives hasn’t been completed. Sometimes I think the best testimonies that are given are those by our children. These are usually short and simple, ranging from thanking God for waking them up to thanking Him for helping them on a test or other assignment. What I wonder about, on occasion, are all of the adults who sit in the pews and rarely, if ever, give a testimony.

I know God is working in their lives. I wonder how often the thought crosses their mind that their testimony isn’t good enough. They weren’t saved from a burning car or in some horrific accident that totaled their car but didn’t leave a scratch on them. Then, I shudder and think, perhaps they think God isn’t doing anything in their lives because it’s not super-duper big and testimony worthy. I will confess, right now, that I often look forward to giving a “big” testimony since I’m in the habit of doing so. God has done so many big things in my life, and I’m delighted to share them. On the other hand, I rely upon Him constantly and He always pulls me through.

In 2019 I took a big step. I made pancakes for the first time in my life. I’ve thrown frozen pancakes into a microwave but never made them with a batter and such. So there I was ingredients in hand, with a recipe and everything, praying to God to help me and guide me as I made these pancakes. I was a little nervous, but I knew that God would get me through it. I poured the first pancake, waited, flipped it, waited, and then bam! It was ready. Onto the plate, it went. My first pancake and it looked great! Praise the Lord! I poured a second, and then a third. By the time I was done a stack I thought I was an expert. Until the next time I went to make pancakes. It was so much tougher this time since I had previously built up a reputation as a champion pancake maker. I knew I could do it, of course, with a little help from God. That second time went by without a hitch and sometime later I went solo on a third. That third batch didn’t turn out so well. In fact, after pouring a couple, I repented to God for thinking so highly of myself and asked Him for help. God lifted my hung down head and saved the day. I took a picture and put it on my phone as a reminder to me that sometimes, I really need God’s help in the tiniest of matters.

Whether or not it’s a borrowed ax head that needs raising from the depths or a case of saving face by turning water into wine, God is always there for us. Nothing is too small to Him. So, when you testify of His glory, and what He’s done in your life, tell us your pancake story.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. Nothing is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.

Scripture

1 Kings 19:3-5 (NIV)

3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

Observation

We all need encouragement sometimes. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve walked with the Lord or what He’s done in and through us, we need an encouraging word. Let’s look at the case of Elijah the Tishbite.

Elijah had such a strong anointing that he was able to stop it from raining by his word (1 Kings 17:1). His faith was so great that he did what God told him to do without question. When God told him to hide in the Kerith Ravine and that ravens were going to supply him with food, he believed God and went and hid at the Ravine. Ravens brought Elijah food every morning and evening (1 Kings 17:2-6). When the brook that was supplying him water dried up, the Lord told him to go to Zarephath, to a widow there, who the Lord had directed to supply Elijah with food (1 Kings 17:7-9). and Elijah went! (1 Kings 17:10)

You might be thinking to yourself that a man who had gone, at the direction of the Lord, to live at a brook and be fed by the birds, surely would go someplace else and let a human supply his needs, right? Well, the land of Zarephath, in the region of Sidon was a place of gentiles. Anyone who isn’t Jewish is a Gentile. In Elijah’s time, God had been very clear that His chosen people, The Israelites, were not only to not associate with gentiles, because they worshiped other gods and would corrupt the Jews with their practices. Furthermore, each day, a Jewish rabbi, such as Elijah, would wake up and pray, “Thank you God that I was not born a slave, a Gentile, or a woman. I can’t imagine what went through Elijah’s mind at the time. All that we know from the text is that Elijah did exactly what God told him to do (1 Kings 17:10). Elijah was the first missionary sent to a foreign people. That took faith.

When the widow’s son died, Elijah did something else in faith that had never been done before in the Bible. He prayed and asked God to bring the woman’s son back to life (1 Kings 17:20-23). It might not seem like a big deal to us today. We know that God heals the sick and raises the dead. A large part of our faith is based on what know God has done in the past. It’s one way we get encouragement. I can say, “I may sick, right now, but God has healed me before, He can do it again.” It’s one reason that Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, was made mute by the angel Gabriel when he asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18-20) Zechariah knew of his forefather Abraham and how he was an old man with a wife who, in the natural, couldn’t bear children and yet, because of the promise of God, they had Isaac. And there were many other cases afterward of God bringing healing to barren couples. Zechariah doubted. Elijah, however, believed that God could do anything so he asked for the widow’s son’s life to be restored and God did it.

There’s no doubt that Elijah had a rock-solid faith in God. By the time we see Elijah here, afraid and running for his life, he had seen God do so much. However, Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, told him that she was going to kill him so he ran in fear. (1 Kings 19:2-3). We can see that Elijah was a man of great faith. I believe that Elijah also had humility. We know that God opposes the proud but shows grace to the humble (James 4:6). In his prayer to the Lord, “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4 NIV), I see the force of humility at work. Elijah knew, just as we know, that the things that God had him do had never been done before. The greatest prophet before Elijah had been Moses. I can see Elijah hoping that God would use him like Moses and then, when he became afraid and ran, thinking that he “was no better than his ancestors” who had rejected the covenant and torn down God’s altars. This experience, of running away in fear, would have been even more humbling to Elijah if he had wanted to be the next Moses. Regardless of whether or not Elijah desired to be the next Moses, he couldn’t have done what God had asked him to do without humility.

God encourages Elijah in three ways.

  1. He meets him where he’s at, in the wilderness. Previously, God had always told Elijah to go here or there and Elijah went. In this time, when Elijah was exhausted and at the end of his rope, the Lord sends an angel to feed him to give him the strength to continue.
  2. God reminds Elijah of what He has done and how Elijah has served Him. The Lord asks Elijah twice, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9,13). God does nothing without a reason. We know that God knows all things and so did Elijah. Therefore, when God asked him, “What are you doing here?” I believe the question is a means of bringing remembrance to Elijah of what the Lord had done and who He did it through. I’m reminded of Jesus asking Peter if he loved Him in the book of John (21:15-19).
  3. The presence of the Lord comes to Elijah. Whenever Elijah had previously heard from the Lord it is described as “The word of the Lord, The Lord said, etc.” However, after the wind, earthquake, and fire there is a gentle whisper and it is a voice that asks Elijah, “What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19:11-13)

God speaks to us in many ways. He wants us to be encouraged. He doesn’t want us to give up. God could have taken Elijah when he asked to die. Even though Elijah had given up on himself, God didn’t give up on him. He still had work that only Elijah could do. Allow me to encourage you today. God sees you. He knows that you’re tired. He knows that you are walking through this dark world, but you are not alone. He wants you to be refreshed. He has a job for you to do. Otherwise, He’d bring you Home, but right now. Just stop, sit for a moment and listen to his gentle whisper, “I love you, I am with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are mine and I am yours.”

Do you know God? He loves you. He wants you to know Him. He already knows you and He would rather die than not have you in His family. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.