Last week, we had a terrible storm in our neighborhood. Trees were downed, shingles blown off, electricity out… many, many terrible things happened. I was one of the fortunate ones. My neighbor’s tree broke and fell on my roof, but only caused my gutters to have to be replaced and some shingles. This was on the side of my house.
My back yard, however, was another story. I had this beautiful tree whose branches offered cool shade in the summer and its shape was almost perfect. I valued this tree. After the storm had passed and I raised my garage door, I was greeted by limbs everywhere. Much to my despair, I could not get my car out of the garage.
Upon further investigation, I saw one huge limb had split off from the main tree trunk. It was at least fifteen inches in diameter, a huge beautiful limb. As I stepped out onto the rain soaked driveway to examine the tree’s fate further, I saw where this apparently strong limb had splintered away from the main body of the tree, because it had a rotten core. There was this huge rotten defect which of course accounted for the splintering of this otherwise strong beautiful tree.
When the storm came, the internally weak limb could not hold on. The blemish concealed within the tree caused this otherwise stunning limb, to be weak, rendering it unable to stand up to the storm and thus be cast to the ground to be sawed up into small pieces and hauled away. It left a terrible gash in this otherwise, lovely tree, diminishing the tree’s beauty and hindering the effect of the shade it once offered.
This caused me to wonder about how many people look so beautiful on the outside, but when the storms of life come, they cannot stand up to the forces hurled against them because they have a rotten heart. So, they are cast to the ground and lose their way because they do not know Christ.
To all outsiders, they appear to be strong and beautiful. Their outward appearances seem to be perfect. They talk a good talk, but, if we could see their hearts then we would see them for what they truly are. We would see their beauty fade and we could see their weakness.
There is no doubt my tree could have survived this strong summer storm had it had an unblemished core to which it could anchor itself. That caused me to reflect upon my own heart. Where is my anchor? To what do I cling to make me strong? Do I have a rotten core so when the storms of life come against me I will break and fall?
I pray God finds me worthy with a strong center in Christ. When the storms of life assault me I pray I bend, but not break because my heart is strong and solidly anchored to my Lord.
Isn’t it awesome how God sends us messages in the most philosophical way if we will just pause to listen?
My prayer, “Lord, let me anchor my soul in You so when the storms of life come against me I will bend but not break. Please let me always have a God listening heart.”
We all have heard and possibly at some point said, ‘just take the bull by the horns,’ meaning get on with it, quit squabbling and making excuses, quit feeling sorry for yourself. Get hold of your emotions; just ‘take the bull by the horns’ and deal with it.
Well, early Sunday morning this past week I was faced head on with a ‘take the bull by the horns,’ incident. I literally had to decide what should I do when three of our registered Charolaise bulls each weighing over a thousand pounds, decided they needed to see what was in my backyard.
Now, these bulls normally live in a very abundant pasture that joins my house and yard. Up until now they had never offered to roam on my territory. But this morning, I guess they were bored and wanted to see if indeed the ‘grass was greener’ on the other side of the fence.
Normally, this would not have been a big issue; I would simply call my son and say, “John, the bulls are out.” But, this particular morning, he wasn’t answering and they were tromping over my shrubs, my statues in the garden, my down spouts and of course fertilizing my yard as they went along. They paused to scratch themselves on the bird house and it quickly gave way to their pushing. Thank God they didn’t decide to go inside the Gazebo, which they could have easily done.
So, here I was early morning, going outside in my gown, carrying my Marilyn Monroe walking stick, which is pink with a rhinestone inlay, while saying, ‘what are you boys doing in my yard?’ They raised their heads and looked at me like ‘what is that?’
I raised three boys and I can tell you my dad’s saying that young livestock are just like a bunch of boys, is true. They can tear up more in thirty minutes, than you can pay for in a month.
First, I got a dog food sack and shook it, hoping they would think it was range cubes and follow me out the gate and back into their pasture. They didn’t. Instead, they just looked at me like I was a crazy woman, while thinking, ‘who do you think you’re kidding, we know that’s dog food.’
Finally, this one bull walked right up to me as if to say, ‘ok, lady, what is it you want us to do?’ Now I can tell you cattle have personalities, and they are smart. I know that because I’ve been chasing cows since I was eight years old.
So, I simply said to him, pointing as I spoke, “Do you see that gate I’ve opened? That’s for you to go out and get back in your pasture where you belong. You very well know I can’t chase after you and you better do what I say.”
He gave me a ‘don’t be ridiculous look,’ turned and looked at his buddies behind him and walked through the open gate. Of course the others followed and soon they had jumped back into their pasture. They all turned and looked at me when I said, “Thanks,” as if to say, ‘yeah, yeah.’
I’m quite sure that all those driving past my place Sunday morning had a good laugh as they saw this wild woman, still in her gown, chasing three very large bulls out of her yard with the sunlight catching the rhinestones on the pink walking cane giving off a sparkling charade of rainbow colors.
By the way, these bulls were natural ‘polls,’ so they had no horns by which I could have taken hold and dealt with the problem. Thank God.
Is there a limit on how much is enough? How much money, how many blessings, how much food, how many friendships, how many hobbies, how many vacations, how much truth, how much kindness, how big a house, how many cars, how much time?
As humans, we tend to gage things, by the dollar. As a dear friend of mine said one time said, “Money is the way you keep score.”
But, is it really?
We tend to forget that the devil pays good wages also.
So, what we may look at as one person being blessed by God could be the devil paying their wages. Just remember the devil charges more interest than you can ever repay.
Now many aren’t going to agree with me about that and that’s okay.
This is about thinking about things in our life and looking at them perhaps from a different angle.
We can look, as an example, at a beautiful plate of food. The plate is overflowing and more than adequate to supply our body’s need for food, and we think, “Geez, I really don’t like that, nor that and that’s gross and that—“ And on, and on, because it doesn’t come up to what WE like. But, to a homeless, starving man, would settle for just the slice of bread. Or maybe just a cool drink of CLEAN water.
The saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” could certainly hold true here. What one sees as a blessing the other may see as “I earned that. I deserve that.”
In reality, God owes us nothing. He created us because He loves us and wanted our company, but, He owes us nothing. Yet, He continues to bless us over and over again, just as our earthly fathers bless us time and time again.
Maybe we should learn to think, or thank, before we complain. You never know when you may just make the Chef angry and the plate full of wonderful food will no longer exist.
“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
How much is enough for you?
The bible tells us at one point, God got lonely and he wanted a friend. He created the Garden of Eden and placed Adam and Eve there. In the evening, God would walk in the garden and talk with his friends. He loved having someone to share his time with, in such a beautiful place. In my mind’s eye I can see the three of them sitting on a park bench laughing and talking.
God saying, “Hey Adam did you see that new star I created last night? Wasn’t that spectacular? Think I’ll let its brightness be significant of something really important someday.”
Adam answers saying, “Yeah, I did see it. Man that’s amazing. It’s the brightest star in the sky. Did you see it Eve?”
Eve smiles and says, “Yes, it’s beautiful.”
Then Adam says, “I saw all those angels hovering around you yesterday, what happened?”
A tear rolls down God’s cheek and he says, “Lucifer, the most beautiful angel I created, betrayed me. It broke my heart when I had to kick him out of heaven.”
Adam answers, “You got to be kidding me? I know you have all those other angels, but, to have even one betray you? That’s got to be devastating, not to mention back stabbing—–I want you to know, Eve and I are your friends we would never do that to you. Isn’t that right Eve?”
Eve nods her head in agreement and says, “Never.”
But, let’s get back on the subject of “Does God ever get lonely?” It’s hard for me to imagine that the Creator of the Universe would have such a problem. After all, he is the maker of all things including emotions, feelings, etc. But, wait—maybe there’s our answer. He is the maker of all things. He created us in His image and therefore if we get lonely maybe God does too.
What’s that saying, “I felt alone in a crowded room.” Something like that.
It’s for sure in today’s time God has more than enough stuff going on in this world He created. He’s been betrayed, spit on and denied by us, His creation. The ones He has blessed so much turn their backs on Him and declare their independence, their lack of needing Him. How very sad, so the answer to the topic, “Does God ever get lonely?”
This lowly wordsmith’s opinion is…
“Yes, I believe he does.”