Love Is A Marvelous Thing

Every artist leaves his mark. Whether it’s his signature scrawled in the bottom right-hand corner, initials stamped on the underside, or a clue within the masterpiece itself, there is always something to identify the creator.

Physically marked or not, a person well acquainted with the artist will recognize his work immediately. Brush strokes, fingerprints, a chisel mark, are indicators of his talent.

Just as an artist leaves his mark, we as the Lord’s vessels should be marked. People should immediately identify us with our Creator. Jesus speaking to His disciples said,

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

    John 13:35

 Love. It’s a marvelous thing. Mankind has climbed mountains, crossed oceans, and changed the world around them.

Love Can Heal A Wounded Heart

With love all things are possible. Lives are changed all because of this one little four-letter word!

So how did they change the world?

  • Their love for that one thing consumed them
  • They remained focused on their goal no matter the obstacles
  • They allowed their love to guide them when all seemed lost
  • Nothing deterred them from their vision

So how can we change our world?

  • Allow His love to consume us
  • Stay focused on His commission no matter the obstacles
  • Show love one for another even when things seem hopeless
  • When loving someone is hard, remember His love for us

This month is all about showing the one you love how much you care. Just think, if we showed everyone His love what a difference a month would make.

Today, show some love to those closest to you. Then, while out and about, show some love to the stranger you happen to meet. Who knows? You might just change a world!

 

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Now I Know In Part

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

In 2009, while in my pantry, I felt the Lord urging me to give a substantial amount of money each month in an offering. I immediately questioned His timing.

Father, Are you sure? You know we are struggling at this time, and I feel I need to save more, rather than give more. Still, I couldn’t shake the need to give.

In the midst of my argument, He asked, “When do you sow? In harvest or planting season?” That’s when I realized He was up to something.

In the past, when He had asked something from me, it usually had more to do with what He was trying to accomplish in me, than the action He was asking of me.

I continued putting away my groceries when suddenly the account of the Shunammite woman leaped to mind. I stored the remaining cans and walked to my desk. Opening my Bible, I turned to the fourth chapter of Second Kings and began devouring the passage with a new interest.

  • She fed Elisha when he traveled in her area.
  • She had spiritual perception, recognizing Elisha as a man of God.
  • Along with her husband, she created a small living space for Elisha.

I understood that she had the money to feed, build a room, and decorate it for Elisha. What I did not gather was her “need” for anything, or so I thought.

Although she was fruitful in many areas, one area of her life remained barren. The Bible does not give a reason for her infertility. We’re told only that Elisha, grateful for her hospitality, desired “to give her” something. When Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, noted her childlessness, Elisha prophesied that she would “embrace a son.” The Word tells us that she conceived and brought forth a son.

It wasn’t so much as “the gift” she gave to Elisha as it was the “act of obedience” needed to position her to “receive” something God deemed necessary in her life. Elisha was the last piece to bring that divine purpose to reality. Could God have given her the son without Elisha? Of course! But that wasn’t the plan.

I recalled my prayers for every area of my life to become fruitful. Trust and Anger issues from the past kept me from being prolific in the present. Could it be God was trying to position me for answers? Would my obedience trigger a reaction in my life?

As I pondered these questions, I saw puzzle pieces on an ornate wooden table. A hand guided the diverse sections to the right place at the right time to complete the image. At that moment, everything clicked into place.

The Shunammite’s actions brought a reaction resulting in Elisha becoming a part of her life. She needed Elisha in her life more than he needed her gifts in his life.

The promised child died, Elisha prayed. The child lived again. When warned of a famine by Elisha, she sojourned in the land of the Philistines (2 Kings 8). Seven years later, she returned home to petition the king for the return of her house and her land.

When she approached the king, Gehazi was with him telling the great things Elisha had done. When Gehazi heard her petition, he told the king, “This is the woman and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king ordered everything restored unto her “since the day she left the land, even until now.”

Did she realize when she built that little room for Elisha what she would get in return? I think not. What would have happened if she’d withheld her gift? Would she still have had a son? If she’d never met Gehazi, what would’ve happened to her house and lands? Hmm.

Pixabay Public Domain

Pixabay Public Domain

I repented of my reluctance. I needed to stop focusing on what I was giving up, and just trust Him. To free-fall in faith wasn’t going to be easy, but it was necessary if I was ever going to move forward. I chose to obey and haven’t looked back since. My obedience taught me trust and eventually, I let go of the anger. I came to realize I needed God in my life more than He needed my gifts.

Is there something God is asking of you? Are you struggling? If so, you are not alone. With every mountain, comes another level of faith. Like the Shunammite, it’s not about the “action” so much as it’s about the chain “reaction” that will take place afterward.

God works in mysterious ways. We only see in part. Yet, He asks us to trust and obey until that day when all is revealed. Take the leap and free-fall in faith!

Blessings

Gail

 

Submitting to the Master

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Baby TwiggyTwiggy came to us a skittish underweight two-year-old. Our first priority was her weight. The second was helping her become comfortable around humans.

Each morning when I entered the stall to feed her, Twiggy would stand in the far corner afraid. So, I changed tactics. I opened the door and waited. When she realized I wasn’t coming in, she took a few steps toward me. Every morning she came closer and closer until she began taking a mouthful of feed from the bucket. Finally, I was able to reach out and stroke her neck.

 

Twiggy

Fast forward nine months in the field with Susie, a thirty-year-old who loves attention, Twiggy has come to learn the wind in the trees isn’t so scary. Dogs can be fun. A person coming in the stall is normal activity. And if there is a problem the human will fix it.

She still has a long way to go. She isn’t broken, yet. She doesn’t know what a burden feels like. But she will. For only when she submits to a master can she be a useful horse.

TwiggyIt won’t be easy. But who said life was easy or fair? Life is what you make of it walking hand in hand with the Lord. Twiggy, just like me, has the choice to submit.

At first, she will fight the rope, hate the saddle, preferring to prance and run free. But hopefully, she will come to see there is freedom in submission. The Master honestly does know best.  And when we lay aside our need for control, we find His yoke is easy and His burden light.

 

TwiggyYesterday, I watched Twiggy as she ran the field, gaining speed, slowing down, whirling around trees, and stopping for a breath—her movements graceful and precise. (She has all four feet off the ground!)

It reminded me of the race we’re running. Some days we gain speed. Others we navigate the obstacles. And still other days, we pause to catch our breath. Yet, there is joy along the way if we know where the joy can be found.

 

Twiggy

To find that joy we must learn to cast our cares aside. Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. Submit everything to the Master.

The secret: It takes love for the master before we can submit. Without love, we will always fight for control.

 

 

TwiggyFinally, realize life is more exciting if we keep our eyes on the joy before us and bask in His light until we reach home.

 

This race is too short to run it alone. Invite the Lord along and watch how weightless you will begin to feel.