Monday, October 31, 2011

Little Yellow Monsters

Yellow monsters are brought to me on a regular basis.  Zeke and Nay like the little guys.  The ones that squeak live on the fire place mantle most of the time but the ones that don't squeak anymore get to live in the baskets and under the bed.  These little yellow monsters have the longest life of all the dog toys.  The stuffies (stuffed animals) never last long and we find pieces of the poor stuffies all around the house.  The little yellow monsters may get torn a little but they tend to live a long life.   Zeke brings them to me, I throw them.  Zeke brings them to me, I throw them.  Zeke brings them to me, I throw them....over and over and over again.

Monsters under the bed.  Monsters in the closet.  In my childhood mind it wasn't about the monsters as much as it was about what I couldn't see from where I sat on my bed.  My imagination took over and what I feared is not the monster but more "what I could not see".

We all have little yellow monsters in our life, creeping up on a regular basis.  We take them and throw them out of our lives and yet they show up again.  It is constant surrender, taking these little yellow monsters and ridding our lives of them.
And so we "fear" what we cannot see, and yet we do not "faith" what we cannot see.  Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  

Evidence is usually considered tangible.  Things you can touch, things you can see and yet faith is called evidence.  Evidence is for proof.  Evidence usually tells a story.  And this faith is evidence, it is evidence of things not seen.  Faith and hope remind me of two hands with fingers intertwined, swinging back and forth with happiness. Faith is the substance of things hoped it is like the ingredient that makes up hope. So I have hope but I can't have hope without faith. The object of faith?  God. 

It is our God that performs miracles.  I don't imagine God measures the miracles like we do but in our finite human minds may I say HE performs little miracles, big miracles, all kinds of miracles.  We have to have faith in God because it is God that performs, that works, that moves, that changes.

We let little yellow monsters of fear, doubt, sadness, shame, guilt, unbelief, self-sufficiency, selfishness, anger...and so many other little yellow monsters and we cast them out over and over again.  And we fear what we cannot see.  Doubt what could be.We have to let faith take over.  Faith that is of a God that conquers and defeats. 

May we not let what cannot be seen create fear, but rather encourage faith. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Soak Up the Sunshine

I just love seeing the sunshine pour over a sleeping lab.  Sometimes I even hear him snore a little. Resting almost as comfortable as he would on the couch he is not suppose to be on.  My labs like the sunshine.  I am not sure if it is the warmth of it, or possibly the happiness of it.   Maybe it is both.

When Nay has been on the porch for so long she'll come in and I can feel the warmth of the sunshine where it soaked into her fur.  I rub her down and she does that "lab speak", almost a mumbling of thank you's coming from her.   She settles in for as much love as I am willing to give her, for as long as I am willing to give it to her. 

We are affected in this life by family, friends, and other loved ones.  We are affected by work and church.  Sometimes there is drama in our days, conflict with others and stress over finances.  We allow ourselves to be congested with media, music, television to pass the time, to relax.

So much affect our days, hours and minutes and we neglect to stop and soak up the sunshine.  Literally, soak up the sunshine.  Feel the warmth of the sun as it rests on us through the car window.  See the brightness of light as it peaks through the curtains in the morning.  See God's creation.  See God's gifts.  Really, for me it is seeing God in the details and soaking it up.  I am often busy balancing my checkbook that I miss the other gifts in life. I don't settle in to soak up the sunshine.  To know and feel and be aware of the love that God pours over me.  I am too busy wanting and needing that I am not busy enough ACCEPTING what He is already giving me.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Seeing Hope

It starts with finding one sock and rummaging through the drawer for the matching one.  My tennis shoes are pulled off the shelf and I sit, lacing them up one at a time, making sure they are tight enough to run in but not so tight it hurts me.

Zeke observes.  Zeke knows.  Zeke anticipates. Those shoes, those are my masters walking shoes.  His ears perk up and he wiggles his way to my side, rubbing up against me to express his enthusiasm, his excitement of the walk he's about to take. 

Zeke saw the signs.  In Zeke's canine mind they were signs of a good thing to come.  He had hope. 

And so through this life I stumble, deep breathes as I trudge ahead.  Shoulders dropped, head down, moving forward.  I forget to lift my head, look around, see the signs of hope.  God has placed them all around me.  In the early morning as the sun begins to rise, a sign of the new day.  In the evening, the dawn turns into dark, revealing the sparkling jewels in the sky.  When the summer was dry and the grass was brown, when the rain came.  I didn't see the green. The rain was the sign of things to come.  I blink and it seems my lawn is bright green in the dead of fall.  I should see the signs of hope. The spattering of rain against the glass window, being soaked up by the dry earth.  With each rain, a different shade of green.

My journal laying beside my Bible.  The notes I scribbled from Pastor's messages. the black letters of  hope.  The promises in the large black leather Book.  Messages of hope. 

I had gone on vacation in August and the flowers had died.  I yanked them out of the pot.  Days later, the fall rain God has graced us with, brought forth green.  More flowers, still growing.  Signs of hope.

What do we hope for?  Money, things, places, people.  We hope for so much but really our hope is in the Lord.  Through the Lord is our satisfaction.  He's giving us signs all around, reminding us each day.  In looking for hope you will find God, in all His glory, looking right at you.  Sovereign and in control.  Knowing that what He has for you enough.