Month of Prayer, Day 10

Lord, how I do love Your Word.  Not only is it the weapon You have given us against the enemy, but it is life, and truth, and love.  Your Word is living and powerful.  It transforms and reforms.  It cleanses and guides.  It breathes life into our thirsty souls.

I love Pr. 10:3, that says You will not allow the righteous soul to famish.  Lord, Your Word is living water and food for our hungry souls.  Only You can fill the void within us.  That is why we can delight in Your Word and in Your commandments; because Your Word protects us, shapes us, and breathes truth into our inmost beings.

Lord, we can walk securely and at liberty when we follow Your precepts.  Your precepts and commands are what keep us safe.  In Proverbs 10, Solomon wrote of the peril, destruction, danger, and consequences of living a life outside of Your will.  But, oh my God, You made us Your righteousness through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and You, Lord, will keep us safe when we follow You.

Lord, keep my feet from stumbling onto any path that is not laid out by You.  When I face a fork in the road, let Your law I have kept be my compass.  Let Your statutes I have meditated upon make my decisions easy and my choices clear.  Lord, Your Word gives me very clear guidance.  Help me to heed it.

Thank You that Your way is strength for the upright.  Thank You that the righteous will never be removed, and that our labor leads to life.  Thank You for the security, the love, and the salvation that You have given us.

Oh God, let me be wise enough to make You glad.  Let my life please You and be a sweet-smelling offering for You, as I walk in love and in Your wisdom.  You are the amazing God!

I love you,

jamie

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The healing tongue

Pr. 12:18:  “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”

Almost 3 years ago, I was admitted into the hospital for a lovely 5-day visit.  A dear friend of mine came to visit.  She and I are close friends, and she was also my fitness pal and co-worker at the time.  I vividly remember when she walked through the door because her eyes were brimming with tears and I could see pain on her face.

I eventually found out that prior to her visit she had been “beat up”  and “pierced” by careless and inconsiderate comments by our co-workers concerning the cause of my condition.  Feeling guilt and shame, she asked me, “Did we do this to you?”  Instead of simply offering comfort and care to her as her friend was lying in the hospital, our co-workers had been criticizing our choices and pointing out how we had brought this upon me with exercise and food choices.

Since I have never been fully diagnosed, that could be true.  Who knows?  However, their words at that moment wounded my friend and brought her more pain that she was already feeling.  It’s easy for us to think of all the kind, encouraging things they could have said to her instead that would have promoted health and comfort within her.  As I was lying in the hospital bed, I began to encourage and comfort her, hoping to ease the pain they had inflicted.

This kind of situation is somewhat normal, however.  Human nature makes us quick to throw out words of opinion, criticism, correction, advice, or solution; and much slower at simply offering comfort.  I’m so thankful our Father in heaven isn’t as quick to do those things as we.  His Word is full of healing, comfort, and consolation.

This morning I read Psalm 23, which is indeed filled with comfort:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

If you’ve been pierced by careless words, turn to the Word of God for healing.  Then, being full of His Word, when we find ourselves about to pierce another with our own words, we need to take a moment to find healing words to offer instead.  There is enough pain in this world already.  Healing is what is truly needed.

Grateful for His staff,

jamie

Do spiritual disciplines taste bitter to you?

Pr. 27:7:  “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

Honey has never been on of my favorite things to eat.  I have tolerated it at times but have never consumed much.  The last 2 years have been very strange with my eating and tolerating of food.  Some days I am not able to eat anything.  Some days I can eat only crackers or maybe bread.  Other days I can eat as I desire.  It’s a day by day, and sometimes moment by moment journey.  There is no diagnosis for me, so I simply research and experiment.  Some of my research told me that raw honey may be a beneficial thing for me to ingest.

Last month, I was feeling rather awful and was having a spell of not being able to eat very much, so I finally bought a jar of raw honey.  This was my first experience with raw honey.  To this hungry girl, it honestly tasted like candy.  I was so delighted.  Not only might it help me, but it was so sweet and uplifting.  Something sweet that won’t cause me pain, and could possibly even help prevent it…what an amazing thing!  🙂

I remember those days before this strange sickness hit my body.  Remember how I said I didn’t consume much honey?  I could eat anything I wanted.  Why would I choose something I only barely enjoyed?  I was full of tastier food and didn’t need it.  Now that I am hungry, I will eat almost anything that won’t cause pain.  I drink papaya juice, green algae, hibiscus flowers, ginger root, and apple cider vinegar, and now eat honey.  It’s not that I enjoy all these things immensely.  I do this because it is what’s best for me.

I do believe our souls are the same way.  When we are full of our delights, we have no need for spiritual disciplines.  Making time for prayer seems silly.  (unless we need something, of course)  Making time for the Word seems like a drag.  We have so many more enjoyable things to do.  Making time for church seems like nonsense when we could sleep in, clean the house, mow the lawn, go to the lake, go to a ball game, head off to the beach, or make a trip to the park.  Making time for missions isn’t even on the radar.

But get hungry for God, and every “bitter” thing seems sweet.  When we finally come to our senses, and realize that life is no life at all without The Lord, we realize how sweet it is to have time for prayer.  There is nothing like spending time talking to our Father and allowing Him to speak into our hearts.  When we realize that spending time in the Word will arm us for battle and show us God’s will, we won’t go a day without it.  Why wait until we need God to be in His word?  We could prevent so many issues by preparing in advance for the trials we will face.  When the trials come, if we’ve been in the Word, we will already be prepared, sword in hand, and we will be victorious.

When we’re hungry for more of God, church isn’t even an option, it is a given.  Church becomes the time we long for, when we can worship with others, experience the presence of the sweet Holy Spirit, be stretched, taught and encouraged by Pastors, teachers, and friends, and it becomes the time when we’re refreshed while our armor is sharpened and polished.  Missions becomes what we long to do, to help God’s children because that’s His will and it will please Him, and because we desire that others can experience what we have.

Yes, to a hungry soul, every thing that seems bitter to those not seeking more of The Bread of Life, seems sweet.  If we’re too full of our selves, our desires, and the lusts and lies of this world, it will show as we turn our nose up at the precious things that could draw us closer to Christ.  Spiritual disciplines are the sweet thing, like honey, that won’t cause pain, and could possibly even prevent it.  What an amazing gift!  We do them, maybe at first, just because that’s what’s best for us.  Then we’re surprised and delighted at how sweet they really are.

Enjoy your honey.  🙂

jamie