Friday, March 29, 2013

God's Tattoo

A few days ago I stopped to chat with a friend who was watering her front garden.  We were talking for a while before Lyn noticed a Praying Mantis on her arm. 

We agreed that it’s not always easy to see these insects as they are usually the same shade of green as the leaves on the plant they seem to like.  After all, it had to jump off a green leaf and onto Lyn’s bare arm for us to see it.  

As I was putting the Praying Mantis back on the plant, It occurred to me that sometimes we feel like the Praying Mantis in that God doesn’t see us unless we  jump up and down in the open or have do something extremely bad or extremely good to get His attention.  

Over and over again, God says in the Bible that He knows us by name and cares for us individually.  Isaiah 43:2 says “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.   I’ve called your name. You’re mine.”  Another of my favourite verses (Have you noticed, I have lots of favourite verses?  lol) is Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;  your walls are ever before me.”

Wow…just the thought of God tattooing my name on His palm knocks me to my knees.  

I don’t know about you, but if I want to remember something important I want at the supermarket, I might write it on the back of my hand.   Of course, when I get home, I wash the ink off my skin.  Unlike ink from a biro, a tattoo will never wash off.  Soap and water won’t get rid of a tattoo.  You could scrub with a brush for hours and it’s still there.  You could go swimming in the ocean and its still there.  In fact, I don’t even know of anything that would remove a tattoo without leaving a scar.

Even though God has permanently inked us on his hand, He isn’t forgetful of His children.  He says he forgets our sins but He will never forget us.  In my opinion, God hasn’t tattooed our names on his hand because he is worried He will forget us, He engraved our names there for one reason and one reason alone, and that is so we would know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, how special and important we are to him. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tom's Beach Adventure

This is Tom enjoying one of his favourite activities...sleeping on the lounge.  And yes, he rearranges the cushions so he is most comfortable.  He is about 11 and a half years old which is fairly old for a large dog.

Today, hubby and took Tom, to the off-leash beach area not far from where we live, for a swim.  A doggy poo bin with black bags was near the off leash area and I quickly grabbed a bag, shoved it in my pocket, just in case Tom had a call of nature, and then headed towards the water. 

Even though it’s an off-leash area, we kept Tom on the leash we walked into the water.  The poor old dog is a bit scared of moving water, and he wouldn’t have gone in past his toes otherwise.  For ten minutes, we chatted to Tom so he would feel safe, before making our way back to shore and letting him off the leash.   After a bit of exploration of the different smells near the edge of the sand, Tom stopped because ‘nature called’ and at that moment I was more than grateful I had a black plastic bag in my pocket. 

I was watching Tom and I got to thinking that sometimes God takes us to places where we can get scared or where we feel out of our depths. We might find ourselves facing a deep bay full of issues and we can feel overwhelmed. To us, the easiest solution is to stay on the safety of what we know, even if it’s not where God actually wants us to be.  

Over and over in The Bible, God promises that he will hold on to us through everything. When I feel overwhelmed by life, I try to remember His promises to me and it helps me hold my head up.  Often, when things seem beyond my scope, I lift my hands to God, tell Him I can’t do it and before I know it, He goes ahead of me and ends up doing something beyond anything I could have asked or imagined.  One of my favourite verses is Habbakuk 1:5 “I will do something in your day that you would not believe, even if you were told.”

I reckon, one of God’s favourite pastimes is to hold onto us so tightly that there is no chance we will drown in our own problems.  And then, along with His protection, He is happy to pick up our messes.   I don’t know about you, but the thought of a God who is so full of love for me that He will go out of His way to pick up my mess is nothing short of astounding.  And yet, we shouldn’t be astounded because that is how much He loves us. 

We don’t have to understand everything He does or says, but all He asks is that we trust Him with our hearts, our minds and our lives.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lost and Being Found

I visited my sister today, and over morning tea, she told me what happened when Amalie, her young granddaughters cat, went missing.  I knew a little of the story from my nieces facebook page, but Di filled me in on the details.

On Friday morning, the cat was seen in the yard but by evening she had disappeared.

My sister and her distraught granddaughter printed flyers for telegraph poles as well as a letter box drop and all the while little Emma was in a flood of tears.  She wasn't upset just because her cat was lost; her biggest concern was Amalie might have been scared and all alone.

It turned out the RSPCA had picked up Amalie in the next street.  We assume the cat had followed Emma's big sister to the bus stop where someone thinking she was lost, picked her up and called the pound   After a letter, a phone call, a trip to Rutherford and $93 later, Amalie is now home safe and sound and Emma is once again a happy little girl.

This got me thinking.  I wonder how God feels when we wander off and get ourselves lost.  I don't believe for a moment He is happy to see us hurt and I have even more doubts that He is sitting back, watching us, rubbing his hands together in glee and thinking "This will teach them for not listening to me."

In the Bible, Jesus said, "When you have seen me, you have seen the Father" (John 14:9) and John 11.35, the shortest verse in the Bible clearly states "Jesus wept".  Jesus didn't weep because His good friend was dead, he wept because those He loved were heartbroken over the loss of their brother.

After reading these verses, how can we come to any other conclusion except that clearly God's heart breaks for us when we are lost and alone?  For us to be rescued, it didn't cost just $93 and a couple of phone calls, it cost the life of God's own Son.  As the hymn goes... I once was lost but now I'm found. In the light of this, what other response can we give to Jesus' sacrifice for us other than a life of worship and praise?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Parking yourself in the right spot.

A funny thing happened last Saturday night.   It was about 5pm and the wind was blowing a gale and the rain was coming down.  Hubby was watching a DVD as the weather was badly affecting the television reception and I was pottering around the kitchen. 
I looked out the window to see the trees bending over and I casually said “I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a blackout because of the weather” and boom, within a few seconds the power went out. 
Of course, Hubby was disappointed that his movie stopped in the middle of a good spot said that I ‘willed the power to go out’.  Hehehe.

I still had my mobile phone and I found out the power would be back on around 9pm.  I told hubby and so we checked torches, I found the camp stove so we could make dinner and we settled in for the evening.  A few minutes before nine, hubby parked himself in front to the TV as he wanted to be ready so he could watch the cricket as soon as the power came back on.

He trusted Ausgrid to do what they said they would.  I was a bit more doubtful as I know that sometimes things go wrong even with the best of intentions.   And would you believe it?  The power came back on about a minute past nine pm!  Hubby’s faith and trust in Ausgrid was well placed and I ended up being the ‘Doubting Thomas’.

My hubby taught me something important in his actions.   I think that at times we can be doubtful and not trust God to do the things He said He will do.  We may say one thing with our words but how often do we physically put ourselves in the right place and fully trust God to turn up and bless us?  To be honest, I think it’s a human thing to focus on all the things that can go wrong instead of really believing God.  Maybe what we really need to do is get past our doubts and go park ourselves where we can get the blessings of God instead of ‘Waiting for God to act first and then move’.

It’s just a thought...