Devotional

A few years ago we had a secret sister time in our church. We would gift little things all year long for one person, some guessed who their secret sister was before the year was up, but the fun was never broken. We continued with this for some time, but, eventually interest was lost and we no longer did this for the women’s ministry.

I was blessed to have as my secret sister the same woman twice. The second time she really threw me off and I never suspected who she was.

One of her gifts to me was a year devotional by Max Lucado. I love this devotional. It is now dog eared and worn, but each morning it is the first thing I read. Many days I smile at a corner turned down and I remember how it spoke to me in years past.

Today, I read a familiar story. I knew the story and how it would end, but I still gleaned something from it. It was still fresh to me. It was also like a family story told each gathering time. Family stories are like that, we hear them, we know them, we know when a pause is coming, when laughter is coming, when embarrassment may come. It’s family. It’s history for those sharing.

We have another ‘family’ history book. The Bible. It’s the same stories that are read, listened to, and told. Most we know. But, with this book, there is a freshness. Words that have been there since it was written pop out of a sentence and changes the meaning for us. It is fresh, vibrant, alive.

The title of today’s devotion was “Oh Daddy”. It told the story of a young girl rushing into her father’s arms for comfort. It also talked how prayer begins when we can fall to our knees and cry out, “Oh, Daddy” to our heavenly Father. And, like earthly fathers He is there to catch us. He will wrap His arms around us and bend down to assure us that we are safe in His arms.

Today has been a day where I am reminded that it’s okay to run to my Father’s arms and cry “Oh Daddy”

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.[a] Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT)

God in a Box

“The God of the Bible cannot be contained” Max Lucado ~ Before Amen

How often do we put God in a box? We conveniently package Him as we currently see Him. Like He is our own personal genie in a lamp, we pray for one thing and immediately think He is going to grant our wish. God is not a genie. God is God.

I think one reason we put limits on our God is that in our human mind we cannot fathom a Being who has created this universe, our world, our home, us. And yet, everyone who acknowledges God has the same thought. The magnitude of God is confounding.

Often when my daughters were in high school, they would come to me with what was earth shattering to them. I would remind them that during that time in their lives the Lord was not sitting on His throne of grace wringing His hands. He was not worried about how He would work it all out for them. Their situations did not take Him by surprise. Then I would remind them that since He had it all under control, we could then believe that He would provide answers to the situations.

After such conversations with them, I would then leave their rooms reminding myself to listen to what I had just said.

Frequently, we see the problem before us and although we know we can turn to God, often we do not acknowledge the scope of His reach. Our God cannot be contained.

This all reminds me of one of my favorite book series, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. In the first book we are introduced to Aslan, an example of Jesus. The children in the book meet Aslan and are told that he will come and go, and that he is not a tame lion, that he cannot be tied down.

How often do we try to ‘tame’ and ‘tie down’ our God? We see limits to our God, because we are people with limits on us. We can see and feel what is in front of us, and can only speculate on what’s out of our sight.

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

“So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6 (NKJV)

I write this as a reminder to myself, to reinforce what I read in my devotions this morning. Our God cannot be contained. How awesome it would be if we could grasp that idea, have faith the size of a mustard seed, and watch what our God could do in our lives.

Our God is an awesome God He reigns from heaven above With wisdom, power and love
Our God is an awesome God

Fumble Fingers

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV)

This is just one of my favorite verses. I try to remind myself of this verse daily. I have a hopeless case of comparison-itis. Yes, I just made up that word.

I read works from others, and some I personally know and I sit in awe of the way they express themselves. If I allow myself, I can become discouraged. I question if I am truly hearing from the Lord to write or if I am just doing an exercise for myself. (Just being truthful here, not needing encouragement)

Each morning I read a devotion from Max Lucado. He has such a wonderful way of expressing himself and drawing me into the Lord for the day. I am thankful for this little book of his.

As I read this morning the above thoughts came to mind. I wondered like I mentioned above if there was anyone I had touched like Mr. Lucado touches me with his words. (Again, just being truthful here.)

I know the Lord has called me to do what I am doing. I am excited to see how He is prospering my attempt to share good things about Him. It has been fun for me. I began to talk myself out of the comparison-itis and was feeling very positive, almost like I was confident in MY ability.

I messaged a friend today and I inadvertently hit several keys without realizing it and the message was a mess. The recipient will most likely look at it and wonder if I had been drinking this morning or maybe I am not mentally intact.

In this day when we text and get ‘fat fingers’ we understand goofs in messages and texts. My friends are well aware of my problem with fat fingers. But, although I am fearfully and wonderfully made, my problem isn’t just fat fingers. I had a memory come to me of why I think I am fumbled fingered. Years ago I applied for a job while stationed in Japan. It was for the headquarters of the command as a typist for their legal department. I went in, interviewed, and started the typing test. I sat, corrected my posture, placed my fingers on the keys and typed what was before me. I had great time. I ripped the paper out of the typewriter (which by the way is a great feeling) and turned it in. I was thanked for the interview and was told that I would hear in a few days.

The position was for a GS-9, a government position. My GS rating had expired while overseas. Dale later talked with the man who interviewed me. The man relayed that a current rating applied after I had and since their rating was active, they were hired. At the end of the conversation the man told Dale that my typing test was all wrong. I had placed my fingers on the wrong keys to start the test and my score was negative 180 words. I have always had fat fingers. They were actually going to hire me except for the person with the current rating.

Comparison-itis can be fatal. Fortunately, that one test stands out to me often. I failed miserably, yet, they were going to hire me. Comparing ourselves to others is like questioning if the Lord actually did create each of us in a wonderful and fearful manner. We are looking at the giftings and abilities of others and wonder why we can’t be like them. We will never be like ‘them’, simply because we are NOT them.

Yes, I may make typing errors often. My sentence structure may be off. I may not be as deep spiritually as I would like. I know, though, that God uses us when we are willing to be used. He uses broken vessels and those of us with fumbled fingers.

Never Alone

I was given a devotional three years ago by a dear friend. I have read it daily since. On Valentine’s Day I read the following, I know when it was because I wrote down the date of the reading. “We cannot see the path. We do not know what the future holds. But no, we are not alone” Max Lucado

How often do we feel alone? As a child I felt like I was the odd one out. Like I didn’t quite fit. That feeling followed me most of my life. Traveling as we did in the military the awareness of loneliness presented itself with each move to a different area. I loved being inside my home, and when I went out to work I would think I would feel much more secure sitting in my home than venturing out to the world. Of course, once I was at work I was fine. I enjoyed my jobs and liked the people I worked with (for the most part).

Loneliness hits us at the oddest times. We don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. We can be in a crowd and still feel alone. It’s strange like that.

In the times where I picture myself standing off, alone, and silent while watching others interact and conversing, I physically remind myself that I am not alone. The Lord is right beside me. He cares for me. He knows me.

Isaiah 49: 16a says, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (NKJV)

We are inscribed on His hands. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of inscribe is: to write, engrave, or print as a lasting record or to dedicate to someone. Daily we see tattoos on people. If asked about the ink on them, there is always a story they want to remember, an event or a person they want to honor. We are inscribed on the hands of God. He wants to have us engraved on Him. We are never alone.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10