Monday, March 21, 2011

Gifts Outside My Window

I look out my window and see that this is a beautiful day! The morning sun is warm, a hint of breeze moves leaves on the trees, birds call and sing to each other. This is a morning during which I watch mothers as they take their babies for a walk in the fresh air.

Babies are marvelous! It’s wonderful to see these tiny people, new and pure to the world, with literally their entire lives ahead of them. It’s staggering for a parent to think of days and years to come, and of what potential will unfold and be realized within their child.

More staggering, though, is the fact that God knows, right now, who they will become as they grow! He created their very being and holds the Plan for their life.

These infants remind me that He also knows every one of us, right now, even better than we know ourselves. So how can I not trust Him nor depend on Him? Nothing I do or say or think is of any surprise to Him. He created me, He understands me, and knew all about me before I was even born!

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:13,14

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gifts Outside My Window

A florist’s van drove up, parked just down from my window, and a man emerged carrying a long pink box tied with a big red bow. Now, every girl knows what that means – someone is getting flowers!

I love flowers with their delicate beauty and soft fragrance. In springtime and summer, especially after it rains, you can see so many blossoms touch color to the land. Some of my favorites are the cactus blossoms. I never cease to be amazed that a prickly, threatening cactus – a plant indigenous to an arid, sandy desert – can produce such lovely flowers!

Jesus has been likened to the Rose of Sharon. Sharon is actually a plain along the Mediterranean coast and known for its beautiful foliage. I imagine flowers there are pleasing and beautiful, but I’m sure not near as pleasing and beautiful as my Lord. From cactus blossoms to fields of wildflowers to The Rose of Sharon – how I love flowers!

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy .... They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.

Isaiah 35:1,2

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gifts Outside My Window

It is time to make more nectar for the hummingbirds. Their feeder is empty and they noisily voiced their disapproval and their hunger earlier this morning. Hummingbirds, though small, require 155,000 calories each day. In comparison, a 170-pound man needs 3,500 calories. So, when these birds come to my window for breakfast, they want to be fed!

When I’m hungry, I can get something from my kitchen. But when I’m hungry for the Lord, I turn to His Word and find nourishment. I am only a growing child of God, so I need His teachings in abundance to help me mature.

The food in my kitchen is limited. Just like the hummingbird feeder outside my window, it can sometimes run empty. But God’s Word is a constant, never-ending supply of spiritual sustenance. The Lord knows how much I need to grow in Him, and He never fails to provide.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:6

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gifts Outside My Window

That little girl was maybe six to eight years old. During the week of Christmas, I saw her as she hurried along the sidewalk, carrying a white teddy bear almost a big as she! Being that time of year, I’m pretty sure the white bear with the red ribbon tied around its neck was a special present to her. The happiness on her face almost outshone the sun!

Now, even with new leaves appearing on the trees, that memory is still vivid in my mind. I can still visualize that little girl outside my window and my heart can still share in her delight. The week of Christmas, though, seems so long ago with its gifts and presents, family and friends, festivities and other joys of the Season.

Thankfully, one gift is not saved for any special date on the calendar. One father does not wait for a certain time of year to visit. One celebration can be marked each and every day for the rest of our lives.

Our Father in heaven does not wait only for Christmas, and extends His awesome gift to anyone, any time of the year. With the acceptance of that gift, we have reason for jubilant celebration from that day forward into eternity!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith ... and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ... Ephesians 2:8

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gifts Outside My Window

Spring is here and the trees are dressed with fresh foliage, already becoming lush and providing shade from the sun. From my window I can see that, even now, birds are flying to the cooler spots to look for seeds and insects. Delicate flowers begin to carefully poke their heads through those protected patches, almost as if they know that there they will escape the full intensity of summer heat.

I think of all the elements of nature - sunlight, darkness, cold, warmth, wetness, dryness - and realize the importance of balance in relationship to growth and survival. Too much of any one can cause distress or even death.

There are times when I need a balance of protection from prolonged sun exposure or intense heat. Too much can be harmful to my physical body, and I will look for the coolness of shade. Sometimes my soul, also, needs to find shade despite the season of the year. Pressures, frustrations and other breakings of the heart can leave me panting and weary for relief.

I am thankful that God, Who is already aware of my limits -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- is a constant source of shade within my deserts. All I need to do is go to Him, and there I find protection.

You have been . . . a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. Isaiah 25:4

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gifts Outside My Window

Both my neighbor and I feed the birds. I hang a hummingbird feeder from the edge of my patio roof, and she suspends one with seeds from the side of her porch. Of course, her bird friends are much more vocal than my little hummers. Especially, when my window is open, I can hear them as they have their breakfast, loudly singing and chattering with one another.

I hear those birds, I know they are there, but I can’t see them.

It’s much the same with God. I can’t see His face as I see the faces of family and friends, but I know He’s here. He gives me evidence of His presence in so many ways. I see proof of Him in His creation, even looking only as far as outside my window – sunlight, mountains, trees, even those hungry birds as they fly to and from my neighbor’s feeder. I hear His voice in the thunder and the wind and the rains.

I can’t see Him as a physical being, but I know He’s here and that He’s with me all the time. All I need to do is look outside through my window.

… I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5b

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One of the first Bible verses I ever memorized when I was a kid was Psalms 119:105 in the KJV -- “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

I always had a mental picture of the ‘lamp’ being like one of the kerosene lanterns we took camping with us, and the ‘light’ was … well … a pretty large illuminated area. Like the high beams from a car’s headlights. Or a lighthouse beam.

But I read that the ‘lamp’ referenced was one of those little olive oil lamps, like the one pictured at left. The light thrown off from one of those is enough to take, maybe, a step or two. And I thought, “That doesn’t make sense to me. God’s Word should be revealing … should show the way clearly ….”

Oh … oh yeah …. that’s not necessarily how you “live by faith and not by sight,” is it? It’s a matter of trust. Many times I CAN’T see clearly, but I follow that little light from an olive oil lamp (God’s Word) and TRUST Him to direct my steps.

Note: Herodian Oil Lamp 50 BC to AD 50 -- This type of oil lamp was common in Judea during the ministry of Jesus. It was known as the Herodian because of its widespread use during the reign of Herod the Great in Israel. This lamp was wheel-made with the spout applied by hand.