Serious Reflection: The Last Day of High School … On the last day of high school for my son, I woke up from a dream that remained vividly etched in my mind. The dream transported me back to a time when he was still light enough to carry. Exhaustion had taken over my little one, so I held him in my arms. As my son rested his head on my shoulder, his adorable hand reached out toward my face, so I held his hand in mine. At that moment I woke. That image of his small hand lingered in my heart and mind. The sweet reflection followed me as I went about my day, bringing tears to my eyes.
This segment of our lives has ended. My son will soon leave for college and go to make his own way in life. With that thought, a prayer forms on my lips. God, bless and keep my son. May each step he takes be ordered by You. Make a place for him in this world that he might thrive and grow in you. Give him laughter and joy. May he be ever before You and in Your care, God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Inspirational Thought—Always Pray … When I was eleven years old, I remember my parents praying for my oldest sister, Barbara, who at the time was twenty-six years old. She had strayed from her Christian upbringing. In fact, she was so far from a Christian lifestyle that when a preacher friend came to visit her, she prayed, “Lord, please don’t let him find out about my sinful way of life.” Wow, interesting prayer!
My parents began to pray two hours a day for her, one hour each. Soon, her boyfriend who would later become her husband was included in their prayers.
Nine years later, God answered their prayers. What my brother-in-law called the “longest altar call in history” occurred. He drove 150 miles to pray with my parents and asked Jesus into his heart. Shortly after that, Barbara returned to her faith in God.
When I’m discouraged about unanswered prayer, I remember my parents’ faithful persistence, and it helps me. I remind myself to “always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
It’s a Tornado!
“I wish something exciting would happen.” It was a childhood mantra for my sister and me when we were bored. Don’t get the wrong idea. We never wanted anyone to get hurt. Our hope for a sensational adventure didn’t include trauma for anyone.
One day during a drive to my mother’s house, I received my wish. The clouds had turned an angry blackish-green color. The rain came down hard. Each second that ticked by, the driving conditions became more and more hazardous.
Then I saw it. To my left, it started high in the clouds and extended down to the ground, a whirl of black destruction. The tornado spun like an expanding drill bit. It whirled and then transformed into a tool of destruction preparing to extinguish everything in its path. My guess was the twister was about a mile from us, but I had no idea which direction it would turn next.
I looked over at my mother. “Should I pull over? We could lie flat in the ditch.”
“No, I’m going to pray,” my mother said. She proceeded to say a short simple prayer, and as she prayed, the mean-looking coil changed to a black, misty substance and pulled back up into the clouds above it.
I have received both my desires—I experienced something exciting and no one was hurt. I saw a breathtaking power of nature disperse before my eyes that day.
Now if I feel that strange desire for the dramatic, I think about the way the tornado touched down to the ground: large, magnificent, overpowering, bent-on-destruction. I say, no, thank you. Too dangerous. I’ll settle on boring. (o:
Inspirational Thought: Perfect Failure
Too often in my life, I’ve feared failure. Justified or not, many times I have feelings of inadequacy. Could my attempts at life ever make a difference?
When my children were young, I worried I couldn’t be a good enough mother. The thought process was a familiar one. An insecure emotion would overtake me, and I would try to fight it off. One summer day I stood with my family on vacation in Philadelphia and listened to the guide talk about the story of the Liberty Bell, not expecting to hear anything that could help me with my fear of failure. Unknown to me, I was about to receive an object lesson for living my life.
I stared along with other tourists at the Liberty Bell, an icon of freedom and the Declaration of Independence. I waited to hear some profound story about the bell which since childhood had been up there in my mind as being perfect.
“In 1773,” the guide said, “Issac Norris was mortified that with a stroke of the bell, it cracked. Two Philadelphia foundry workers, John Pass and John Stow, were given the job to recast the cracked bell which ended in failure. Everyone hated the tone of the bell and any attempt to recast or reorder another bell ended in disaster.” The guide lifted the edge of his mouth in a half-smile. “They hired someone who didn’t know enough about casting a bell.”
Flabbergasted, I gawked at one of the most famous icon I’ve ever known. The bell has been a profound symbol of freedom and liberty for generations yet was imperfect. I realize I needed to give God my inadequacies and trust him to work out wonderful, perfect things. In his kingdom my work can live on and BE successful because of him, not me.
Now when I have fear failure, I remember the Liberty Bell.
God strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Inspirational Story of the Week: Words of Love
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. — Hebrews 13:5
Kim never thought her marriage would fail, but it had.
She sat in her car at the grocery store. With her heart heavy and fresh tears on her cheeks, she prayed, “Lord, I know you are always with me, and you are still God. But I would really like to hear that you love me.”
Exiting the car, she entered the store and went up and down the first aisle. It wasn’t long before a woman approached her. “Excuse me. I’ve never had this happen to me before, and it might seem crazy to you, but I feel God wants me to tell you, he loves you.”
Kim could only mumble a feeble thank you. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she continued shopping. Before leaving the store, she knew she must thank the woman more adequately, but she was gone.
Our God is faithful and sends his messages of love through his Word, through his Holy Spirit, and through his angels.
Lord, may I hear your messages of love for me today as well as being an instrument of love to others.
The Lord’s love reaches us in our darkest moments.
Read Hebrews 13:1-8