Saturday, October 12, 2013

SATURDAY SPIRITUAL UPLIFT


Finding Time in His Word

About four years ago, we brought home a tiny gray tabby rescue cat that I named Lilybits. Having shared a home with two-dozen other cats, she was delighted to have the house to herself and starving for attention. She was the perfect remedy for the loneliness I felt in our empty nest.

Lily followed me everywhere like a puppy and she still greets us excitedly at the door when we come home. Most days I was at home with her and we were both quite content with the situation. But when I went back to school full time, Lily wasn’t too happy. At the end of the day, instead of hopping up on my lap, she would jump up on Jack’s lap and turn around to look at me as if to say, “Ha! You’ve been leaving me every day, so now I’m too busy for you.”

Well, yes, I am anthropomorphizing my cat, but don’t we all have moments we read into our pets or even other people’s actions or facial expressions, whose motives we don’t always know or understand? Perhaps I shouldn’t have felt slighted, but my feelings were hurt.

On Fridays, I am usually home and have a chance to play with Lily. She chases a red laser light dot Jack refers to as “redbug”. Or I may chase her while she runs to hide under the bed. But my favorite time is when I am sitting quietly, reading or writing, and Lilybits jumps up onto my lap.

For several months, while I was getting used to working outside the home and came home exhausted, I had been doing quick devotions in the evening. Without time for deeper study of the Bible I really missed hearing the Lord speak to me through His word. I finally decided that even 15 minutes in the Bible with the purpose of listening to what Jesus had for me was better than nothing at all. That first week, on Friday I had some extra time to dig into scripture.
Image of Gutenberg Bible from Wikimedia Commons and is
in the public domain.

As I sat with the Bible and a small notebook on my lap, Lilybits saw fit to make herself at home, curling up and snuggling down into my lap until she fell into a peaceful sleep for quite a long time. I thanked the Lord for the fact that my cat finally noticed me—the one who feeds her, fusses over her, plays with her and usually cleans the litter box. Then it suddenly occurred to me that maybe God, who gave His only Son for me, who cares for me every day and is no farther away than a prayer, probably sometimes feels like I do when Lily ignores me. He would be even happier that I was finally sitting still and spending time with Him. Though I can’t physically climb into his lap, He wants me to rest in Him. The depth of Jesus’ love for me is so much greater than the love I have for my cat or even my children. This definitely put things in perspective.

Was the Lord trying to tell me this all along? With mercy and love He can minister to me through the touch of six pounds of a furry gray creature with big green eyes. When I drive down the road behind our home and see the tree branches budding green I’m compelled at times to thank Him for the beauty of spring and how He keeps the times and seasons in motion. When friends or family members take the time to encourage me, He is reaching out to me through them. Always He is wooing me back.

Jesus is waiting for me. When He seems far away, I am the one who moved. He cannot be moved. He sends gentle nudges until His word calls to me and I know I must take time to be with Him. And again I start to read my Bible expectantly, asking for guidance and praying that I will know in my heart what He has especially for me that day. I don’t know how many times I will fail and have to start over again, but I know my Lord is the one who told the Samaritan woman at the well that He would give her living water which would forever quench her thirst. He has given me that water of eternal life and His Holy Spirit. And He is there for each one of His children—always.

. . . Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:39-42 NLT
. . . And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20 NLT
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT

Dear Jesus, we thank you that you’ve called us to yourself. We long to draw closer. Please open the eyes and ears of our hearts. Show us in your word what you have for us that we may be more like you and work channels of your love and truth in this fallen world.

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