One man there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized that he had spent a long time in this condition, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
It’s difficult to wake up on Monday morning to serve the family, go back to the job, go to school or to participate in some community event (church ministry, volunteer work, etc). This becomes more of a struggle in January if you live in the northern hemisphere. Cold, cold and more cold! And it’s almost impossible to rouse if one is struggling with health issues. Monday mornings can be a challenge.
I think of the lame man Jesus healed. How horrid and hopeless everyday must have been for him. Joints stiff and muscles in atrophy mixed with unbearable pain. No way of providing for himself. Most likely, he had worn out any relationship he had. Until finally, he became a burden to society.
I love the way Jesus simply gave the lame man directions which would change his life. “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.”
God doesn’t care how long or how bad a day can be because He has the answer. What is God telling you to do this day? Is is time to get up? What would He have you pick up? Change a job, mend a relationship, repent from an offense; there are many things God would desire us to learn. Are you walking in the faith which is available to you? The only way you will find your answer is by simply following Him. It’s a life-long journey.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Back in the late 70’s I learned how to downhill ski. It was exhilarating. I think what I enjoyed the most was the fresh air and views. Devils Head ski hill, in Wisconsin, has the most gorgeous overview. Yet, Vail ski resort in Colorado displayed several breathtaking runs. I was no Olympian at the sport, but I was strong and enthusiastic.
It was shortly after those years I was introduced to Jesus, my Savior. I had never read the Bible. I new of the basic biblical stories, but thought they were something which happened years ago. In ways, I was still trying to earn my way to heaven.
In the 90’s, as I was raising a family, my husband and I took up cross-country skiing. It was affordable, plenty of local areas to ski and a lot less equipment to carry. Maybe motherhood overwhelmed my thoughts for downhill skiing. Or a back injury took the stream out of the excitement of surfing the slopes. They were wonderful years of shushing through local woodlands. Plus, an occasional hill to glide down.
During those years, I taught children the Word of God. Along the way I was learning so many things myself. There’s no better way to get familiar with the Bible than to teach someone else.
Somewhere after the turn of the century, I’m starting to sound old now, I hung up the cross-country skies for snow snows. The slower pace suited me. Crunching through a quiet wood and inhaling the serenity before me brought peace.
Around this same time something else happened, I fell in love with the Word of God. It was more than just knowing of Him, but truly seeing Him. If that sounds familiar, they are the words of Job. I spent over a year in study of the book of Job. It was a wonderful experience.
The purpose of this post is to show how the physical body has its limits. As decades unfold the physical body declines. Yet, the spiritual part of us can grow with strength. Do I miss those downhill skiing days? Yes, especially this last week as my son, Dan, has sent me photos of his time in Vail. Yet, I have the quiet of a snow covered woods and a cozy corner in my house where I can get lost in the Word of God.
The body grows weak, while the spirit thirsts for more. May you see God more and more.
P.Wolf; skier & snowshoer
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
He is worthy of your trust, and your trust is all he asks of you. He is able and willing, because he died for you. He only ask you to believe that he is able to save you and wants you to trust yourself to him.
They who dwell at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the sunrise and the sunset shout for joy.
There are few things to appreciate during the month of chilly January in Wisconsin. When wind chills are below zero and with snow piling up it’s hard to remain positive. Yet, I have found pleasure in January’s gorgeous sunsets. A snow white canvas compliments the early evening splash of color. Despite dreary January’s frosty days, the warm sky brings pleasure if only for a few minutes.
Trials in life resemble fidget January; bleak and harsh as time trickles by. It’s easy for feelings of hopelessness to over-take joy. Loneliness can creep in one’s life leaving a feeling of great defeat. Is there nothing promising during the trials of life?
Psalm 65 was written by David. It may have been a song of praise written during a drought. Also, there is information that claims it was sung later by the people coming out of captivity. I’m sure it has a rich history of praise to God through time
Near the beginning of the Psalm it says, “You who listen to prayer, all people will come to You.” Nothing has changed through the years. If heartache has found a corner of your life, remember God is available. He listens to the cry of those who love Him and have a desire to obey His laws.
It is said after the storm comes a rainbow. Consider before the darkness a sunset strikes the sky and night breaks way to morning’s sunrise.
A mouth open in unceasing prayer will result in open eyes that see faith clearly, so pray in the darkness, even if there seems to be no hope of light. When God, who is light, moves a poor sinner to plead and cry out with the commitment to continue until the blessing comes, he doesn’t even consider disregarding that poor crying heart. Perseverance in prayer is a sure sign that the day of opening the eyes of the blind is near.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
I Corinthians 15:58
It’s early morning and the local owls are hooting. I’ve sighted only a few this last year. Lovely creatures in their bold stance. Sturdy, feathered birds who seem to understand commitment.
I am amazed that in the dead of winter they begin their courtship. During February’s Valentines Day month, owls seek a mate. Their relationship will last a lifetime.
Eggs are laid in March. For a month, mother owl sits daily on the fragile eggs. Sleet, snow and stormy winds come; yet she endures. The male brings her food during this trying time. Dedicated and devoted they are in caring for their offspring.
Taking the theme of commitment a bit further, consider one’s relationship with Jesus. Is there a devotion to Him like the owls have towards each other? Dedication takes work. May God put a desire in your heart to grow in a committed relationship with Him.
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
As another year comes to a close, some people may be thankful for God’s provisions. While others, with disappointment, may still be waiting for their prayers to be answered. “Is God really there? Has He forgotten me?”
There is assurance that God is there and loves those who love Him dearly.
Waiting is a hard thing. It’s those exaggerated moments where the battle is being played out. Can you place your trust in God or will the devil have the final victory?
I saw a dozen or more robins a few weeks ago. It was an early cold morning. Frost hugged frozen branches. The air was crisp and my fingers numb. Suddenly my dog stopped. He studied a small knoll just a few feet away. It was then I heard the rustling of dried leaves. There was a flutter and pecking everywhere in the woodsy spot.
“Squirrels,” I thought.
It took awhile for my eyes to adjust to the earthy camouflage. Then I saw them. There were dozens of robins tossing debris everywhere. These humble birds had gathered in a sheltered area collecting their morning grub. The ground was too frozen for worms, so they searched for other eatable delights.
God promised to provide for the needs of those who love Him. Do you love God? Really love Him? If so, prayerfully continue to wait on God. He has a special purpose for your life. You might not get the worms you desire, but He will make sure your needs are taken care of.