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THE VOICE

While having dinner at an unusually loud restaurant I noticed a young couple seated in a corner booth. It was obvious they were on a first date, but the surrounding cacophony didn’t seem to bother them one bit; it was as if they were all alone. The lesson is simple; we hear what we are dialed-in to hear. Life can be very noisy at times, but with desire and concentration, I can hear God’s voice if I really want to. The problem is that sometimes I don’t like what He says. But if I treasure His words more than those of all others, I will have a steady stream of His wisdom. Lord God, You do not hide truth from Your children. You store up wisdom for those who seek Your voice and freely offer guidance for those who follow Your ways.

IRRATIONAL STRUGGLE

Like a wounded animal that bites at the hand that feeds it or snaps at the veterinarian that intends to bring healing, I sometimes irrationally struggle against the tenderness of God’s embrace and provision. It is only when my heart trusts His care can I receive the full benefits of His helping hand. We were created in His Image but our souls still bear the scars of the ravages of worldliness. Though He Himself carried our sorrows and healed our woundedness upon Calvary’s hill, we pull turn away at times from His work to reshape us into what is best for us. Blessed Father, forgive my attempts to resist. Through Your boundless care my sins are atoned and by Your Spirit I am being re-established daily in the fullness of Your salvation.

THE PLACE I NEED TO BE

THE ENVY TRAP

There is a razor thin line between admiration and envy, making it dangerously easy to slip from one to the other. Respect and esteem can inspire us and provoke us to reach for greater heights, but when we cross over into personal comparisons, jealousy or judgmentalism, we become trapped in envy and resentment settles in. In the final analysis, envy is unbelief; rooted in lack of trust in God’s shepherding care and fed by pouting pride. For me to be jealous of another person’s blessing is, in effect, to repudiate the Goodness of our Heavenly Father toward me. LORD, You are the Way, the Truth and the Giver of Life. Deliver me from mortal traps and help me trust Your work, ways and means implicitly. Blessed be Your Name.

DISHONEST SCALES

Proverbs proclaims: “The Lord detests dishonest scales.” This is not His hatred of inaccuracy; it is His abhorrence of dishonesty. The Perfect One judges no one for imperfection, for without Him nothing is perfect, nor can be. Rather, it is the prideful attempt to set up false scales that elicits His wrath. Ignorance is not an excuse, yet He is merciful to the innocently uninformed. But when we pridefully attempt to establish a new scale of truth to fit our own desires or needs, His anger is roused. Was that not the Deceiver’s intention in the Garden when he tried to reset the scale by saying “eat the forbidden fruit, it will make you like God”? Like God, but without the need for God. My LORD, forgive my dangerous attempts to redefine truth. You Alone are Almighty God. Demolish every false scale within me.

PRESENT

Time spent pondering the life-transforming power of God's presence is time well invested. Bidden, or not bidden, He is always near, yet often remains unacknowledged. Awareness of His presence is a major game changer. Upon awakening each day I must recalibrate my mind, body and spirit to recognize and welcome God’s Presence. Throughout each day I must practice disciplines that cultivate God’s Presence. At the close of each day, I must trustingly rest in God’s Presence, casting all my cares upon Him. Dearest Lord, grant me grace to pull away from the dizzying anxiety of this world and lay my head on Your chest. Let my very breath rise and fall in cadence with Yours and help me be schooled in Your Presence.

DOOM AND BLESSING

Both doom and blessings always seem to be just ahead and coming my way. At times, one appears more imminent than the other, but one or the other always seems to be circling the landing strip and on final approach. As it turns out, neither have ever actually arrived exactly the way I had previously imagined, nor had the impact I had envisioned. In fact, what appears as doom often comes laden with hidden blessings upon arrival, and “blessings” often contain unexpected complications. The lesson here?...“In everything give thanks”. Blessed Father, come what may, I am more than a conqueror because You love me and are working everything for my good. I get it. Baruk ha Shem Adonai!!