Oh the joys of a weekend at Eden, a mountain resort, away from the hot and bothered city!
Jungle-covered slopes separated by streams cascading in rocky falls
Wild flowers and vast formal gardens all displaying the Creator’s skill
Insects serenading us through the night
Deer frolicking in the freshness of the morning
A breeze through pine trees
Giant ferns towering above
Getting up early to see the sun rise between the shimmering city lights 2500 feet below and a brilliant Venus above…
A hint of light
A bit of color
Rays emerging, dividing the sky into lighter and darker wedges
Color deepening, becoming brilliant
Fiery gold focusing our attention on “the spot”…
And then finally the sun bursts forth. We can no longer stand it; we must turn our gaze away.
Birds have awakened and begun their joyful songs. A new day of God’s faithfulness has begun.
As we pass by a walled garden on the way to work, an exquisite fragrance reaches out and captivates me. How I’d love to find the source and bottle it! I try to peek over the high wall but can’t see anything particularly attractive. I have no idea what that flower looks like, but its smell is tantalizing!
How do I smell to those passing by me every day? Do I smell like Jesus? How people perceive His fragrance might differ, though.
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
It’s like the durian fruit so famous in the city where I live. Depending on your own make-up, it smells either heavenly or like garbage. But those perceptions can change. When we were first exposed to this fruit, brought as a gift by a neighbor, we had to keep it outside on the porch. But by now, I actually enjoy its aroma.
Those who may at first be repelled by the “fragrance of Christ” might later on recognize just how sweet He is. I pray it will be so!
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
“I like your jacket.” My husband didn’t hear the compliment from the flight attendant as he boarded the plane, so he repeated, “I like your jacket! It’s retro…in a good way. Members Only label! You could get a good price for it on eBay.”
We hadn’t realized we had such a treasure. My husband had assumed it was rather old-fashioned since he’s had it for maybe 15 years and probably got it second-hand even then. To us, its value is in its practical use, but it’s nice to know that it’s not dowdy after all .
I’m amazed at how God provides for us. Often when hanging up the laundry, I give thanks for this or that garment, or all of them which suit us so well and have been provided in amazing ways.
Why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
…These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (from Matthew 6:28-33)
Speaking of “lilies of the field”—I am delighting in the glorious wildflower displays here in Texas. God’s creative genius and beauty on display! Here are some I saw yesterday.
On our way to work we pass a wall covered with magnificent morning glories and creamy white flowers. In the morning, they bloom brilliantly. But on our way home in the afternoon, we see that they are shriveled and about to fall…and make way for a whole new batch coming the next morning! This reminds me of several Scriptures:
Exodus 16:17-18—Each family gathered manna and had “just enough” for a day.
Lamentations 3:23—”Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
2 Corinthians 12:9—“My grace is enough for you”—one day at a time.
1 Peter 1:24-25—”The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18—”So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
If it dies, it won’t be because I didn’t water it! For two weeks now I’ve been conscientiously tending a corner of my tiny front yard where a friend planted a tiny hibiscus twig with a beautiful yellow bud on it. The original buds and leaves disappeared within a few days and I thought it was a goner. But I kept watering as instructed, and now there seems to be a new green leaf on it!
My mom is great with plants and my dad was an avid gardener. My own gardening efforts began and ended the summer Dad gave me a little plot in his garden. I planted four cabbage seeds. Two of them came up and I watched, fascinated as real heads of cabbage formed in my spot! Until the day when the bugs riddled them and I hoed them down in frustration.
I’m going to try to be more patient with this hibiscus because I look forward to enjoying a beautiful plant like that. It reminds me to be faithful in other endeavors where I don’t see any progress, watering them with prayer and maybe sometimes even with tears. If it’s God’s work, it will turn out beautiful.
By the way, check out this website for a feast of unfurling flowers: http://tinyurl.com/3gxmeze