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The Parable of the Mallard

I was driving home from the train station around 6pm and I saw a mallard fly up from the field at my right. Beautiful bird – I admired him all the way to the upper right corner of my windshield where I heard a thud.

Tears sprang up. I couldn’t stop because of the cars behind me. I prayed fervently for the mallard – that he just had the wind knocked out of him, that nothing would be broken, that his mate wouldn’t be left forlorn.

As I was getting ready for bed that night, I wondered why I have such a tender heart. God would not have deliberately hurt the mallard, so there must be a lesson to learn.

Why did the mallard hit my car?

He didn’t have enough altitude.
He misjudged the clearance he needed.
He wasn’t flying hard enough.
He crossed the road too soon.

How does the mallard apply to me?

I’m losing altitude – spending too much time in the world and less time with God.
I’m about to misjudge the clearance I need – I need more time in the Word and in prayer.
I’m not flying hard enough – I’ve been slacking off.

Careful – Satan’s coming down the road; circumstances are coming too.

Am I ready to cross the road and fly safely above them?

Under my own power, I’ll get knocked for a loop; but on His wings I will safely cross the road.

The Parable of the Spider Webs and Raindrops

It rained last night and I’m watching raindrops fall from the trees as the wind blows. Spider web strands glisten in the morning light. I would think raindrops are heavier than spider web strands and would break them, but apparently not. Come to think of it, I’ve seen pictures of raindrops caught in spider webs.

Life is like a spider web strand – thin and tenuous. Just as raindrops don’t break spider webs, but add to their beauty and wonder, so too teardrops don’t break our lives, but add to our beauty and wonder. The spider web strand is deceptively strong – and so are we.

Buster Brown & the Baby Bunny

It was a warm and pleasant Sunday afternoon and I was mowing.  As usual, Buster Brown was close by.  I was going around the evergreen closest to the house when I heard the terrified squeaks of a baby bunny (he’s picked up baby bunnies before).  I knew exactly where to look – in Buster Brown’s mouth and I could see a part of the poor little thing.  I could hear all of it – crying out for all it was worth, with every fiber of its little being.  I had Buster Brown by the collar and since this wasn’t the first time I tried to teach him about catch and release, I knew exactly what to do.  One well-placed thump on the top of his head and a wet, skinny, baby bunny was trembling in the dirt.  As I started off to the back door with Buster Brown firmly in tow, I saw the mama rabbit dash by on the other side of the fence.  When I got back, the baby bunny was gone, but the lessons about how God works in my life were just beginning.

 There are times when we’re safe and secure in our little nest, but curious about the outside world and we stick our nose out a little too far to see what’s out there.  There are times when we’re safe and secure in our little nest, minding our own business and the enemy reaches in and grabs us.  How frightening it is to be picked up and carried off by another creature.  How frightening it is to be so high off the ground.

 We have to make sure we’re not paralyzed by fear.  We have to cry out with every fiber of our being.  It’s our only chance of getting help.  Our Abba is close by and ready to help.  God’s first thought is to rush to the aid of His little one.  God responds to the cries of His little ones even more than a mother does.  His heart stops at our first cry and breaks with our discomfort, fear and pain.  He rushes to our aid, sending the Holy Spirit or a fellow saint to thump the enemy on the head with the Word of God and make him drop us.  Unhindered by fear, unimpeded by lack of power, God is there doing whatever needs to be done as soon as it needs to be done.  He knows the best way to counter attack and rescue us.  He scoops us up and takes us back to the nest, comforting, healing, and scolding if necessary.  Then He stays with us until we finally fall back to sleep, once again safe and secure in His arms.  

In God’s Breast Pocket

Me: Excuse me. God? Um, I think there’s been a mistake. My life just isn’t what I thought it would be. I always believed my beloved husband and I would grow old together, but he left me for someone else. So then I thought You would send another husband to love me and provide for me, and help around the house, but You haven’t and it’s hard work and it takes so much time and I’m a bit lonely.

God: Let’s see. We’ll get out your Book of Life and check. Janet Jean, right? White house with all the trees? No, that’s right. It’s just you and Buster Brown.

Oh. Well, how about the job? It’s downtown and that’s a long commute and (I gave God the list, but won’t bore you with it).

Let’s see. Downtown job – no, that’s right where We have you.

Oh. Well, about all those hard things in my life (another long list). Were they supposed to happen?

Supposed to happen? Not really – My original plan was Eden for everyone. However people keep making the wrong choices. People keep choosing to sin and go their own way. But whatever happened to you because of your poor choices or because of the poor choices of others, We made sure We were right there with you through the hard times and that you had everything you needed to learn and grow in spite of them.

Oh. Well, is it going to get better? Easier? Will I

Now Janet Jean, you know I won’t tell you. I will take care of the future and help you with the present just like I’ve done in the past. Remember?

Oh yes! I remember. Thank You so much for all You’ve done for me. You took care of everything and saw me through so much. I do appreciate You. It’s just that I was hoping…

I know My child. Remember when I asked you to give Me your hopes and dreams? You were expecting Me to put them in a pretty little box with your name on it, tie it in a ribbon and put it on a shelf. But what did you see Me do?

(With a tearful smile and closed eyes) You put them in Your breast pocket.

(With a tender touch) Here they are My child, and here they’ll stay. You’ll be fine – just trust Me. You will do well. Let Me help. Here, let Me show you your Book before you go:

Janet Jean, My Beloved Everything

The Three Doors

God dwells in us and abides in us through the Holy Spirit.  He comes to dwell in us at the moment of conversion, but He’s shut away inside us and we must let Him out, we must consciously interact with Him, but how? 

 

I remembered Revelation 3:20 where Jesus stands at the door and knocks and I remembered the painting where the door handle is only on the inside.  So I saw the first door as the door to our soul – it is a hinged door that we pull open toward us to let Jesus and the Holy Spirit in.

 

Once we invite someone into our lives, we spend time together getting to know them, learning who they are, where they came from, how they think, what they believe.  I saw the door to my mind as a sliding door, like a closet or patio door.  A sliding door that removes our blinders (after all God’s thoughts are not our thoughts).  I slide the door open so we can freely exchange thoughts back and forth.

 

After we get to know someone, feelings develop and grow, so the third door is the door to our hearts.  I see it as a set of shutter doors that we unhook from the inside and push out to let our selfishness out and God’s love in.  The wider we open the doors, the more light comes in, the more fresh air and God’s love fills our hearts.  The more He can love us, the more we can love Him, love others and love ourselves.

The GPS Parable

I bought a GPS to help me drive to unfamiliar places. The GPS talks to me and tells me when and where to turn. I went to a conference in St. Charles – a place I’d never been to. The GPS didn’t seem to be connecting with the satellite from my apartment complex – too much interference. Doubting that I’d be able to get this high tech gadget to work, I went into Mapquest and printed directions. Lo and behold, as soon as I got away from the apartment, the satellite connection was made and I was in business. So I programmed the address and started out.

Dilemma! Mapquest and the GPS had conflicting opinions on the route I should take. I had a decision to make. To trust the map – where I could see the entire route – or to trust the GPS that was only giving me one section at a time. I decided the GPS had the latest and greatest information, put the paper map aside and trusted the voice giving me one direction at a time.

Mapquest is like the world. The world tells us the pathway to “success”. Follow these steps and you’ll achieve X. GPS is God’s Positioning Spirit. He knows exactly where I am. He sees the whole picture. He knows the best pathway. The problem is He only gives us one direction at a time and His directions often conflict with what the world thinks, says and does. So each of us has to decide – are we going to trust what we can see in the world, or are we going to trust God’s Positioning Spirit?

The False Signals Parable

God allowed a small stroke in my life. The blood flow to my brain was cut off for just a moment and most of my right occipital lobe died, so I no longer saw to my left. Part of the lobe was not affected, and since God designed the brain so amazingly, the unaffected part began to stand in the gap and rebuild what was missing.

Just like a child makes many mistakes when they’re learning, sometimes my brain now makes mistakes in interpreting the visual signals it gets from my eyes. This frequently happens when it’s raining.

I was walking to the train station downtown. It was raining. There are a lot of metal grates in the sidewalks downtown. My brain was telling me that the grates were an inch above the sidewalk, not even with it. Now, I knew the grates were flat with the sidewalk, but that is not what I was seeing. So as I walked along, I had to tell myself over and over again that what I was seeing was not really true.

As we walk with God in our life, we are learning certain truths about God. That He loves us and has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, that with Him in life we have a future and hope. But Satan comes along with his lies and tells us we’re unlovable, or failures. Satan has so many lies he tries to feed us. Just keep telling yourself over and over again that it’s not true and speak the love and promises of God into your life. God has more truths than Satan has lies!