Transformation Garden - July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4: 8
N.I.V.

“Break into our darkness…
with the light of Your presence.

Split the cosmic silence and speak in the void
of our shapeless lives.

Plant seeds of love in barren hearts;
Nourish us with Your life-giving Spirit.

Mould us, so we become the image of Yourself
and every face of our universe
Display the stamp of Your creative love.
Then help us rest in You.”

Carol Dixon

EXPLORATION:

“Safe and Secure”

“Does the minnow understand the oceantides and periodic currents, the trade winds and monsoons and moon’s eclipses, by all of which the condition of its little creek is regulated, and may, from time to time, be quite overset and reversed? Such a minnow is man; his creek, this planet earth; his ocean, the immeasurable all; his monsoons and periodic currents, the mysterious course of providence.”

Thomas Carlyle

Am I willing to accept God’s will for my life?

INSPIRATION:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Ecclesiastes 3: 11
New International Version

When I was growing up, going to my grandparents’ ranch in a beautiful canyon in Arizona was my summer highlight.

I’ll never forget one year, going out into the orchard where peach trees were loaded with what I thought was ripe fruit. I plucked a peach off the tree and bit into it, only to wince and pucker at the bitter taste that filled my mouth.

My grandfather laughed as he watched my face twist into funny shapes. I couldn’t spit the fruit out of my mouth fast enough.

Then Grandpa gave me a lesson on how to tell if the fruit was ready to eat or not. It was a lesson I didn’t forget!

Circumstances in our lives are a lot like the fruit of those trees.  We have everything worked out -- or so we think. Everything looks ripe and ready!

We have the “right” boyfriend and we begin to plan our future. Then, suddenly, for no reason at all, he walks out the door. He gets cold feet. He has issues. We have pain – and loneliness – and abandonment. The future that once looked so bright seems dimmed, even demolished. And we ask, “Why?”

Or perhaps, like myself, you got a phone call one night. It was my mom. “Daddy is dead!” He was only in his fifties. I had just seen him – and he was strong and healthy.

Out for an evening walk – he dropped dead. No warning. No goodbye. That was it! And I screamed, “Why?” How could a God I thought loved me let something so bad happen to someone so good?  “How could you let me think everything was going so well, only to pull the rug out from under my feet,” I hollered toward heaven hoping Someone would hear?

I would be a liar if I told you I wasn’t angry…disillusioned…and betrayed.

That was over 25 years ago. Time has marched on. Anger has been replaced by peaceful acceptance. Why? Is it because I am some spiritual heroine who can rise above life’s calamities? Don’t count on it! No, I’ll tell you what has happened to change my once enraged soul.

I’ve watched God at work.

C.S. Lewis who, himself, fought with God over the painful circumstances in his life wrote: “The best is perhaps what we understand the least.” I don’t clearly see the reasons for my dad’s sudden death, however, I have seen enough of God’s hand at work to realize that even in this event so hard to bear – God was there – sustaining and strengthening me – and my entire family.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “accept” this way: “To receive willingly.” Make no mistake – acceptance isn’t resignation. It isn’t saying, “I’m giving up.” Acceptance is recognition, I recognize Who is in charge of my life. I accept the path my Guide has chosen for me --- knowing well it may not be the easiest path but that it will be the best path. As David wrote in Psalm 139: 3, 6, 17, “You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways…Your infinite knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high above me, I cannot reach it…how precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them.” (Amplified Bible).

You may be frightened…the path you are traveling may be unfamiliar…and the journey may be lonely – however, God is preparing the soil of your life for the seed He is planting. Harvest-time is right around the corner. Are you ready to accept His will for your life?

“Behind the dim unknown standeth God within the shadows keeping watch above His own.”

James Russell Lowell
The Present Crisis

AFFIRMATION:

  Letting Go

“Let go of the place that holds.
Let go of the place that flinches.
Let go of the place that controls.
Let go of the place that fears.
Just let the ground support me.
Listen, the wind is breathing in the trees.
Sensing the edge of soft and hard,
I follow the unseen path.
Walking in the dark night,
I practice faith,
building confidence in the unknown.
Walking in the dark night,
I practice courage,
accepting the vastness
of what I cannot see.”

From a poem by Stephanie Kaza

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world. 100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.

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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

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