Sun and Shield

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Psalm 84:11 NLT
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

Are you feeling unsettled? Are you wondering if there is a God? Are you wondering if He hears your prayers, moments of despair, or your requests? We all have days, maybe weeks or years of questioning? Does He see me?

Sometimes our requests are answered quickly, sometimes it feels like silence and no answers and sometimes it’s “my child, I love you and wait”!

I am learning God can be working behind the scenes and in my hurry to a conclusion I am sooooo impatient. Isn’t self control a fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5 is a gold mine of instruction.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT
[22] But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. [25] Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. [26] Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

If you aren’t feeling God answering your prayers, maybe what you think is for you is not a good thing.

He would never withold His best from you. Maybe His timing is not now or ever. He can be trusted. Remember He knows the number of your days and holds you in the palm of His hand.

Psalm 139:16-18 NLT
[16] You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. [17] How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! [18] I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT
[15] “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! [16] See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.

I have been feeling the need for the Word of God intensify. His words are nuggets of gold. They are not just words on a page but wisdom from above. It doesn’t matter if you were born in times past or present.

I used to think the Bible was filled with stories unrelateable but the more I read and meditate on His Word, the more I see our human nature doesn’t change very much over generations. Sadly, we are a mess without our Savior.

The human race tends toward its own sin nature: selfishness, wanting our own way, pride, jealousy, survival of the fittest, and me me me. I see these traits in myself and I cringe.

This mindset causes conflict leading to unrest, leading to fear, anxiety, depression and maybe war.

Look at the state of our world, our state, our community, maybe even our homes at times. We can be the bearer of unrest and conflict or choose,instead, to be a person who speaks life, pauses to bring words of affirmation, sprinkled with discipline in love, forgiveness and prayer over destructive communication.

It always boils down to choice. I choose peace not victimhood. Love in truth over fear and avoidance.

When I have spoken in fear or anger, I am learning to repent and turn back to Gods ways. It isn’t easy to break habits but it must be done. I must cast aside sins to break generational cycles.

Cast all cares upon Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 4

What about you? Be the voice in the wilderness filtering your speech after mediating on the word of God. His love is unfailing, He is our strength.

Psalm 117: 1 – 2 1 Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. 2 For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!

Hummingbird

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Hummingbirds are amazing creatures. Did you know they eat small insects, larvae and spiders in addition to their main source of energy nectar? They come in many colors and live 3 – 5 years. Did you know that their heartbeats at 1,260 / min? Amazing!!

They fly at a speed of 61 mph. They are quick to retreat when startled. They are 7.5 to 13 cm in length, tiny but mighty. I watched a few bathe in a stone fountain on a trip to Glen Eyrie Castle, Colorado Springs.

Seeing the freshly bathed beauties, I was reminded of my first interaction and a lesson from the past.

On a sunny, summer afternoon, I attempted to share the act of repentance to my child. I was blessed with a visit from a beautiful hummingbird as I shared God’s goodness and mercy. It had been a difficult day with conflicts and harsh words spoken. I needed to use a teaching lesson.

I started off explaining, Its hard to ask people we hurt and the Lord to forgive us because our sin nature fights within us. We have to admit our mistakes and humble ourselves.

I shared with my child a time when I didn’t want to admit my sin and how “it bunched up in my heart and made me feel more bitter and less forgiving of another”. “It’s a trap”, I relayed, “set by the enemy to keep your heart bound with chains”. I encouraged my child saying, “Let Him help you with the sin ( mistake), He really will warm your heart and guide you if you ask Him”.

There was pride, tears, anger in her eyes and yet I pursued the heart of my child. We sat on the green metal tandem swing, I said softly, “I will be here as long as it will take. God is here waiting for you to talk to Him. Admitting we made a mistake lets Jesus know that we want to start over and be made new again. When we accept Him into our heart, Jesus, wants us to let Him be the lead spokesperson. He has more wisdom and will guide us if we let him, even big people need to ask for help”.

We want to hide or fly away maybe at the speed of a hummingbird, instead of admit our human weakness. Our hearts hurt deeply as we struggle between seeking the peace of Jesus and the forgiveness from our Savior. Grace and mercy await us. The alternative is a feeling of brokenness and feeling a huge wall between us and Jesus. The enemy hopes we will choose our fleshy nature and stay disconnected from our Creator God.

The push and pull of this struggle reminds me of a tug of war rope. Who will win? Two choices: Confess our sin, seek forgiveness for sins, repent or stay disconnected?

We must make the choice independent of a parent or any other person.

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My child confessed her sin, asked forgiveness, and we hugged as the swing continued to move to and fro. At that moment, a wonderful multicolored hummingbird flew directly in front of our faces. It peered at each one of us as it suspended in midair. It seemed to nod at each of us, then flew through the trees. I truly felt like that was a blessing from above. You see, we live in an area that is pretty dry and I hadn’t seen a hummingbird before. I have been fascinated with this amazing graceful messenger from heaven ever since.

Matthew 6:26 NLT
[26] Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

The grace and mercy of Jesus is attainable. Moments like this one, remind me to look for His hand in every day experiences. Being able to share the experience with my child was breathtaking.

Psalm 62:2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

He will show glimpses of His Creation in new ways. The God who made each beautiful creature wants to know you. He uses even a hummingbird to teach a Mom and Child. Let Him be your Rock, take the risk and let your heart beat to the rhythm of Jesus.