5:00 a.m.~~My quiet time with the Lord, today.
Thunder crashed and split the night with drumrolls of God's power. I love thunderstorms. I lay in the dark listening in awe of the Lord and His might. Torrents of rain pounded against the ground. It was indeed awesome.
I thought about the gardening I wouldn't be able to do today; saturated soil does not turn over. I wondered if the sun would shine at all. Not that it mattered, that was entirely up to the Lord to do as He so pleased. I read a scripture with my devotional today. The last few days I've felt the pummeling of my spirit, the beating of the rain against my best efforts to be what the Lord wants me to be. At times I've felt like Elijah under the juniper tree--refreshed by the Lord's provision, then depressed with His revision in my life.
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain..." (James 5:17. For three and a half years the earth was without rain because God honored Elijah's prayer. "Then he prayed again, and the sky poured forth rain and the earth produced its fruit." (18.
I wondered. As torrents of rain pummeled my garden, would there be a rose left clinging to the bush?
Later in the misty gray morning I ventured out to delight in this rain-kissed rose. It had barely opened its tightly formed bud from yesterday. I love the little droplets of water resting on its soft coral petals, don't you? It makes me think of refreshment and God's sustaining grace.
I sat on my backporch most of the afternoon drinking in the warmth of the sun, sipping coffee and reading. Far better than housework, blogging, or bookkeeping. Lulled to sleep by the mating calls of cardinals and doves, I slept two hours till awakened by the buzz of cicadas in the branches of my pecan trees. It was glorious.
The sun had warmed the earth and the grass was damp but not soaking. I weeded the rosebed and noticed the rose I'd taken a picture of that morning was now huge. So effortlessly it had opened to the sun in a splendorous display of beauty and grace. What work did it do to produce itself, I thought. I recalled a verse I'd focused on in the Bible study I taught last evening at church.
"It is God Who works in you to will and to act according to His purpose." (Philippians 2:13.
"It is God who works" in me--not I in me. It's not my efforts that produce the will or the act or the outcome of His purpose. Oh, my efforts and my will may produce a pre-planned purpose of my own making and choosing, but for God's purpose, it is He Who is working in me to bring about His purpose. That rosebud opened and displayed its splendor without one bit of help from me. Yet it fulfilled its God-given purpose to be a rose. And all it did was rest in God's care and provision.
The beauty in that thought is that I can rest in Him to bring about His purpose for my life. As I open my face to His Son and drink in the refreshment of His Spirit. It rains on the rich and the poor. "But blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3.
In the weakness of my spirit, God's strength is made perfect. In my inadequacy to meet a task is God's adequacy to fulfill it. In my faithlessness is God's faithfulness. In my brokenness is God's sustaining grace and restoration. Sometimes it's hard to rest in the Lord and let Him have His way with me. Sometimes it's plain hard to be a rose. [copyrighted, SelahV Today, 2007]