Praying Heart Whispers: Can We Hear Them?

        Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.                                                                    (Galatians 6:2)

Somewhere beneath the laughter

If we listen loud enough,

We can hear the heart-sounds whisper:

“I am hurting; I am sad.

Can you help me? Do you hear me?

I am struggling; it is hard.”

Whispers speak above the laughter-

When we listen loud enough.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

We are commanded to help each other and share the burdens and sorrows of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Can we hear their heart-sounds whispering to us? Do we listen loud enough?

Do we each read the list of names and the prayer requests in our weekly prayer insert in the bulletin? Do heart-sounds begin whispering to us? Can we hear the hurts, the sorrows, the disappointments, the regrets, the frustrations, the struggles, the pains, the burdens, the loneliness, the concerns, the fears, the losses, the needs, the wants, the hopes. . .

Do we pray the whispers?

How often do we pass each other and hear only the laughter? There are whispers from the heart being spoken all around us. Sometimes, they are written down for public prayer; sometimes, they are shared quietly with those we feel closest to; sometimes, they are not spoken at all—yet God still hears.  “. . . Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?” (Psalm 44:21)

God will always hear the whispers of our hearts, but for us to hear what is unspoken, we need Jesus in our own heart to help us listen to the murmurs. Let us know each other more deeply–beyond the surface, beneath the laughter—and listen with our hearts, more like Jesus.  “. . .The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) In order to “carry each other’s burdens,” we must also look at the hearts of our brothers and sisters—and listen loud enough.

(Sharon G. Tate 07/30/17 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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A New Creature in the Lord: The Molting Process

 

21 When you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4: 21-24)

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Flower petals wither and die as new blossoms bud;

Tree branches are pruned to create new growth;

Arthropods shed exoskeletons for development.

The process of nature, as created by God,

Evidences the need to change, to shed, to die

So the life within can break free and grow anew.

Departing from the old former ways, the past, the familiar, the comfortable is never easy. Change involves the unfamiliar, an uncertainty, the unknown, an anxiety. The shells we have created for the housing of our lives seem like safe refuge, but they do not allow us to grow and mature.

Something must be shed, discarded, removed, or pruned for the beginnings of new life to sprout. To live beyond this human existence, we must cast off the old self of sin to no longer be enslaved in the exoskeleton of this life and begin as new creatures in Christ.

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. (Romans 6:6-8)

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22-23)

Shedding the exoskeleton of this life, our old shell, leaves us exposed and vulnerable as new babes in Christ. It is a time to find refuge in the safety and security of Christ, to gain strength and wisdom in the knowledge of the Word, and to seek fellowship with those who are more mature in the faith. The molting process of becoming the person God wants us to be is a time of growth, painful but joyous, as we see the change in us develop more and more clearly into the image of Christ.

17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/23/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

Longing for Our Heavenly Home

2 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)

 HOME

He

Offers

Me

Entrance

We may have many “homes” in this life—in childhood, young adulthood, in marriage, with children, in retirement, at an assisted living, in a nursing home–but all are temporal and not truly our HOME.

Mom and dad, brother and sister, wife and husband, son and daughter, peers and roommates. Hopes and sorrows, realities and dreams, joys and sadness, tears and laughter. Our “homes” on earth may have special and dear places in our hearts, but there is still always a longing unfulfilled to go HOME.

Joy without sadness, no tears or sorrows, hope and longing fulfilled, dreams no longer needed, the reality of eternity with the Lord. HOME.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

HOME: He offers me entrance. It is my choice to enter through Him.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17)

 HOME: He offers me eternity. It is my choice to accept through Him.

 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23:6)

 As we sojourn on this earth in “homes” of our making, let us always prepare for entrance to our true HOME with God. He is waiting.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/16/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Seeking God in His Creation

 

Through Him all things were made; without Him

nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)

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She lived in Texas on flat lands with short, scraggly trees.  Water was pumped out back for kitchen use. Small water tanks were located around the dusty farm land. Grandma had never been to MI before. When she came, we took her to see one of the Great Lakes. The body of water was immense with no end in sight. She was overwhelmed. And yet, she kept looking behind her, upward at the trees, in total awe. The trees had a visible end at the top, unlike the water which seemed to flow on and on, but through the treetops, light rays danced and played on the branches, shining through to the forest floor. She would gaze out at the water but always turned back to peer intently upward at the trees and the light.

The trees had been there for many years, solid and sturdy, weather-worn, but withstanding many storms of life. The older ones were living stories. The first story they could tell was of the Creator, the Light that grew the seed. There were layers to a tree, mysteries of creation within. Tree rings depicted its age, a circle of life.

We must look up to a tree. But how often do we actually stand, humbled, before God’s creation and truly stare upward in awe, capturing the beauty through the lens of the eye. Sometimes, Michigan is referred to as “God’s country.” Maybe the vast population of trees towering above the landscape, reaching upward to the sky and the light, reaching upward to God, is part of the reason for this appellation.

 “A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray.” 1

 Trees have always pointed the way to God, like all His creation. As they stand tall and dominant above us, we cannot help but seek the heavens beyond the treetops and capture the light in our own eyes. “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.” (Matthew 6:22)

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

 Did you ever carve your initials in a tree? Did you stop, look up,

and appreciate that God was there before you?

 “Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.” 1

1Kilmer, Joyce. “Trees.” poets.org

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/09/17) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GOD-GIVEN FREEDOM: Be Still and Know

 

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom. 

(Isaiah 40:28)

The eagle silently soars across the expanse of sky; the butterfly lightly lands on a petal; a bee busily buzzes overhead; birds perch precariously from the high wires; and the eagle circles carelessly back, majestic in the sky. FREE!

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)

The man hurriedly rushes to catch the plane, climbing up the escalator steps, pushing past others as he ascends; the woman tends to her flowerbeds amid consistent interruptions of texts, messages, and Facebook posts–and  she must respond; the workers try to meet the schedule of tasks to be done during their shift, missing breaks, half devouring a sandwich for lunch; parents come home from work with fast food, pack the children in the SUV, drop one off at baseball practice, one at dance class, and the other at gymnastics while they do an hour’s worth of grocery shopping and watch the time for  synchronization of child pickup. FREE?

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

 FREEDOM IS GOD-GIVEN.

Freedom is our choice to accept.

God made it simple:

 Do not worry about your life.

Your eternity is prepared.

I AM is there, waiting.

I AM is here, strengthening.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:31)

 A call to faith, a call to choose freedom through the Lord and end our servitude to the hurried rush of this world. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/02/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word