Leap of Faith or Faith Leaping?

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 6:26)

**********************************************************

“A noiseless patient spider,

I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,

Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,

It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,

Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.” 1

Sometimes, in isolation, we may feel more intensely the anxiety and fear of reaching out beyond what we regard as our safe zone of comfort. In that frame of mind, we may choose not to confront these feelings and turn back from the opportunities that God puts before us to explore possibilities that challenge us, make a difference to others, and/or create growth within us.

Creatures in nature just seem to trust what God has given them and reach out without anxiety or fear. The spider “launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself.” The filaments were there from God to launch and extend beyond to a place that may not be seen or sure, but the spider was “ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.” What does this creature know that we do not know?  Or do we know, deep inside, but have that knowledge encased in fear and uncertainty—so we unreel nothing?

How can we “explore the vacant vast surrounding” God provides for us? “In my small town?” we might ask questionably. “What opportunities? Where would I launch forth—here?” These are questions that keep us grounded on the “little promontory.” Standing isolated. Feeling safe.

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:24-28)

Safe can be dangerous, not comforting. Safe can mean judgment that we will fear.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  (Ephesians 5:15-17)

The Lord’s will is for us to reach out, to extend ourselves so we touch those around us and even those whom we think are beyond us. With the Lord, nothing is impossible. It is we who limit ourselves.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

 Let us launch forth with the talents, abilities, and gifts God has blessed us with and reach out where He wants us to go to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

1 Whitman, Walt. “A Noiseless Patient Spider” 1st Stanza.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/17/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Advertisements

God Hugs: His Ever-Present Arms Wait . . .

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.”

(I Corinthians 13:13)

                                    *******************************************

I received a hug from the past today. “Consider yourself hugged,” the note read.

I stumbled upon it while sifting through papers and files that I intended to either discard and shred or refile and keep. This one was a keeper. We all need a hug from the past now and then to remind us of the  people God placed in our life during times of need.

The times when we needed that hug, He was always there too. Sometimes, we may have forgotten to reach out and receive it from Him though. In the midst of pain, loss, despair, frustration, depression, anxiety, fear—did we forget His presence? Did we forget His love?

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (I John 4:7)

If we know God, then we know love. He embraces us with His love while we are unworthy.

“God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

 What greater example of love could there be than a Father who sacrifices His only begotten Son to save those who forget Him, use His name in vain, deny Him, and think they don’t need Him? He still loves us.

“God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

The “great love with which He loved us” is always available. When our need is for Him and His comfort, turning to Him with humility and awe, He wraps us with His hug of love.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

Let us remain in His embrace, His arms enveloping us in His love. Our pain, loss, despair, frustration, depression, anxiety, fear can be relieved, softened, and dispelled when we remember to reach out and receive His hugs of love.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (I John 4:16)

  “Consider yourself hugged.”

God’s message comes to us through His Word,

written in the past but always available now and forever.

**In memory of Christa, who died of cancer. We will share many more hugs one day, my friend. With love.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/10/19)  teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word