Tag: water

Does it feel like you are missing some blessings?

Sometimes water is let go from a nearby lake and the water level drops. When that happens, the most noticeable thing is there are fewer birds on the water and rocks lay exposed. At first glance the water looks shallow and scummy and the banks muddy and messy. As if the water was the blessing and it had been taken away.

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Do you feel like some of the blessings you enjoy have been removed? For a time during Covid, many of us are missing comforts we had before.

When we have the blessing of good friends and family close around us, meeting together, celebrating together, we revel in it. We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing of good times when we have them. And so often, take them for granted. It seems to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing. Like the water level dropping in the lake. This was my brief conclusion.

Ducks_'n_trashWhere the trail comes near the water’s edge, I stepped off to have a closer look. From there I could see things… the ducks and geese had gathered in this inlet to feast on algae that had grown on the underwater rocks, now exposed because of the lowered water level.  What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans that had stuck in the muddy bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocky edge to pull them out.  So, this “clean up” effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when we feel blessings have been withheld for a time?

Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings we take for granted, or that we usually don’t even notice?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably yes.

Like the algae covered rocks, can we feast on the growth of our faith in God that has grown in the depth of His blessings but is not fully exposed until the level drops?  Yes.

Trusting God in the good times is building our faith and strengthening it so that when challenges arise, our faith can handle them. It’s encouraging to learn that the trust we have in the steadfastness and faithfulness of God in the good times will carry us through the harder times.

Have we allowed things into our lives under the covering of God’s blessing, that we need to remove when we see their trashy presence in full view.  Undoubtedly, yes.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.”  And if you are feeling like God’s blessing has been somewhat withdrawn in your life, don’t be discouraged.  You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting and clean up before you.

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Take a moment of quiet, and ask God to reveal a new blessing to you in the here and now.

Ask Him to reveal any attitude, behavior or relationship adjustment that needs to be “cleaned up.”

Appreciate that there is blessing in even this time.

And before long, the depths will return. my-lake

Through the Water

Are you in deep water?  Are you still in the boat?  Is the trip getting scary?

Did you sign up for a 3-hour tour and get Gilligan’s Island?

God’s people were familiar with rough seas. Literally and metaphorically.

hand-792920_640At a time in my life when I felt like the water was closing in over me, the Lord led me to this verse.  I found comfort, reassurance and hope. Not only did the verse speak to me, but I heard a melody and a picture formed in my mind.

Whatever you’re experiencing, I am asking God to speak to you as well, through these verses, and this song He gave me.

Begin by putting your own name into the verse Isaiah 43:1

But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, _____,

He who formed you _____:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, _____;

I have summoned you  by name; you, _____ are mine.

Through the Water

Sometimes the sea around us gets too rough

But we think we can handle it all.  We think we’re so tough

The water deepens and we can’t make it thru

And then Jesus reaches out His hand to you

water-1013329_640Chorus   He will go with you thru the water

Though the darkness swirls around you

Do not fear it will not drown you ’cause He is with you thru the water

This world will cause you suffering and pain

Oh but God has overcome this world, His victory is your gain

So count on Jesus, He’ll always be true

And take the hand He’s reaching out to you

water-5535_640Chorus   He will go with you thru the water

Though the darkness swirls around you

Do not fear it will not drown you ’cause He is with you thru the water

waterpolo-4813899_640And though the darkness fills you with despair

Just count on Jesus He is always there

And he’ll be with you thru the water

Chorus   He will go with you thru the water

Though the darkness swirls around you

Do not fear it will not drown you ’cause He is with youjesus-christ-4676641_640

Jesus is with you

He’s always with you, thru the water

(c) 1993 Laura Fail Shaffer

Isaiah 43:1-2

God won’t ask you to be what He didn’t already make you to be

One morning I started out walking around the lake very early.  The sun had not come up yet.  My mood was as dark as the sky.

I had been thinking about some of my friends who seem to have their successful lives totally together.  And by comparison, I was not measuring up.

car-160343_640.pngSo much of our life is spent in comparing ourselves with others and ranking our performance.  Men compare jobs, incomes, physical strength, intellect, cars, houses and material possessions, then often glean their self worth from how they rank against those around them.

Women will gauge their self-approval by their career versus home choices, their physical appearance, their children’s behavior and successes.  Even Christians will compare ministry participation, missions’ involvement, or spiritual gifts.

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I felt that I could hear God say to me: “Don’t you know I love creativity!  I didn’t use a cookie cutter – I made you  – and each individual different.  I love you and I’m pleased with you regardless of who else I made, or how I made them!”

 

Although it was getting lighter, His message wasn’t getting through my gloom.

I rounded the far end of the lake and headed back to the east.  By now, the sun had risen in the sky, but because of cloud cover, the sunlight was not direct.  It was, however extremely bright.  As you looked toward the sun, there were parts peeking through, but the thin clouds were so brightly illuminated they were glowing!

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God was showing me something new.

Seeing the brightness reminded me that we, as Christians, are supposed to be light in the world.  But the sun is so bright!  I told God I couldn’t possibly be a sun.

 

It was as if God said, “My dear, I don’t expect that.  But see how much brighter it seems because the clouds are scattering the light?  And what are clouds made up of?  Tiny drops of water!”

droplet-161679_640It brought tears to my eyes!   God is the sun, but I can be a drop of water!  I can reflect the light God has illuminated my life with, to others!

That is so doable.  And not so threatening at all.

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Accept who God has made you to be.  Don’t compare yourself with others, or the life they are called to or the gifts and talents they have.   Accept God’s love for you – for who He has created you to be.

Whatever He calls you to be, He will equip you to be.

It can be as simple as a drop of water.

Could that be what He is calling you to do?

You can simply reflect the light He is bringing to your life to those around you.

And in doing so, magnify Him.  What an amazing purpose!

 

 

Are your Blessings running low?

When I got to the lake to take my walk today, the most noticeable thing was the water level. It had dropped to an extremely low point. Very few birds could be seen on the water. Rocks lay exposed. At first glance, the water looked shallow and scummy, the banks muddy and messy. It was as if the blessing of the beauty of the water had been taken away.

rock-328783_640            Could this be like our lives? What would they look like with God’s blessing withdrawn like the water in the lake? We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing when we have it. We revel in it! It surrounds us and holds us up as we float on it. My first thought was that to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing.

But where the trail came near the water, I stepped off to have a closer look. I saw hundreds, perhaps a thousand tiny fish! Fish not usually see because the regular depth of the water obscures them from view. This blessing of these fish had been there all along but had gone unnoticed.

Ducks_'n_trash

From there I could also see that the ducks and geese had gathered in a small inlet to feast on the algae that had grown on the underwater rocks which now lay uncovered. What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans stuck in the sandy lake bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocks’ edge to pull them out. So, this ‘clean up’ effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when God seems to withhold His bounty for a time? Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably “Yes”.

Would we discover blessings we often don’t notice, or take for granted? Probably yes. God blesses us with every new day, each breath we take, every friend, every sunset. There is even blessing in times of hardship. We just need to take the time to look and notice, like the tiny fish in the lake.

Could we feast on the growth of our faith that has grown in the depth of God’s blessings? Yes. Perhaps it is not fully exposed and realized until the level drops, like the algae covered rocks.

Have we allowed things to creep into our lives that we need to remove? Undoubtedly, yes. But like the garbage on the lake, we may ignore them until we see their trashy presence in full view. Then it’s an opportunity to clean things up.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.” And if you’re feeling like God’s blessing is somewhat lower than usual in your life, don’t be discouraged. You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting, and clean up before you.

And before long, the depths will return.

my-lake