Finished a painting I started long ago, then made a little video from the thoughts I found inspiring. It is symbolic for me. A painter tries to create visual beauty like a dancer tries to create exquisite lines or a musician works to create pleasing harmonies. Picturing the Bible in this painting makes me recall many a morning as I searched for answers, saw words of hope for the future and passages that have encouraged me along the way. Over time this morning practice has become “beautiful” to me. Hope you enjoy this little “morning devotion” from Psalm 19.
Tag Archives: Devotion
Life stories are fascinating. I especially love hearing the stories of how greatness became possible because of the adversity someone travailed through in order to gather the strength or courage needed to address the difficult circumstance in their life. It is inspiring. I’ve never heard of a story of true greatness that started any other way. There is always a difficult mountain to climb.
Sometimes that difficult mountain to climb is in the area of forgiveness. We all need God’s forgiveness, for we all do things that hurt the heart of God and hurt others. No exemptions. When we are faced with our own sins it can be hard to imagine that we could rise out of the rut we have dug for ourselves. We may even consider the thought that God could forgive us, but we can’t see ourselves as anything other than someone who did such bad things that we are stuck in that rut forever. Perhaps, we have not really sensed the complete forgiveness that Christ offers.
Jesus had a life story that shed light on these thoughts:
“A man loaned money to two people – 500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that? Luke 7:41-42
Most obviously the one who loved more was the one who was forgiven of the greater sins. We run toward the person who offers us complete acceptance and grace after we have blown it really big. Great forgiveness makes great love possible.
That’s why Easter is the cause for the greatest celebration! We, no matter what we have done or who we have become can come running to Jesus because He died on the cross to allow complete forgiveness with God. And it didn’t stop there. He rose from the dead on Easter morning demonstrating His power over death, over sin, over everything that makes us think that God can’t truly forgive whatever we have done. He kindly offers all-embracing forgiveness and the complete cancelling of our debt. He truly offers us a clean slate.
In response, our love for Jesus can give us strength, courage and confidence to face whatever situation causes adversity in our lives. When we know we are forgiven and loved much, great and amazing life stories are possible!
I had two friends that both underwent a similar medical procedure. Afterward they both described their experience to me in detail, with one important difference. One, who viewed life with an optimistic flare accentuated her report of her medical experience with “it was cool!” The other, whose life outlook relates to Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Eeyore, kept saying, “it was terrible.” Same procedure, different perception. One approached the situation with a sense of wonder, the other thought the sky was falling.
“Storms of life” come to all of us. My pastor has often said, we are either going into a storm, in the middle of the storm, or coming out of a storm. In reading through the Psalms we see this truth in the life of David. And sometimes David was like my optimistic friend and other times he had his “Eeyore” moments. But what I like about David is though at times he starts a Psalm with an Eeyore voice, he interrupts himself, reminds himself of God’s faithfulness and goodness in the past and ends the Psalm with hope and trust in God.
From Psalm 61:1-4 (NLT): “O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of Your wings!”
Lord, if my mind starts going down a negative road today, please interrupt my thoughts and help me to remember that You are the rock of my life and help me to cling to Your promise that You are working out all things in my life for good. Amen.