Monday, July 17, 2017

A Little Lesson About Abundance and Need And God's Providence in Both

Look who came to visit! My granddog, Ragnar! Oh, and he brought my daughter and son-in-law with him. Whenever we make ribs we invite them over. It was Asherel's favorite dish growing up so we like to include her when ribs are on the menu.
My husband makes stupendous rib sauce, and a potato/onion/bacon dish to DIE for that goes perfectly with ribs. We were all stuffed to the gills. The kids left Ragnar with us while they went grocery shopping after our sumptuous lunch.

I sat outside with Ragnar in  the shade of an umbrella but he wasn't super thrilled.  90 degrees didn't sit well with his 6" fur coat.
"I'm from Siberia," he reminded me.
"No you're not, You're from North Carolina."
"My ancestors were from  Siberia."

We went inside to the air-conditioned  house until his people returned from grocery shopping.

When Ragnar and his folks departed, I hurried off to kayak. By this time, it was late afternoon and the sun was low enough that the trees blocked the sun. I could kayak close to shore in the shade. I almost didn't go because it was so late in the day. Also, the ferocity of the pop-up storm the last time I had kayaked gave me pause. What if that happened again?

In the end, the desire to LIVE life in all its beauty and danger overcame my desire for safety. How glad I am that I went! There was a breeze wafting over a very quiet river since everyone else was on their way home for dinner. The trees hanging over the shore provided a cool shade. I even saw an owl in one tree, watching me with his big unblinking eyes. It was inexpressibly pleasant.

As I cruised along the shoreline, I passed two fishermen. They did not have a fishing pole, just a line to which they had attached bait on one end and flung into the water. Their clothes looked tattered. I suspected any fish they caught would be dinner. My own tummy was still uncomfortably stuffed with ribs and potatoes with bacon and onions.

"Any luck?" I asked.
"No ma'am," they said. They smiled, despite their threadbare clothes and hopes of dinner resting on the thin hope of a bit of string and a worm.
"Well, I'll be praying your luck changes."
"Thank you," they said, tossing the baited line into the water again.

I don't believe in luck. It is just a saying for me. I believe all life events are woven together in a grand plan of which I usually only can catch a glimpse. It is just more cumbersome to say, "Hi fisherman, any divine providence of God displaying Himself in this particular venture?" That is what I meant. However, I did offer a prayer for the fishermen, a small prayer. I talk continually with God while I am out in nature. It is one of the reasons I spend any rare spare moments I have in the midst of God's beautiful, natural creation.

I kayaked on, enjoying the peaceful late afternoon river in the exquisite light of a sun dipping in the sky and casting long shadows.

Reluctantly, I turned around when I reached the bridge and headed back downriver. As I passed the fishermen again, they were smiling.

"Did you catch a fish?" I asked.
"Yes! A big one!"
"Oh good! I am glad!"

I was so full from lunch that I didn't have dinner. But I really was grateful to God that the men in the tattered clothes without a fishing pole had been blessed with a big fat fish for their dinner. How much I take for granted!

I pondered the fishermen's thin hope of a bit of string and a worm. We had just sung a song in church that morning: "My hope is built on nothing less" by Edward Mote.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Today I return to the sidewalks of the Southeast's busiest abortion center with the rest of my Cities4Life team. In our own strength or ability, we have no hope of helping anyone. However, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Those words encourage me in that dark and evil place.

I toss the meager thread of obedience into water. It is God who provides the catch. His providence prevails in feast or famine. In every storm, His anchor holds. When every earthly prop gives way, He then is ALL my hope and stay!
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Luke 14:12-14

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

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