Saturday, August 6, 2011

Building A Wall

I sat with a sweet christian friend today. Among believers there is always a kindred Spirit because it is the Holy Spirit living in each of us. As we talked I realized just how blessed I am to have her. We have only known each other for one year but we share many similarities and much the same background. With her "story" she encouraged me and I did the same to her. We both thanked each other and the Lord for the "iron sharpening" that was going on. Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

One other thing that came to mind while we talked is just how strong and faithful the Lord is to keep his Word. We both reveled in the fact that we could run to Him with any problem that we had had to face through the years. She has been married one-and-a-half years, I have been for 31 years, but some of the struggles she is now facing were the same that I had faced, and sometimes still do. We were glad to hear that the solution for each of us is the same - RUN to the Lord with the problem, and to no one else! We don't need human beings to solve our "issues", as the world would like us to think. We only need the Lord Jesus Christ. He keeps His Word and rewards those who are faithful to Him. It is certainly nothing within ourselves that makes us stronger, and yet it is the Lord who is building our character.

For the past 15+ years my brother has been working on a rock wall which runs alongside our lane. He started at the bottom of the hill and at each stage the wall has become taller, wider and stronger. That is so much like our faith. At its beginning it may be quite small, but as we proceed "up the hill" the Lord allows more "rocks" to be piled on. As we yield to Him He makes us grow ever stronger and we become one who is covering more area, reaching out wider at our base and able to carry a heavier burden. The wall that the Lord builds can withstand the storms of any adversity that may come upon it.

I see this in the life of this special friend whom I was with today, as well as in the lives of many others around me. There is a strength that presses me on to allow the Lord to build my life to His specifications.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hearing and Seeing the Night

A hound at the base of the hill sounds off at the scent of some hidden intruder. We wait to see what may appear over the ridge.

As darkness settles 'round him the bullfrog sounds his, "gallub, gallub" from a nearby pond. Peepers lend their falsetto notes to the frog's deep, throaty melody.

The crackle of fire from our furnace pit; a pop from the glowing logs.

While all this chorus sings around us we watch the fireflies rise, straight up from the tall grass like smoke from a chimmney on a cold winter morning. Hundreds of tiny flickering lights hover and disperse, playing tricks on the eye as they disappear, only to relight several feet away.

The moon is behind a massive cloud now, causing its edges to shimmer. The light is obscured and diffused while the cloud resembles a huge, white hydrangea cluster hanging in the black air.

We sit until it is too dark to detect a passing fox or deer. The fire embers breathe and glow as if they refuse to give in to death. Their heat is more fervent than even the flames had been. We pull closer toward them, ourselves not wanting to depart from present company; not wishing to leave the beautiful sights and sounds of the night.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Clearing out the Cobwebs

I'm armed with yogurt, fresh berries and coffee as I get set for another day. Ruger and I just got back from a "ball toss-walk". Last night he spotted his very dusty ball and went to the trouble of crawling way under the couch to get it. This morning he was rewarded with a quick game before work. Usually on these walks he is constantly dropping the ball as his nose takes him off on a rabbit or fox trail, but today the ball stayed firmly in his mouth until we were almost home. I suppose he didn't want to risk losing it again. My part of the walk consisted mostly of clearing my face of cobwebs. Our lane is quite narrow and obviously no one living above us has left for work yet this morning!

I do get what the dog sees in an early morning walk. Now that the blood is flowing well I feel more ready to take on the chores of the day. All that arm-flailing helped too, I'm sure...another benefit of fighting off cobwebs.

I hope you can take a walk up your "Darling Hill" today.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Secret Place

The shadows cast upon this rock remind me of things in the past. Though you can't see the leaves that are casting them, the shadows are left to tell you that something tangible is there. When I think of a shadow or shaded area it makes me reflect upon a safe place and an imprint that has been left in my life. The Lord tells me that, "The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand." (Psalm 121:5). I cannot see Him, but He is there being my "shade". In the book of the Lamentations of Jeremiah it is said of "the anointed of the Lord", "Under His shadow we shall live among the heathen." God promises to keep me in the "hollow of His hand". When the Lord says that He is with me, casting His shadow over me and hiding me in it, it is so. Shaded places are those of safety. While sitting out at dusk, hearing the last distant call of the birds who seemed to have now moved deeper into the woods, I have wondered just where these little creatures go. I imagine that they have "returned to their nests" which is a safe, shaded place in the shadow of the trees.

When I was a child I had many secret places. I was always drawn to covered bridges and under two of them in my hometown, were a couple of my hideaways. I would go there to be alone and also would often take a trusted friend. We would keep special things hidden there; treasures that we wanted to keep as "our secret", a special note, a jewel-like rock, or any item that we didn't want others touching. Of course, we would find other people's secret things down there too. I began to suspect that someone else had or was using our hideaways.

Oftentimes the place didn't need to be hidden. Two of my places were not "under or beneath" anything. I had a several special places in the brook; then there was always Darling Hill. The whole top of it was a "secret place" to me. Only certain friends would venture there with me because it was so FAR to go through the woods from my Grammy & Grandpa's. To me it was just "up on the hill". The trip started on a trail through the woods, then into a long field, up to the old road which led us (and still leads us) to Darling Hill.

A secret place is a special place. When I return from being out for the day, home is a special place to be. It is where we come to be with those whom we love and who love us back. Like the bird who returns to its nest at the end of the day.

Knowing that I am in the shadow of the Almighty is the best thing of all. It is such a comfort to be in the secret place with Him. He knows all about the things that are hidden there and keeps our confidences. We can take anything to this heavenly friend and it's important to remember that there is nothing hidden from Him. It is such a comfort to be in the secret place with Him Who knows us completely, corrects us when we are wrong and encourages us when we are headed in the right direction.

I hope that you are in that special place. If you know Jesus as your savior you are hidden in the shadow of the Almighty. Until we have His shadow over us, we are on our own. It's lonely without a true and trusted Friend walking with us and leading us along the way.

Happy first day of the week. I hope you come to "the hill" and visit often.