Tag Archives: Devotional

God’s Perfect Timing

“But I trust in you, Lord; I say “You are my God.” My times are in your hands;” (Psalm 31:14-15a NIV)

Last year in early Autumn, I bought a rose bush from a sidewalk sale. There were not too many to choose from but I selected the one I liked the best and I asked my gardener to plant it for me.

After Winter, I couldn’t remember what my rose looked like. I also didn’t know its name. How excited I was to see a bud some weeks ago.

I couldn’t wait for my bud to open so I could remember what the rose looked like. It took a long time and every day I’d go to the garden to have a look but all I’d see was the bud. Finally, after what seemed much too long, the bud started opening until it unfolded into the beautiful flower God had created it to be.

If I had become impatient and taken things into my own hands, prising open the bud and pulling off the petals, I would never have seen my rose. I had to wait for the right time.

I know that God has a plan for my life and for my children’s lives. I cannot take things into my own hands and try to work out the plan myself. I have to wait for God’s timing and watch with wonder as signs of his perfect plan unfold. God is never late, never early but always on time. Why is it so hard to trust Him?

My Prayer

Father God, I know that You love me and that You have a plan for my life. Teach me to rest in Your love and trust your timing implicitly. Amen.

Travelling Light

Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” (Luke 9:3 NIV)

He wanted them to travel light.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I picture Jesus taking me on a long hike. “What shall I bring?” I say.

“Nothing. Just trust me,” He says.

That’s just scary. No hiking stick, no spare clothes, no food. What about a water bottle?

I used to lead a Girl Guide company. The Girl Guide motto is Be Prepared. It would be unthinkable to go on a hike without making preparations and being prepared. Trusting Jesus is no easy matter. It is certainly against all we’ve been taught. We feel we need to be in control. I would be inclined to ask Him for a map so I can see where we are compared to where we intend to go. But Jesus won’t give me one. All He asks is my trust and that I will stay close to Him, following where He leads.

In this Covid season we are in at the moment, everybody feels insecure. Matters have been taken out of our hands. Our well-prepared plans have been summarily cancelled and we have no idea what the future holds. With my mind I know God is in control but I still feel unsettled.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, it’s been a long time since I asked You to come into my life and take over. I am so inclined to try to wrest control back from You. Please forgive me and teach me to trust You and rest in Your love. Amen.

Static and Interference

My son told me recently of a Zoom meeting he had attended where the host was connecting from another country and had an unstable internet connection. She would freeze but the rest of the meeting could continue. This led to a lot of frustration and the meeting outcome was not successful.

Those of us in the older generation remember radio static. If you tried to tune a radio to AM stations there was a very narrow band of clarity amidst a sea of static with signals from two different broadcasting stations sometimes being received at the same time. The signals relied on a transmitter where they originated and a receiver, which had to be tuned in to the correct frequency. Radio transmissions between aircraft or ships relied on the same principle.

Fortunately, our communication with God, prayer, does not suffer from these limitations. However there are things that can interfere with our prayers.

In Psalm 66 David says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”

In other words, un-confessed sin that we clutch to ourselves can cause a barrier to our communication with God from the transmitting end. Our signal is not transmitted clearly.

Interference at the receiving end is more often the problem. God’s messages are clear but we are not tuned in to the right frequency. We are tuned in to the world’s frequency or that of our own little kingdoms.

There are certain practices that can help tune our spiritual receivers. One is scripture reading. Reading through a Psalm can focus our attention on God. Nature can be another great help in tuning our receivers. It is but a short step from being overwhelmed by the grandeur of the creation around us to turning our hearts to the Creator. Being mindful, or aware is still another helpful practice. I wrote a post about it recently.

In actual fact, God is very near to each of us. He is as close to us as our breath. He longs to communicate with us.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on Him in truth. (Psalm145:18 NIV) God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘for in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:27,28a NIV)

My Prayer

Father God, please tune my heart to Your frequency, open my eyes and ears to Your messages. Thank you. Amen.

Wind Chimes and Rainbows

A wind chime hangs outside my kitchen window. In the centre a ball is suspended from a string which continues to a plastic teardrop shaped like cut crystal. Around the main string hang three metal tubes of different lengths. When the wind blows, the ball moves and tings on the sides of the tubes, making the chiming noise. At a certain time of day the teardrop catches the sunlight and scatters it into rainbows which come through my kitchen window and dance around the counter top.

The wind chime has no motor or energy source of its own. All it has to do to make magic is just to be itself and allow itself to be moved by the wind. If it decided to take control and hold its strings rigid like wires, it would not work.

Wind and sun are around us all the time but it takes this simple contraption to draw our attention to them.

Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8)

We are like that wind chime. All we have to do is to be what God created us to be and hold ourselves open to His Spirit. He does the work. His breath blows into us and His light shines through us and we can bring joy to the world and glory to our creator. When we decide to take control and do things our own way, we fall short of the magic for which we were created.

God is around us all the time but I, for one, am not usually aware of Him. Perhaps we all need to try to cultivate more mindfulness. In this way we can become more truly ourselves and bring glory to God. A time of quiet, of bible reading, of contemplation, can help us to cultivate this awareness. I am working through a book called “Taste and See” by Margaret Silf and am finding it helpful to explore different ways to become more mindful of God.

When this is over

This is a guest post from Estera Marian

you will sing this song of contempt about the king of Babylon and say: How the oppressor has quieted down, and how the raging has become quiet! Isaiah 14:4

Where is your oppression coming from? Is it from circumstances, people, the enemy, your own thoughts? The forces of darkness love to boast against us, just like the enemies of God’s people oppressed them with great blows. No matter how strong your enemy is, the day is coming when this oppression will cease! On that glorious day, you will taunt the one that tormented you. Imagine that! God will strip the enemy of his power. I don’t know what opposition you are facing but you are not alone. Every force of darkness will sooner or later have to bow down before God. Stand with Him even when you feel weak. Whatever you do, don’t give in to the enemy’s strategies!

Computers and competitions

I am very competitive. When I felt God was calling me to write, ( How it all began, ) I joined a writing club to gain experience, practice and hone my skill. Every month there is a different writing challenge, from haiku to horror. A judge gives a written report of your writing and points are accumulated for first, second, third places in that challenge. At the end of the year a trophy is awarded to writer of the year and runner up.

Last year I came second. This year I am currently in third place. To be able to improve my position I have to enter every single challenge. November’s was to write a tall tale in 3 000 words about a Voortrekker. During the month I did my research and started my story. Last week we were camping with friends and, although I took my computer in the motorhome, I didn’t write a word. We got back on Friday. Saturday was the last day of the month and the deadline was midnight. No problem. I only had 1 500 words to write. I would dedicate the whole of Saturday to it.

I set my alarm for 5am. I told my husband he could bring me coffee but I wouldn’t have time to pray and read our daily devotion as we do every morning. I wanted to get in three hours of writing before I had to take my granddaughters to Brownies and Teddies. I would skip the Gideon’s prayer meeting that would take place in our house.

I got up with the alarm and went to my study to switch on my laptop. It just stared at me. I jiggled my mouse. Nothing. I stroked the touch-pad. Nothing. My computer would not accept any communication from me. It took me half an hour to realize that though I could access the Windows screen and scroll using the key pad, I could select nothing. It was much too early to ask my son-in-law for help. I couldn’t write my story.

I don’t know how I knew it was God’s interference, but I knew. My Father was not impressed by the way I had casually pushed aside appointments with Him to do my own thing. I was awestruck that He had come so close to me. There was nothing I could do except abandon the idol of possibly being able to come second in the writers club yearly standings. I would have to consciously allow the deadline to pass and not send an entry. Only other competitive people will understand how difficult that was for me.

Of course, now I had time to pray and read with my husband. I even had time to have a quiet time and talk to the Lord and repent. I had not been interested in His will, I was too busy doing my own. Ps 40:7 jumped at me. Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; Your law is within my heart. I was at the Gideon prayer meeting.

As it turned out, all that was wrong with my computer was a flat battery in my mouse, but I know that, had He needed to, the Lord could have ensured that my computer was out of operation for a month. Maybe I could still have finished my story but I had already relinquished it and I wasn’t about to reverse that. I didn’t dare.

Image by Florian Berger from Pixabay