Ecclesiastes 3-4 (NLT) 

Discover His heart:  He plans the seasons of our life with His perfect timing

One particular autumn I looked out a window every day for two months during my devotional time and viewed a metamorphosis take place before my eyes.  In the beginning, a stately chestnut tree, leafy and green, filled the expanse of my window, and I enjoyed its virulent green.  Within a week or two, the leaves began to change in color to a ripe rusty red.  The tree finally shed most of its vibrant colors, but eventually, the bare branches hosted snow and ice over the coming months, glistening in the moonlight – jewels from Heaven.  Change is inevitable.  “For everything there is a season.” 

@ Ecclesiastes 3
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (1) Birth and death, plant and harvest, grieve and dance…the cycles of life.  Change is difficult when we forget that time is non-existent with God, but His timing is everything.  As with the beautiful chestnut tree, God controls the timing of everything, and He can be trusted.

When our first child was born, I seemed to fret about some of the difficult stages of a newborn like lack of sleep, colic and her feeding schedule.  As she matured, I realized that these were but short seasons in her early months.  When our son came along and those difficult moments came, I was able to remind myself this, too, shall pass.  And of course, this is true in the seasons of our life.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” (9) Just as a tree changes its colors and a baby changes and grows, we’re wise to enjoy every stage of life.  We need not fret over the loss of colorful leaves or needed sleep or the change of anything, because this, too, shall pass.  Through the process of dying or change, new seasons bring about vibrant color or glistening jewels to our lives at just the right time.  We can appreciate every season we experience, regardless of the many changes life brings, understanding that His timing is perfect. 

Moving Forward: In every season in life, I know I can trust His timing and His plan.

Tomorrow @ Zephaniah

Job 37-38 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He uses the challenges we face to perfect us, to make us more like Him 

@ Job 38
“Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:  Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?  Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’” (1-3) This is not the way I want the Lord to begin a conversation with me.  Job had asked his whys? But God answered with Who?

The trial against Job had continued for quite some time.  The four accusers had laid out their case against him and each time Job had risen to his own defense, disputing their accusations.  At Chapter 38, God entered the courtroom.  He was not a witness to be cross-examined.  He was not the prosecuting attorney for the four accusers.  He was not the defense attorney that Job was hoping He would be.  He was the judge.  “Brace yourself like a man!”  Help. 

Who laid out the universe, formed the seas with their tides and created darkness and light?  Were you there from the beginning, Job? Who made snow and rain, ice and frost and the laws of the universe that regulate all temperatures?  Who placed the constellations in the sky and directs the sequence of the seasons – winter, spring, summer and fall?  Because Job felt so free to question God’s dealings with him, it seems God was giving him an opportunity to evaluate whether or not he thought himself on the same level as Him.  Who? Indeed.

David often questioned God about things that were happening and defended his actions on occasion, but his heart was always one of repentance.  Job seemed to be a little too proud of his goodness to accept what had happened to him, implying that he knew better than God.  Perhaps this pride was the catalyst for Job’s great test as much as Satan’s request in Chapter l.

Was Job, in all his goodness, beginning to reflect the arrogance of Lucifer before the fall?  Where would it lead?  These questions are without answers, but they cause me to examine my own life.  Each day I ask God to purify my heart of pride and little roots that can take hold and imply that any goodness in me could come from anywhere but Him.  I want to avoid those brace yourself moments with God.

Job proved Satan’s accusation in Chapter l wrong.   He did not curse God when his world was attacked as Satan had predicted, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives.” (19:25) Job had passed this test.  However, God often uses difficult times in our lives to bring about something better in us.  God was perfecting Job, and Job soon learned the what in his experience, what would make him a better man. God’s response to Job was not one of a casual acquaintance, where attitudes and weaknesses are just ignored. His response was based on relationship, personal and intimate.

The old saying comes to mind, “God loves you just the way you are. But he loves you too much to let you stay that way.”  I love Him for this, that He loves me enough, that He is mindful enough of little me, to change me and make me more like Him. 

Moving Forward:  I will focus today on Who He is.  I may or may not learn the why of the challenges I face, but in knowing Who, I will soon learn what He is perfecting in me. 

Tomorrow @ Jeremiah 32-36

Ecclesiastes 3-4 (NLT) 

Discover His heart:  He plans the seasons of our life with His perfect timing

One fall I looked out a window every day for two months during my devotional time and viewed a metamorphosis take place before my eyes.  In the beginning, a stately chestnut tree, leafy and green, filled the expanse of my window, and I enjoyed its virulent green.  Within a week or two, the leaves began to change in color to a ripe rusty red.  The tree finally shed most of its vibrant colors, but eventually the bare branches hosted snow and ice over the coming months, glistening in the moonlight – jewels from Heaven.  Change is inevitable.  “For everything there is a season.” 

@ Ecclesiastes 3
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (1) Birth and death, plant and harvest, grieve and dance…the cycles of life.  Change is difficult when we forget that time is non-existent with God, but His timing is everything.  As with the beautiful chestnut tree, God controls the timing of everything and He can be trusted.

When our first child was born, I seemed to fret about some of the difficult stages of a newborn like lack of sleep, colic and her feeding schedule.  As she matured, I realized that these were but short seasons in her early months.  When our son came along and those difficult moments came, I was able to remind myself this, too, shall pass.  And of course, this is true in the seasons of our life.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” (9) Just as a tree changes its colors and a baby changes and grows, we’re wise to enjoy every stage of life.  We need not fret over the loss of colorful leaves or needed sleep or the change of anything, because this, too, shall pass.  Through the process of dying or change, new seasons bring about vibrant color or glistening jewels to our lives at just the right time.  We can appreciate every season we experience, regardless of the many changes life brings, understanding that His timing is perfect. 

Moving Forward: In every season in life, I know I can trust His timing and His plan.

Tomorrow @ Zephaniah

Job 37-38 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He uses the challenges we face to perfect us, to make us more like Him 

@ Job 38
“Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:  Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?  Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’” (1-3) This is not the way I want the Lord to begin a conversation with me.  Job had asked his whys? But God answered with Who?

The trial against Job had continued for quite some time.  The four accusers had laid out their case against him and each time Job had risen to his own defense, disputing their accusations.  At Chapter 38, God entered the courtroom.  He was not a witness to be cross examined.  He was not the prosecuting attorney for the four accusers.  He was not the defense attorney that Job was hoping for.  He was the judge.  “Brace yourself like a man!”  Help. 

Who laid out the universe, formed the seas with their tides and created darkness and light?  Were you there from the beginning, Job? Who made snow and rain, ice and frost and the laws of the universe that regulate all temperatures?  Who placed the constellations in the sky and directs the sequence of the seasons – winter, spring, summer and fall?  Because Job felt so free to question God’s dealings with him, it seems God was giving him an opportunity to evaluate whether or not he thought himself on the same level as Him.  Who? Indeed.

David often questioned God about things that were happening and defended his actions on occasion, but his heart was always one of repentance.  Job seemed to be a little too proud of his goodness to accept what had happened to him, implying that he knew better than God.  Perhaps this pride was the catalyst for Job’s great test as much as Satan’s request in Chapter l.

In all his goodness, was Job beginning to reflect the arrogance of Lucifer before the fall?  Where would it lead?  These questions are without answers, but they cause me to examine my own life.  Each day I ask God to purify my heart of pride and little roots that can take hold and imply that any goodness in me could come from anywhere but Him.  I want to avoid those brace yourself moments with God.

Job proved Satan’s accusation in Chapter l wrong.   He did not curse God when his world was attacked as Satan had predicted, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives.” (19:25) Job had passed this test.  However, God often uses difficult times in our lives to bring about something better in us.  God was perfecting Job, and Job soon learned the what in his experience, what would make him a better man. God’s response to Job was not one of a casual acquaintance, where attitudes and weaknesses are just ignored. His response was based on relationship, personal and intimate.

The old saying comes to mind, “God loves you just the way you are. But he loves you too much to let you stay that way.”  I love Him for this, that He loves me enough, that He is mindful enough of little me, to change me and make me more like Him. 

Moving Forward:  I will focus today on Who He is.  I may or may not learn the why of the challenges I face, but in knowing Who, I will soon learn what He is perfecting in me. 

Tomorrow @ Jeremiah 32-36