November 30, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously.
Someone is going to get on my last good nerve today. I feel it coming. And it’s not some sort of prophetic inkling. It’s just the reality of everyday life.
Life often seems to be full of things that bump into our happy, doesn’t it?
Just some sort of seemingly unnecessary comment or email or mess or puppy “accident” again.
Maybe you can relate.
I remember one day when I had just cleaned up one of the said puppy messes when I got an email that started off, “Shame on you.”
And of course, it fell on the same day I had some technical issues messing with my workday along with a little attitude situation involving one of my kids.
I suspect you understand. We live in the midst of crumbs and spills and attitudes while navigating the realities of PMS one minute and praising Jesus the next.
So, after the “shame on you” email, I lifted up a little prayer to Jesus. It was honest. It was simple.
What is the deal, Jesus? Why do I always seem to have little pieces of brokenness in my life every day? It’s so frustrating. I need Your perspective on the brokenness, or I need a break from it.
There was no answer.
No instant verse.
Until the next morning. With a tired heart I sat once again at my farm table and opened up my tattered and worn Truth Book. And there, in the book of Hosea, God had wisdom my heart desperately needed. Wisdom I want us to break down together today:
“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12).
Sow righteousness for yourselves …
In other words, we must sow into our lives righteousness — right choices that honor God. We must make these choices. Choose to honor Him in the midst of it all. Even when we are dishonored, honor Him still.
Reap the fruit of unfailing love …
There will be fruit in the midst of every choice that honors God. It will be the fruit of God’s unfailing love. Remember, Romans 8 teaches us that nothing shall separate us from the love of God. Yet, that is Satan’s great tactic — to get us entangled in things that make us forget or doubt God’s unfailing love.
We resist the enemy’s distracting entanglements by honoring God with the choice we face right now.
Break up your unplowed ground …
Pain and heartbreak are hard. But I’m learning we must not resist the blessing of brokenness that tills the ground of our heart. Breaking up the unplowed ground of our heart makes it ready for new life, new growth and new maturity that can’t be found any other way.
For it is time to seek the Lord …
We must seek God like never before. And part of seeking Him is allowing for grace space in our life — granting God’s grace a space in our mind, our heart, our life. When circumstances of life leak us dry, we can see this emptiness as an opportunity. Instead of reacting out of emptiness, we can choose to see that this emptiness is the perfect spot for a space of grace in life.
And as we give grace to those who don’t deserve it, the mercy jars of heaven will lavish it back on us.
The showers …
I love this part. This is where we see growth. We begin making more right choices that honor Him. We start looking at life, people and annoying circumstances differently. And we even dare to whisper, “Thank you,” when the need for grace spaces comes again and again.
I don’t know what kind of frustrations or heartbreak you face today, sweet friend. But let’s decide right now we’ll give our hearts permission to grow in fertile soil by making right choices that honor God. Let’s make space for grace. And then let’s watch God work in our hearts and lives in ways we never would have dared to ask.
Father God, help me trust Your love for me enough to choose to act contrary to my feelings and simply walk in Your truth. I know living according to Your ways yields a harvest of blessing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.