Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Clumps of jonquils under the shrubs.

Call to Worship In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1Peter 1:6-7

Contemplation Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

We are reminded that suffering is not a setback to our agendas, but rather an orientation to God’s agenda, which is to form the character of Christ in us.

The Listening Prayer question for today was, “How does your desire for Comfort over Character play out in your life?”

And what it does is suck Joy out of my heart, and fill me with a Spirit of Murmuring. And I can almost picture a Gollum-like creature clinging to my neck, muttering and clucking under its breath as I tromp through the day. Ugly.

But there are some bright yellow daffodils sitting on the corner of my desk. A good praying friend showed up on my doorstep a few days ago with this reminder of God’s faithfulness and beauty. Because I know something about daffodils, or jonquils, from my years in Tennessee. They are the first things to push their little green heads up through the hard frozen soil as the early rays of spring sunshine begin the thaw.

And there is not a shadow of doubt that this clump of middle school students is God’s agenda for me. And I for them.

Knowing how to interpret events and actions is a large part of wisdom, and the faithful attitude of the Christian is one of joy. - Dan McCartney  

Dear LORD God, You promise Your wisdom to whomever asks, and so I ask, with all humility, in that I may rejoice.