February 25 – He Sees and Knows

puzzle

I can be guilty of having temper tantrums from time to time. And although I am not proud of it, they tend to encroach upon me just about the time things are going pretty good. Sometimes, all Hades breaks loose and I find myself questioning God as to “why,” but not so much anymore. I’ve lived long enough to know it’s usually darkest before the dawn and if you just hold on awhile, things will get brighter.

What tends to trigger the oversized baby in me is a sense of not being understood by those closest to me. Here’s an example: I have a certain way I fold my t-shirts. Not a big deal, normally, but definitely a preference.

On most occasions I am just grateful when Jen or one of the children goes the extra mile and does mine. But there are those rare moments when that little voice says, “If they really cared about you, they would know how you like your shirts folded.” If I don’t nip it in the bud, that kind of thinking will hit me in the backside before I know it, leaving a whole lot of precious people feeling unappreciated. I know, you can’t relate…

The fact of the matter is every human being can and will feel that no one truly understands them at times. And guess what? They are right! We are so unique and our ways are very individual. God made us that way on purpose. One, a puzzle won’t come together if all the pieces are just alike. And two, if we had someone on planet earth that knew us “picture-perfectly,” we would never need to seek the face of our Creator. He alone knows and sees who we are and where we are headed. All others are His instruments to help get us there.

I love how Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do You know me?” Jesus wasted no time on frivolous introductions, He spoke in a way the man would know He knew him; but how? And here’s the nugget I encourage you to ponder with me and my family today: Jesus stares into Nathanael’s eyes and He says, “I see you! And I know you better than anyone, including yourself. Don’t worry; what I see in you doesn’t change what I think about you. So, if you feel the need to have a pity party, no problem; fits don’t faze Me. I’ll still be around when the smoke clears. Then, I will remind you that in Me alone lies perfection, not people.” He sees!

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. John 1:47-48 NKJV

 Biblical Meditation: Psalms 139:1-4 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. (Check out all of Psalm 139!)

 

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November 2- Fruit-full

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. John 15:4 The Message Bible

 Independence is a phony thing. When you and I were little tots, we clambered and crawled toward the day of self-support; “soon I will do it myself.” And now, anywhere we want to go and most of what we want to do, we can accomplish without anyone’s help. Right? Today I am reminded of a dear older gentleman who taught me a thing or two about this subject. He was close to 90 when we met. I would go see him periodically on Wednesday afternoons for about 3 years straight. And every visit, I would learn something new about him, about Oklahoma, or about the world in general. There seemed to be no place or subject he wasn’t well-versed in. In my estimation, he had accomplished more in his lifetime than anyone I had ever known. And yet, he was wise enough to know at the twilight of his years, he couldn’t do some of the things he used to on his own. So, he had caregivers who assisted him with most of his day-to-day chores. No, he wasn’t too proud. When he was traveling the world, fighting the war, and surviving the Dust Bowl, he couldn’t do it on his own then, either. He learned his success and survival was directly connected to his relationship with the Lord. To the naked eye, this man was as independent as they come. But to the open heart and listening ear, he was the epitome of a “fruit-full” fellow well-connected to the vine. May we all learn and follow!

Lorenzo