This verse is for YOU, right now. Not for me. For YOU.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-t0-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT version)
I took this photo when we stopped in our jeep for a quick break, on the rough mountain road between Potosi and Oruru. Right now, we’re not in Bolivia and, though I’m loving being in my country, the U.S., I’m missing the people of the Andes. I’m missing my children and their families, and more closeness, more authentic CONNECTION, with relatives, loved ones, friends, also. And I’m missing more of a sense of true home and roots, any place on earth. But I read something this morning that gave me some comfort; I’m still thinking about it, trying to figure out whether or not I agree. This is it – it’s from the “Jesus Calling” little devotional book by Sarah Young. “Understanding will never bring you PEACE. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in ME, not in your understanding. (Prov. 3: 5 and 6) Human beings have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out (yup! that’s me alright!), in order to gain a sense of mastery over their lives. But the world presents you with an endless series of problems; as soon as you master one set, another pops up to challenge you.”
Okay, so, according to this, my maybe “losing” a degree of my painful longing for more connection, more closeness, more of the actual “walking together” for segments of our lives, with loved ones scattered, lies in NOT trying all the time to analyze and change the situations, but lies instead in spending more time alone with Jesus, quietly listening and enjoying and looking at Him? I think I accept that, believe that. I’ll give it a new try!
And (this is just from me, not from the J. Calling book) also…though mention of it is getting to be a cliche, SQUEEZING THE EXPERIENCING OF EACH HOUR AND DAY, though it contain but a fragment of the vaguely desired dream in its entirety, for ALL that it is worth. For each hour, and each day, contains good stuff! And, my life is passing by. This is not my practice life.
“She was done not feeling at home in the world. She realized she might never feel at home in the world, but that feeling at home in her soul was enough.” – from The Elephant Journal
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there by any praise, think on these things.”
Another Tim Keller quote. For my own day.
“So, we should not expect to be able to grasp all God’s purposes, but through the cross and gospel of Jesus Christ, we can know his love. And that is what we need most.” – Tim Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, %67 on Kindle
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth”,
and to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour”,
so that all people he has made may know his work.”
“Thankfulness is a thread that can bind together all the patchwork squares of our lives. Difficult times, happy days, seasons of sickness, hours of bliss — all can be sewn together into something lovely with the thread of thankfulness. Jesus was especially good at doing this.Once he was in a tough situation with a lot of hungry people on his hands, and all he had were five love of bread and two fish. He could have complained that God shouldn’t have expected him to feed five thousand people with so little. But Jesus didn’t write off the loaves and fish as nothing. He noticed what was given and ‘gave thanks’ for it.(Mark 8:6) And in the less-than-perfect-circumstances, God supplied all that was needed. We, like Jesus, have choices about how to respond to what life dishes up.We each have the power to interpret the facts of our lives. We make the choices that turn us into bitter or grateful people. Gratitude is rooted in the reality that, ‘bidden or unbidden, God is present'(Carl Jung).” – Adele Calhoun in her book, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook – Practices that Transform Us, IVP 2015.