“With a prayer to the God of Heaven, I replied…” –Nehemiah 2:4
It was time to rebuild. Jerusalem was ripe for a fresh start. Jewish exiled survivors had returned. I can picture that blades of wild grasses now grew through fallen rubble. Birds landed, unhindered by the past destruction. The city gates now lay warped and charred, causing cinders and dust to swirl through the air as the wind blew. Jerusalem was desolate but not forgotten.
God called a man named Nehemiah, and his heart was burdened to rebuild the city. Rebuilding seemed insurmountable, but not too big for God. After much prayer, Nehemiah was given an opportunity to approach the king for assistance, and God’s hand and protection led him step by step. The first chapter in Nehemiah holds such a rich example of God’s calling, prayer, obedience, and provision.
There are times in our life we have to do big things. Things that cause our heart to literally bleed out the heaviness of its burden. When our heart is unhurried, we can hear God’s call and the listen to his blueprints. Perhaps in a moment, or perhaps in quiet murmurs that simmer over months or years, our heart is called. Perhaps we are even given blueprints, but the execution of the plan remains a mystery. I have a sticky note on which I wrote, “You don’t have to know the next step. Trust.”
God impressed that phrase upon my heart, and I continually have to remind myself. Continue reading “With a prayer…I replied”
“For we are to God the Aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing”
–2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Springtime is filled with luscious floral aromas. The colors and smells always make spring a favorite season for me. To savor the season, I like to keep a vase or two full of flowers cut from various blooming bushes and plants in my yard. This spring one particular smell caught my attention above all others in the bouquet. After placing a vase of fresh cuttings on a console table, I went about my daily tasks. Like most days, that day started off with the endless laundry basket. While walking loads to and from the laundry room, I kept noticing an enticing smell coming from one of the flowers in the vase. It would stop mid me step, and I would try to identify its source as I passed. Finally, by the third or fourth time, I emptied my arms, bent down, and cupped my hands around each type of flower to discern its smell. I wanted to know the source of the wonderful aroma. It was a sweet and soft scent, not imposing or harsh. It was gentle, but present enough to make me enjoy and want more. I first smelled the largest flowers. But it wasn’t the obvious petals of the daffodil or the tulips in my bouquet. To my surprise, it was a small cluster of pink flowers cut from a bush in my yard. They were pretty, but its presentation was somewhat ordinary compared to the bright unfolding colors of the pink tulips or yellow daffodils beside it. Nevertheless, its scent had enticed me, and had my full attention. I wanted to learn more about its source. I wanted to learn not only the name of this bush, but its proper care to ensure these blooms will return next spring. This scent is not unlike God’s command for believers to be the aroma of Christ. Continue reading “The Aroma of Christ”
“Be still and know that I am God” –Psalm 46:10
If you read the dictionary definition of hurry, you would see a description of moving with haste. Here are a few examples from Webster’s Dictionary:
1. disturbed or disorderly activity: commotion (Hurry the children to school so they are not late!)
2a. agitated and often bustling or disorderly haste (Come on, we are in a hurry!)
2b. a state of eagerness or urgency: RUSH (ex. The firemen got there in a hurry.)
So to “unhurrry,” perhaps (because not an actual dictionary word) could be defined as the opposite of all of the above. While there are times we must take action without delay, its focus on the part of the word that deals with disorder and disruption.
When we are living life at a pace that can not listen to God’s voice , we could find ourself in a “hurry-scurry.” That is perhaps my new favorite word, and fully paints the picture of a hurried heart.
“hurry-scurry”: confused rush : Turmoil
God calls us to be still so that we can listen. Listening is very different from hearing. I can hear God as I race through the words of scripture when I scramble to finish my bible study homework on time. I can hear God in a sermon while I hear to the pastor’s voice, and the other half of my brain is somewhere else. I can hear God when I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to do something, but never move to action We can hear lots of nice things about God and from God. But to listen digests with focus and action . To listen is to be still. If our heart is hurried, we can really only hear. An NIV note adds that “be still” perhaps has a hebrew meaning of “Enough!”
I picture God lovingly lifting my chin as I would my child. I recall times when I needed to convey a very important instruction to my children , but they could not break the distraction and interest of the toy in their hands long enough to look at me and listen. My child may have heard my voice, but needed to let go of the distraction to listen to my words.
On a scale of 1-10 how hurried is your heart today?
Unhurry my heart…the prefix UN
What does it mean to untie a shoe or unbutton a sleeve? The prefix “UN”…..its to do the opposite. But how do we unhurry our heart?
God tells us to be still and listen. We try, but live in a hurried world. The world won’t stop around us, so we must unhurry our heart to hear God’s still voice in our life. Join me throughout this blog as we journey together and find out how.