Luke 19:37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Habakkuk 2:11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.
I watched a leaf fall off a tree this morning, before it’s time, yet not I thought. but Fall is a ways off when leaves die and clutter the ground.
It was 50 degrees (f) on the screen porch where I sat with a bible and a cup of coffee. The hummingbirds were scolding me for being close to“their” flowers and feeders for a backdrop in my morning meet with God. In the distance a Rooster pheasant crowed to add reverence with a dozen song birds chirping in.
I had just had a conversation with my neighbor about decluttering our garages, storage sheds and so many extras. This morning I was reminded to think about decluttering my spiritual life. The to do lists, priorities and even not taking my own thoughts and views seriously unless they really come from God. This is serious stuff when an outdoorsman begins to pray for a smaller boat!
I had opened my Bible to Psalm 1. “Lord I want to be like the tree” I prayed. “Please help me declutter my life from the unimportant”.
I drew out a rough illustrated rendition of the psalm 1 version of the two things that could happen to each of us when we stand before God. That day is coming. It will happen. Add your comments to make it personal…Some great insights from fellow bloggers. Makes me feel like a lion in a den of Daniels.
Check out a very insightful comment below from parishdynamics . Also check out some great insight from InnerDialects written from a half a world away prompted by this blog and the concept of decluttering.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
It’s a story that needs telling. Maybe some stories are sacred enough to leave for the telling in eternity. Maybe some can be told as a teaser for story time a hundred years from now. I will leave most things out but you will get the gist.
A while after moving to a strange place, with hardly an acquaintance, my wife casually mentioned to me she had an aunt (I had never met) living in the same very small town (less than 500 people) where we lived. Odd situation I guess. Auntie didn’t like any of us or care to meet, but she had cancer and was not long for this world. My wife had never felt any urgency to get to know auntie until now. “I’m going to visit her starting tomorrow” she announced “and she probably will not want to see me”.
My wife found her address, knocked on her door and when the door opened a crack with a “What do you want” greeting, she was quick to stick a foot in the door and let auntie know who’s daughter she was, that she wanted to visit and she brought a few cookies. Auntie took the cookies and shut the door.
This went on for awhile until my wife made it inside the door to talk a little longer and visit with one old-cold-bitter women. Seems Auntie didn’t need sympathy, prying relatives and even rejected her own children half the time. Auntie had no time for prayer or anything to do with God.
Auntie believed that when one dies, that’s it. No after life, no purpose to life, no God, nothing. Burn the body and get rid of the ashes.
In all this, my wife seemed more and more confident that God was pushing her from a weekly visit over time to daily visits by the time Auntie went into the hospital. “She needs someone” my wife kept saying. The nurses drew straws (they actually did) to see who had Auntie duty. Auntie was not a nice lady and even refused to let her grandchildren visit her. She did not want to even know their names or see their faces. When my wife or her grown children would visit, Auntie would pretend to be asleep. If they tried to hug her she would say “You may shake my hand”. My wife would not ask. She would hug her anyway. Gradually her stiffening at hugs became less like hugging a wooden board.
My wife would sing hymns and read Auntie bible passages about knowing Jesus when Auntie would pretend to be sleeping. Some days Auntie would actually talk to her. She would not let any clergy see her or anyone pray with or for her.
A few days before Auntie died, My wife felt moved to ask her if she could pray for her. Auntie said “I suppose it would be OK”. My wife thanked Jesus for dying for all the things that separated us from God. She prayed the whole plan of salvation as she had been reading to Auntie in the bible. She prayed for Auntie to just believe in Jesus. If she would just believe. When she was done Auntie said something no one had heard from her lips in a very long time, “Thank you”. Then she went to sleep and My wife went home.
The next day some of Aunties kids said to my wife “What did you do to her?” Alarmed my wife said “I prayed with her, why?”
Auntie spent the last few days of her life smiling, thanking nurses and asking to meet her grandchildren. Hugs happened and Auntie was a different person. Auntie never acknowledged praying with my wife or believing in Jesus but there isn’t any other evidence to explain the complete change from an angry and bitter old dying women to a sweet little old cancerous women in pain. She actually seemed to be living beyond the pain drugs. She died much happier than she had lived most of her life.
“All I did was do what I felt God was telling me to do” says my wife.
My wife and I thought God had relocated us 300 miles from family, friends and great fishing lakes for a job and better income. Now we are thinking God had far bigger things in mind. It’s very possible that God moved my wife here and gave me a job while He was at it.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9