Today’s page had me seeing red . . . sometimes in a good way and sometimes not so good! Since I began writing these daily pages I have often noticed themes of lessons God is teaching me, but today is the first that the theme was a color. And for those that know me, the surprise is that the color wasn’t yellow! 🙂 Today began in the usual workday fashion with cleaning bathrooms, sweeping floors, and making sure the building was ready for the school day. The rain had not arrived yet, so my plan was to finish the mowing on the property today so it was done in case the rain did show up yet this week. As I finished up the things I needed to do in the building and was ready to head outside, Susan had a moderate seizure that required my attention and assistance to keep her from harming herself or destroying my office. This one was moderate in both severity and length which translates into a recovery time that would not be brief, but would also not be violent.
As Susan came out of the seizure and no longer needed my direct help, I changed up my plans to stay inside and do some writing so I could keep an eye and ear on her. The prayer guide that I didn’t get written on Monday, because I began the mowing that day, was able to be written this morning. I also received an email about some workshop sessions I will be leading at a student conference this summer, so I spent some prayer time seeking direction in developing what God would want those workshops to look like under the broader topic of developing a prayer life. As I worked at writing and lesson development, the lawn outside my office window was covered with small songbirds. I believe most of them were white-throated sparrows but there were a few birds in their midst that had me seeing red! One of them is in the photo with today’s page and I believe he is a house finch. It is interesting how we tend to use the color red. We use red as a warning, a message to stop, an attention-getting flag in a bullfight, a light and vehicle color for safety purposes on emergency vehicles, a color signifying we are overdrawn in our accounts and out of money, and in people — a sign of embarrassment or anger. Yet on this bird, it was an expression of beauty.
Later in the day as Susan and I went to lunch, I found my fuse getting short in regard to traffic and the way people were driving. As my anger with people began to build, I thought about seeing red in the form of the beautiful birds from the morning. Even with an occasional beak stuffed full of dandelion fluff, these songbirds went about their day joyfully singing praise to a God who has supplied their every need. As I look at my own life, and a mouth that is often stuffed full of much goodness that isn’t dandelion fluff, I find myself repenting of not joyfully and continually praising God who has supplied all my needs. When I am “seeing red” in a negative way, it is because I am not seeing clearly a God who has given grace and mercy from Himself to me in times when I deserved His anger. Seeing red should be a warning to me of a need to examine my heart and my attitude. It should be a reminder that without God crediting me with righteousness through the blood of His Son, I am hopelessly overdrawn in my account with Him. It should be a message to stop and patiently wait upon the Lord so that He can renew my strength. It should be a motivation to get my attention and get me moving in the direction God is trying to lead me. And at times it should be a sign of embarrassment or anger that directs me back to God when my life choices are not what they should have been. But most of all, the color red should be a thing of beauty as it reminds us of the blood of Jesus which has cleansed us from all unrighteousness!
I pray that you and I would find the times when we are “seeing red” to be of great value in our life. I pray that we would recognize the incredible goodness God has given to us as He meets our every need. I pray that we would learn to pay attention to the warning signs that God places in our life. I pray that our attention is always directed, or redirected, to God when we find ourselves “seeing red” and that we would find beauty in the forgiveness we have possible through the blood of Jesus.