With the Presidents Day weekend over, page 52 was the delayed start of my work week. I had not paid any attention to the weather forecast beyond the information that it is supposed to be warm all week, so I was surprised to find it raining when I took the trash out after I did the morning cleaning. While it was still dark and before I found out it was raining, I noticed movement outside through one of the windows. As I looked closer to what was outside, I saw eight deer walk past the window before disappearing into the woods. I had planned on working on some outside projects, but the weather decided a change in plans was in order.
That was okay because my first order of business after the building was ready for the day was to work on the prayer guide for next week. As I spent time with God, a song that has taken up residence in my mind on a regular basis recently, reappeared to get my attention. The song is “Thank You” by Ray Boltz and at various times in the last few weeks different lines from the song have become lodged in my mind. Today the line that has stuck in my mind came from near the end of the song, “My child, look around you. Great is your reward.” We tend to be a reward driven society — at least I tend to be drawn in that direction — but the good news is that God says the reward for those who pursue and remain in relationship with Him is great! We often miss that fact because our idea of reward can be very different, and very inferior, to the reward God wants us to receive. The message of the song is that the people we have served in the name of Jesus that are in heaven in part because of our willingness to share, are part of our great reward.
As I let the words of the song simmer in my mind while I prayed, the idea of great rewards began to form as the basis for the next prayer guide. God says that there is great reward to be found in the keeping of His commands and ordinances. Fortunately, He has given us all of the tools and resources necessary for us to be equipped to obey His word and receive the benefits that come to those who remain in a faithful relationship with Him. As I worked on prayerfully writing out the prayer guide, a number of birds filled the brush looking for food. The light rain didn’t stop them from enjoying a meal and singing some beautiful songs of praise. Today’s photo is of one of those birds perched atop a sumac seed head, almost appearing to pose for the photo opportunity. The birds of the air are taken care of by God and experience a great reward as they trust Him to supply what they need. Will you and I experience a greater reward as we trust God to not only supply our daily needs, but more importantly, to supply our eternal need?
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- While the weather, and many other things, may surprise me, none of it surprises God.
- “Listening” to our senses will help us see many things that would otherwise go unnoticed.
- It is easy to feel unappreciated, unnoticed, or unimportant when we measure success by the world’s standards.
- When we pursue, and attain, success by God’s standards, being in relationship with Him is our great reward.
- What we do matters. Why we do what we do matters even more.
- Many people have difficulty trusting God because they’ve not been able to trust people. I guess I’m odd, I find myself trusting God more when I encounter situations where the trust of people has failed.
- We all struggle with understanding the true difference between need and wants. God’s eternal perspective knows exactly what we need and when we want whatever He offers, we find that we receive the desires of our heart.