I’ve sat here for over an hour trying to figure out how to write Page 191. It has been a tough day as I’ve gone about my work with my brother and his family in my thoughts and prayers as today marks one year since the death of my niece. I began the workday with a building walk-through and then settled in with God to work on the prayer guide for next week. It took longer than usual to sort through the thoughts and ideas that would come to mind, but I eventually settled on the topic of living pure. Because the Bible makes it clear that all have sinned, and experience teaches us that it is not always past tense, the subject of living pure can make most people rather uncomfortable.
The good news is that the Bible also tells us that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness — in other words, makes us pure! The same power that we read of in Acts chapter two when the people responded to the message preached by Peter and were immersed for the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit, is at work in us when we also respond to God’s message of salvation. We are not only made pure by the washing away of our sins, we can live pure by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit that guides, instructs, and convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment.
It was early afternoon by the time I finally got the prayer guide written and as I finished it up I noticed a deer standing outside my window. I tried to get my camera out of my bag as quickly as I could without making sudden movements which might scare her away, but after I had retrieved my camera and looked back out the window she was gone. As I prepared to shut down my computer, I noticed a flash of color heading toward my office window. As I looked up, a cardinal swept inches away from my window before heading to the edge of the woods where he appeared to pose for the pictures which I happily took of him. While I’ve seen them out at other places, it had been a while since I had seen a deer or a cardinal outside my office window. The beauty of God’s creation always remind me of His presence and when they come near, I always have a greater sense of the nearness of His presence.
After taking a few photos and finishing up the workday tasks, I headed out to get a late lunch on my way home. As I pulled out of the drive at work, a weariness settled into me with such force that I went straight home and fixed a couple hot dogs for lunch. After lunch I played some computer/video games before giving in and laying down to take a nap. My mind and body said, “Enough!”, and it was time for some rest. I eventually woke up and fired up the pellet grill to make some bacon cheeseburgers for dinner. While they cooked, I shot some photos of the flowers around the house as well as caught photographs of a few hummingbirds and a baby rabbit. After dinner I made my way to my desk where I’ve worked at writing today’s page until now it is time to wrap it up and pray for a good night’s sleep.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Sometimes we press on with tasks and responsibilities we must do, but eventually God calls us to pause and find rest in Him.
- The toll of emotional work is often less obvious than physical work until we find ourselves exhausted and wondering why.
- Memories are what we hold onto when we are no longer able to hold the ones we love. So, go out and make good memories while you can.
- Living pure is God’s desire for each of His children.
- God both cleanses us from all unrighteousness as well as empowers and equips us to make pure choices through the power of His Spirit.
- When we seek God with our whole heart, He will be found. When we look for His presence around us, we will see it.
- The Christian does not grieve as the world grieves, yet we do grieve even as those who have great hope.