It's silent before I walk in on them, early in the dawn. As I open the barn door, their ears perch high on their heads.
They start to whinny, snort and stomp their hooves. Louder and louder, as if they are calling, "Get our food! Rub our noses! More hay today! Hurry!"
The grain goes into their bins. One by one, they become quiet. Lastly, a very peaceful sound is made. It's the sound of satisfaction.
It sounds so simple - yet it is so soothing. It's the sound of their teeth politely munching their feed, the sound of a snort of thanks, here and there.
I sit back and heed to the silent sound of serenity. The horses, with their majestic actions and sounds, release healing.
They tell the story of our lives. "Love me! Feed me! Fill me!" Their sounds reflect our innermost wants and needs.
Their sounds deliver.
While horses offer a spiritual experience for me, I know the Source of the experience.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV) And my God will meet all your needs, according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
What may seem mundane can actually be God speaking to us. God reminds us that He offers to touch all our needs, not all our wants. He never fails to deliver.
Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV) Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him.”
Is God still speaking today? You bet.
Luke 17:20 (NIV) When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
Long ago, when I read this verse, I thought to myself, "John, are you insane?"
Maybe that's why John lived in the woods, ate grasshoppers and dressed in deerskin.
"Are you the one, or should we expect another?"
I don't think John sent his disciples to Jesus to ask the question for John's benefit, but rather for theirs - and ultimately for ours.
Jesus responded with, “Go back and report to, John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor."
"Are you the One?"
There was no need for a long discourse from Jesus. I love His simple but not simplistic answer. "What have YOU seen and heard?"
This begs the questions to myself, "what have YOU seen and heard?" Or better still, "what has changed in me?"
"Are you the one He wants you to be?"
For a resurrection to occur, a death must take place. I ask: What needs to die in me, in order for something better to arise?
Psalms 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. "
Bring death to my faults. Give me a new life in you.
And so He did.
Why was He silent?
Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: "He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a Lamb before its shearer is silent, so he does not open his mouth. (Acts 8:32 NIV)
On Good Friday, I often wonder why He was for the most part silent at his various “trials.”
Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 61-62 (ESV) “
He was silent because He was Guilty as Charged. He was charged with Blasphemy and claiming to be the Son of God. He did not need to offer any defense. He did not need to justify, argue, defend or explain Himself.
Sunday is coming…
Devotional – Contentment
Philippians 4: 11-12 (NIV) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
The Church I attend is closed due to the Corona Virus, so I have been flipping through the television channels, watching parts of sermons here and there. A few were good, and some were not so good. One particularly grabbed my attention. It was a prosperity theology sermon. You know, give to me and God will give you wealth and blessings. Life will be perfect, if you just believe and have faith. Nothing bad will happen to you. Ugh... flip that channel.
But it did make me think. What if God’s purpose is not to fulfill all our wants and desires, but rather to offer us contentment?
That’s a God that I can understand. That’s a theology that I can accept. That’s a Biblical approach to God. Lord, just offer me contentment in whatever situation I may find myself in, at the moment.
The verse following the above passage is often quoted. Philippians 4:13 (NIV) I can do everything, through him who gives me strength
Or my paraphrase, “I can be content, through all things, through him that gives me strength.”
Father, help us to be content in all things. Help us not to confuse our desires and wants with true contentment. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Luke 5:18-19 (NIV) Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
Late in College and early in my business career the hot topic was “manage your time!” Time management books, seminars and courses promised success in life. I perceived the overall theme to be, “you can do it alone, but do it with our time management method.”
Could the paralyzed man do it alone? Of course, not. He had to ask for help. Help is one of the hardest words in the English language to say and more particularly to ask. His friends heard his cry for help and responded.
They knew of someone that could heal him. They had faith in Jesus’ power. The took the time to carry the man on his mat to the house where Jesus was performing miracles. But the house was so crowded they had to devise a plan. A plan that took more than time management, it took energy management.
They hoisted him to the roof and lowered him through the hole they made in it down to Jesus.
Now watch this verse carefully, Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
It wasn’t only the faith of the paralyzed men. When Jesus saw “their” faith, both his friends and the man, he then healed the man.
We must manage our energy, not time. We give "life" to whatever we give our energy to in life. Extraordinary energy investments lead to extraordinary outcomes.
How about you? Do you call for help when needed? Are you a friend that will come when called? Will you manage your energy in order to have the time to give life to others in need?
Dear Father, help us to be a part of extraordinary outcomes. Whether as the receiver or giver of help, so that we may be a part of your blessings. In Christ’s name, Amen.