Welcome to Heartsprings, where I share what springs forth from my heart for God and His people. I pray that what you find here blesses you and draws you nearer to your Heavenly Father who loves you like no other.

In His love,
Brenda :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Love in Peace

A quote from my devotion this morning:  "Success is the result of work done in peace.  Only so can work yield its increase.  Abide in Me, and I in you, so shall you bring forth much fruit.  Be calm, assured, at rest.  Love, not rush.  Peace, not unrest."

Amen!  This is what I need!  I get so worked up over all the things I want or think I need to do, and how quickly I want them done, that I end up running around like a chicken with my head cut off and bring forth only stress - no fruit.  How much of what I keep myself busy with is even necessary?  I think that's a good question and one I should ask myself every day.  How often have I worried about something only to have it taken care of with little to no effort on my part?  Quite often, actually.  99.9% of the time I worry for no reason.  Actually, 100% of the time, worry has no good purpose - there's no real good reason for it.  What does worry get us; ulcers, premature gray hair, high blood pressure?  I don't see any of that as good.  My grandma used to have a plaque on her desk that read, "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."  I have found that to be incredibly true.

I actually experienced the truth of my devotion's quote just yesterday.  I was forced to relax a bit yesterday due to some physical constraints.  I spent quite a bit of time in the Word yesterday morning, and purposefully pared down my to-do list and slowed my pace.  I chose to relax and give God some control (baby steps, you know.  Giving him all control is the goal and I'm not quite there yet).  As a result, I had a very nice day and actually got more accomplished than I thought I would.  I was much more at peace.  Don't get me wrong, I get a lot accomplished most of the days that I'm forcing it - all revved up and stressed, but I'm always grumpy and super tired by the end of the day.  It takes a lot of energy to be totally in control and being stressed all day will wear you out.

Something else I read this morning:  "Have no fear for the future.  Be quiet, be still."
I wonder if I create these unreasonable to-do lists, and push myself to accomplish so much in a single day because I have a fear of the future.  I'm afraid of the time when I may be able to do even less than I can do today.  I'm not getting any younger, after all.  There will come a time when I have even less control over my life than I do now, and that thought terrifies me.  What if I'm not here tomorrow and I leave my family with a big mess?  Then there's the fact that I want things to be a certain way and they're not that way yet.  I have always wanted a nice conversation area on my back deck complete with a fire pit table for those chilly fall nights, and to go with that I want a perfectly manicured backyard.  Neither of those things exist yet and my days are numbered.  I'm over 50, you see, so who knows how much longer I have.  Kind of like a bucket list, I have these things that I WANT to get accomplished and something in me is driving me to the point of stress over them.  In the short term, my house HAS to be neat and clean and my refrigerator and pantry well stocked for the weekends.  So, my week is filled with housecleaning, cooking, and baking to-do's.  More than I can usually get done in a week, partially due to the physical constraints I mentioned earlier, so my "has to" never really gets accomplished.  I'm just spinning my wheels.  Lightbulb moment!!  The physical constraints frustrate me, they hold me back and I can't let them win.  I have to prove that I am just as capable as I ever was, even though the truth is quite the contrary.  That puts me in mind of a three-year old saying "I do it!" to a task that is obviously too much for him.  The need for independence and control over our circumstances is a strong part of human nature.  It emerges early, and it comes on strong.

Well, I think I've learned some things here today.  I am very prideful, stubborn, and a control freak.  I need to remember the day I had yesterday and relinquish every day to the Lordship of my Heavenly Father.  I have to give myself permission to rest in Him, have no fear for the future (or present circumstances), and quiet my stubborn little 3-year old inner self.  "Love and peace"is not just a hippie mantra, it's Biblical!  When we're at peace, we actually have time to love God, love others, and love ourselves because we're not rushing from project to project obsessed with the idea of worldly success.  Success that really matters, success in God's eyes, is being at peace and loving.  Sigh.....just saying those words makes me feel more peaceful.  :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

His Richest Gift

"The water that I shall give him...shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." -John 4:14

The gift of eternal life.  Of all the gifts that our Heavenly Father extends to us, that is the richest of all.  How sad that so many turn away from it.  I picture God extending His hand to a man and in His hand is the most beautifully wrapped gift anyone has ever seen.  I see that man looking at the gift as if there were something horrible inside it, and he turns and walks away.  I see God's heart breaking.

I believe the man simply didn't understand.  His blinded, distrusting eyes didn't see a beautiful gift.  They saw bondage.  Man often mistakes worldliness as freedom and God's gift of salvation as imprisonment.  He sees life with God as a set of rules to adhere to; solemn and devoid of fun.  The truth is exactly the opposite of that.

The things of this world; money, prestige, physical lusts, those are the things that enslave us.  They bind us in chains of addiction, fear, doubt, distrust - sin.  They blind us to the truth of God's gift.  They may feel good in the short-term, but leave us empty in the long run.  True freedom comes with peace, strength, love, and a sound mind - the wrapping that God's gift comes in.  Life with God is THE adventure, and until you know God's brand of fun, you haven't known fun.  He has a sense of humor and He is the most creative of all beings.  God possesses a depth of kindness, grace, and love like nothing we've ever experienced.  A "set of rules" is religion.  God is about relationship, NOT religion.

Eternal life is what God is offering.  In return He asks for a relationship with us.  With each one of us individually.  A personal, eternal life-long friendship.  Who wouldn't want to be friends with the most powerful person in the universe who loves them unconditionally and wants only the best for them?

I want to run after the man and make him see that the gift he turned away from is truly the most beautiful gift he would ever receive.  The trick to that is that the man has free will.  God will not force anyone to accept His gift. The man gets to choose for himself.  I can only pray that he changes his mind and comes back for the gift.  You see, as long as that man lives there is no expiration date.

Are you one who walked away from God's richest gift?  There's still time to change your mind.