A gentle whisper from the LORD...

"Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 Kings 19:11-12

Friday, October 14, 2011

What Do Your Walls Say?

While the enemy smothered, overwhelmed and struck with seemingly unending power, Habakkuk cried out to the Lord in utter helplessness.  Nothing seemed to ease the suffering.  No help hung over the horizon.

And then God spoke.

God knew every detail, every hint of evil in the hearts of the Chaldeans.  And in the end, God reigned.

In His message of woe to the enemy, one single verse struck a chord deep in my heart... 

"The very stones in the walls cry out against you, and the beams in the ceiling echo the complaint."
Habakkuk 2:11

Even the walls of their homes sensed the evil.  I imagine the eariness one might feel walking through the doors of their big houses built through dishonest gain.

But before I could go on any further, splattering judgement on their homes, God turned it around and, in my heart, asked me the question:  What do your walls say?

As my children grow older and create more memories, what will they remember?  Someday, they will leave our home to begin their own families...what will our walls speak to them?

Laughter in the Walls
by Bob Benson

I pass a lot of houses on my way home,
some pretty,
some expensive,
some inviting -
but my heart always skips a beat
when I turn down the road
and see my house nestled against the hill.
I guess I'm especially proud
of the house and the way it looks because
I drew the plans myself.
It started out large enough for us -
I even had a study -
two teenaged boys now reside in there.
And it had a guest room -
my girl and nine dolls are now permanent guests.
It had a small room Peg
had hoped would be her sewing room-
the two boys swinging on the dutch door
have claimed this room as their own.
So it really doesn't look now
as if I am much of an architect.
But it will get larger again-
one by one they will go away
to work,
to college,
to service,
to their own houses,
and then there will be room-
a guest room,
a study,
and a sewing room
for just the two of us.
But it won't be empty-
every corner,
every room,
every nick
in the coffee table
will be crowded with memories.

Memories of picnics,
parties, Christmases,
bedside vigils, summers,
fires, winters, going barefoot,
leaving for vacation, cats,
graduations, first dates,
ballgames, arguments,
washing dishes, bicycles,
dogs, boat rides,
getting home from vacation,
meals, rabbits and
a thousand other things
that fill the lives
of those who would raise five.
And Peg and I will sit
quietly by the fire
and listen to the
laughter in the walls.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Almost A Stifle

The most stressful moments of a single day always insist of moving my children from point A to point B...in a parking lot! 

"Hold my hand!" 
"Watch out!" 

Blood pressure rises.  Tone of voice, serious.  Not to mention the heavy burden of trying to appear to be the perfect mom by keeping my cool, all the while my insides run wild!

Many times, I miss a precious moment tucked in between these hair raising experiences.  For instance...

We finally approached the door yet my motherly control still wanted knowledge of every finger and toe's whereabouts.  My youngest, age 3, darted away from me with all the confidence of the world.  My heart pounded.  Frustration elevated.  And in that brief moment, I just about missed it.

He approached the door, spread out his arms as though he were just about to embrace the world with a giant hug, his chest puffed out with confidence as he stood facing the door...waiting for "the force".  Sure enough, the doors swung open simply through the power of his presence! 

Right at the moment I about landed into him for running off, a stranger giggled at the humor of this little child.  The eyes of my heart opened at the sound of the giggle and I realized I almost missed it.  Consumed with things going exactly as I had planned, I almost missed a humorous and memorable moment.  My need to control almost stifled a memory.

And then I remembered...

"Do not stifle the Holy Spirit."
(1 Thessalonians 5:19)

The need to control my life interferes often.  I wonder how many moments I have missed because of my tight fist hold on life.  And I question how many times have I stifled the Holy Spirit, stuffing him down into the depths, ignoring his prompting, all for my control's sake, only to miss an opportunity...

to grow.
to evangelize.
to encourage.
to endure with peace.
to walk forward with joy.
to be in God's will.

I leave you with this prayer...

"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong."
Ephesians 3:16-17