Thoughts for the Week

Archive for December, 2011

Daddy’s Girl

There’s something about me you probably didn’t know.

Do you know about Veggietales? It’s a TV show about talking vegetables that tell Bible stories. Now, this may not sound exciting to an adult. But as a kid, my friends and I grew up watching the show and it was about the coolest thing in the world.

It turns out my dad is one of the voice talents on the show, Dad Asparagus. I always took pride as a kid knowing that my dad was “famous.”

Well, one day, when I was around ten, I went to the park with my family. There were some kids there whose sole purpose it seemed was to make fun of me. I remember a lot of nasty things were said.

Harsh words are one of the most crippling things for a child to encounter. That day at the park could have been very hurtful.

But I distinctly remember a train of though running through my mind. “These kids are being pretty mean, but, you know what? My dad does the voice of Dad Asparagus! And that is so cool and he loves me, so there!”

Looking back, it makes no sense. But I still remember the confidence and courage I had against those bullies. Because my dad was cool, it made me cool. Because he loved me, I could lift my head high and ignore the hurtful words.

This completely applies to our Heavenly Father. There are countless things that try to hurt and discourage us. But there’s no need to worry. Your Heavenly Father is the coolest dad ever! Because He loves you so dearly, you can be confident, throw your head back and laugh when something tries to discourage you.

You are your Daddy’s girl, or son.

1 John 3:1a

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.
Advertisements

Mary Didn’t Know

You recall how Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and was told she would give birth to a son, and name Him Jesus?

From then on, Mary’s life was never the same. She had no idea how Jesus was going to affect her life.

Think about it. After being visited by the angel, it would be hard to convince your friends and family that you were going to have a baby, but you still were a virgin. Mary’s reputation was most likely ruined. Because of it, she almost lost her fiance, Joseph (Matt 1:19).

While she was pregnant, she had to take a trip to Bethlehem from her hometown. A trip that was 80 miles long, and could have taken a week. Then Mary’s first son had to be born in a dirty stable away from the comfort of her family and friends.

About two years later, the family was still in Bethlehem. Because of this baby boy, she and her husband were forced to flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of a jealous king. They needed to wait until he passed away until they could return. Mary wasn’t able to see her family for years. She might have wondered if she could ever see her parents again, or if they could ever meet her son, Jesus.

But when they got back to Nazareth, the trouble didn’t end. I’d imagine those rumors of having a baby out of marriage were still floating around. Most women would probably think twice before letting their kids play with Jesus, an illegitimate son.

Needless to say, Mary’s life was not an easy one. There were probably many times when she questioned God. If she was to give birth to the savior of the world, why was it so hard, so inconvenient?

But when you look at all the good that came from Jesus’ life, all the lives touched and redeemed, Mary’s hardship seems to fade away. She couldn’t have imagined that thousands of years later, the life of her son would still have an impact. Not to mention that Jesus’ life and death would have eternal results!

So, how about you? When God calls and uses us for His glory, it doesn’t mean life is going to be smooth sailing. The Bible tells us to “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2 (NIV). Not “IF you face trials of many kinds.” Hardship will happen.

This Christmas season, remember Mary the next time you hit a bump in the road. While she didn’t know about the problems that would arise, she served God well and was faithful.

PS: By the way, Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Such a Gift as This

The arrows whizzed past Oriah’s head as she dropped to the grass.

That was close, she thought. Her group was under attack from a rogue band of rebels, well-trained rebels. Her band couldn’t flee. They had to fight. Oriah was decent with a sword, but she decided to stay away from the front lines.

She slipped behind a tree and nearly stumbled over a prone form. She was shocked, it was one of the soldiers from her party. He had a bad gash over his heart; it wasn’t deep, but an inky substance coated the inside of his wound. The enemy had been known to use poisoned arrows and blades.

The fallen soldier was half-conscious and having difficulty breathing. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain.

Oriah knew some skilled healers back at the camp. They could instantly fix this wound. But with this skirmish going on, her voice couldn’t reach her comrades. And she wasn’t strong enough to lug the solider back with his armor. They were stuck.

The soldier coughed violently and was losing strength. He wouldn’t last long. Oriah began to panic. This man needed help, and soon!

She gingerly placed her hand over his chest wound. But she couldn’t help him. Oh, Lord, she prayed. Why couldn’t You have given me the gift of healing? I can sing well, but that will not help! 

The thought to sing anyway crossed her mind. A sense of peace washed over her, and she complied. In a low, soothing melody, she sang a song of hope.

Take courage, O man. Your help is not far.

The God of the world, yes, He’s on our side.

Don’t let your heart trouble, don’t let it scar

with worry and fear. Go rise up and ride, for He is near.

Oriah glanced at the soldier’s wound, and to her amazement, the black substance dissolved. The man’s face eased, and he was at peace. Oriah looked up and noticed the enemy had been pushed back. Her brother, Oriad, was bounding toward her, sword in hand. “You okay, sis?”

Oriah pointed, “I am, but he’s not!”

Soon, the solider was whisked away and placed into caring hands.

*  *  *

Later, Oriah made her way down the white hallway, looking for the right room. She rounded a corner and found it. In a bed and upright was the man she had sung to. His green eyes were open and lively. A nurse was beside the bed. Oriah breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh, I’m so glad to see you’re all right.”

At the sound of her voice, the man recognized her. “Oh my! You’re that angel who rescued me on the battlefield, aren’t you?”

She chuckled. “Well, sorta, I didn’t really save you.”

The nurse stood, “actually, you did save this man’s life.” Oriah was surprised, “what?” The nurse gestured to the man’s bandaged chest. “The poison wasn’t normal, it didn’t attack the body, it attacked the mind. It tried to drain hope from him. But, luckily you were there to sing to him.”

Oriah shook her head. “I don’t understand.”

The man spoke up. “The nurses told me that if I had been healed with the poison still inside, I certainly would have been killed. But during my mental struggle, your song gave me courage and I had hope. Thank you, your gift was exactly what I needed.”

 

Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.

Esther 4:14 (MSG)

All these [gifts] are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV) 

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Lose Your Gifts

Their talents were truly remarkable.

The twins had a natural ability to create the most beautiful music. Oriah was able to hear a song once, and then she could sing it perfectly with gentle vibrato. Her slightly older brother, Oriad, was a virtuoso at playing any instrument.  He practically mastered whatever he picked up. The notes he could coax from them would ring so resonantly that few could listen without feeling deeply moved.

When they played together, Oriah’s voice of an angel mixed with Oriad’s heavenly music, inspired listeners and they said could almost feel God smiling and enjoying the beauty along with them. The twins sang and played to His glory and it was said there were no finer musicians in the kingdom.

One day, the Master came to them with a smile. “You two have incredible gifts from God and I have seen the honor you give Him though your gifts.”  The twins smiled and thanked the Master.

But then the Master continued, “However, to truly honor Him to the highest potential, you must lose your gifts.”

The smiles vanished. Oriah’s silvery voice spoke up. “Lose our gifts? How?”

“You must give them to God. Give your talents completely to Him.”

Oriad’s brow knotted. “Would we ever see them again?”

The Master shook his head. “No, no you would not. You two would never be able to sing and play the way you do now.”

Oriah said, “Master, I am disheartened to hear that, and also confused. Why would God want us to give  away our gifts when we are already serving Him so well?”

“I’m afraid I can’t answer that. But know that it would please your heavenly Father greatly if you did this.”

The twins took this message home and thought about it, prayed about it, and struggled with it. They loved their gifts; why would God ask them to give them away? By the end of the week, they had an answer.

“We will fully give God our talents.”

And they did. Once they prayed for God to take their gifts, it was true they couldn’t sing and play the way they used to…they found something else. They found that after they had prayed this prayer, God had blessed them with even better gifts!

Oriah’s voice changed. To her great surprise, she could harmonize by herself. In fact, she could sing a four-part song alone. Her voice was so rich and soothing, that anyone who heard it stopped what they were doing and began to listen, entranced by the lovely singing.

Oriad received a small lyre to play, but it was no ordinary instrument. Whatever sound he desired to play would come from the strings as he plucked. He could have it sound like a violin, a trumpet, a harp, or anything else. Audiences who heard him play were just dumbstruck and in awe of his skills and the lyre.

When they combined their talents, listeners were enthralled. Many tears of gratefulness and wonder were shed due to the majesty and incredible beauty of their God-given music.

Oriah and Oriad sang and played to the rest of their days, worshiping and praising God for His mighty and mysterious ways.

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 10:39 (NIV)

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Bottle of Tears

When was the last time you cried?

Perhaps it was over a sweet movie, or a movie with a bittersweet ending. (I cry my eyes out at the end of Lord of the Rings every time. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.)  However, sometimes tears come from real pain, physical or emotional, or from angry frustration. Those tears are from the heart and can be very hard to deal with.

Some people prefer to let heartache out with friends or cry with one person they trust.  Other people like to be left alone to sort through their emotions. Whether you prefer to share, or be left alone, at one point or another, you will come across a problem where you feel as if no one could possibly understand.

That’s an awful feeling–thinking you’re totally and utterly alone in your misery. It’s like your pain and suffering is not noticed or cared about.

That is not true! God is always by your side even if He’s not perceivable. Did you know that God records and remembers all the tears you shed? King David wrote in psalm 56:8, “Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (NIV).  The Lord remembers and sees all of our miseries. The King James Version says it this way, “put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”

The thought that God puts all of our tears into a bottle and remembers our pain is very comforting. He’s so attentive to you, His child, that he can recall all of your tears. You are never alone or forgotten.

Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Tag Cloud