Sweet Like Honey

our family's journal of God at work


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Oasis in the Desert

Only You can satisfy my soul
Only You can satisfy my soul
So I draw near to You

You are the well that never runs dry
Living Water flow

All I have to do is ask
And seek You with my heart
All I have to do is draw near to You
And drink, deep

I will search until I find You
No more chasing mirages in the sand
You are like a stream in the desert
Life coming forth in a barren land

You are the Rock that gives water
Life to those who know the secret of this place
You are Treasure waiting to be found
Buried beneath the surface

Green trees grow here
Planted in Your word
Thank you for the green trees that drew me here
I will stay—make me a green tree too

Across the desert people wander
How can I keep this water to myself
So many dying of thirst
Chasing empty promises

Picture an oasis in the desert
What draws you there?
How do you know it is not like the mirages you have followed before?
It is the signs of life—green everywhere

What do people need?
Do they need us to be like mirages to draw them to Christ?
Or do they need us to be green trees
Planted deep in the Lord?

They already know the mirages are empty
Who are we fooling by disguising Christ as those?
We are only making fools of ourselves
And leading them nowhere

Do you know the secret of the wilderness?
Have you met the Savior there?
He is calling all His people
Come drink, again and again
Turn away from distraction

Plant your life in the living water of the Word
Let the Spirit teach You
If you stay connected to the Water
He can send you anywhere
To be like a green tree planted in the desert
Pointing to the Source of life—Jesus Christ

Let all who are thirsty, come
The water is here
Let all who are empty, come
You will be filled

Jesus is the Living Water
The Bread of Life
Nothing satisfies like Him
Come to Jesus

Come for the first time
Or come again
The water is deep
The water is wide
There is no end


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Thoughts on suffering

God is not an idealist–instead He is patiently working all things for His glory and for our good–He is looking towards the final product.  We get in His way when we idolize the perfect situation NOW, and He gradually pries our fingers off our grasp of our ideals.

God does not waste any suffering.  He uses it for our good now and He is storing up treasures and glory for us in eternity.

God is good.

God is loving.

God is faithful to discipline His children and make them more like Jesus.  Sometimes He uses suffering to do that and we can look back and tell Him ‘thank you.’

God is always with us.  He never leaves us or forsakes us, and He is especially close to those who are suffering.

God does not give us more than we can bear, when we are relying on Him.

God does what will bring the most glory to Him, but He always has our best in mind as well.  What is best for us is usually not what we think it is.

Suffering is an opportunity to know God deeply.


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Bitterness is Like a Mulberry Tree

I have a child who frequently feels guilty about their sin after they have committed it and is very good about asking for forgiveness, but so quickly does the same kind of sin again and again and again and so comes to say they are sorry again and again and again.  Sometimes by the end of the day I blurt out, “I forgive you but it sure would be great if you could be sorry about your sin before you do it and just obey!”  It is a valid point, I think.  I don’t want this child to think they can do whatever they want, knowing they can apologize later.  On the other hand, I am called to forgive, over and over and over again.

Today we were reading in Luke 17:1-10.  Verses 3-5 say, “Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”  And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.'”  They thought seven times was hard!  They must have been shocked when he told them to forgive 70 times 7 (Matthew 18:21-35).  ‘Increase our faith!”

As we read on my heart took in the meaning of the passage and I started praising the Lord.  Verse 6 says, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.    Mulberry trees grow rapidly and can reach 70-80 feet tall.   Their root systems spread out very far and can be invasive.  They produce a very messy fruit (although they do taste quite good).  This is what bitterness and unforgiveness are like in my heart.  But Jesus says if I only have the faith of a tiny mustard seed I can send that bitterness into the sea.  I thought of the verses that say love covers a multitude of sins.  With faith, I can command bitterness to be planted in a sea of love and that huge tree will be covered over.

Jesus goes on to tell a story, ” And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?  But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?  Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him?  I think not.  So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants.  We have done what was our duty to do'” Luke 17:7-10.  Clearly, if we refuse to forgive we are considering ourselves to be better than our master, our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, and chooses to forgive our sins.  And we are also viewing the other person as being a worse sinner than we are even though the opposite is true–we ought to be the worst sinner we know, in our own eyes.  See also Matthew 18:21-35.

Dear Child of mine–I will forgive you over and over and over again. . .will you forgive me over and over and over again?  And Father, thank you for your unending mercy and your love which covers the multitude of my sins–through the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ.

“Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this may become defiled” Hebrews 12:14-15.

 

 


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To Be More Present

One of my prayers lately has been that the Lord will help me to be more “present” to my children.  We homeschool and spend most of our waking hours together, but though we are together most of the time I am not always “present”.  Humanly speaking, I cannot give them my full attention 24/7–my strength gives out  quickly.  When I get tired I find it difficult even to answer simple questions.  There are times though when I am simply distracted from them by unimportant things.

Since I started praying this I have noticed a difference in my ability to be more focused on helping them, talking with them, teaching them, listening to them, entering in to their fun. . .even when I am fighting through another day of fatigue.

The Lord reminded me that He “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. . . .The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” Psalm 46:1, 7.  He is not just in the same room with us, doing His own thing.  He is attentive to our every cry, every need, every thought, every Hallelujah and I love you, everything about us.  He loves us each as if we were the only person on earth and yet loves us all the same.  My Father has time for me and I am not a hindrance to Him.

I want to be like Him with my children, and so I will continue to pray and act as He gives me the strength–but I know I will not ever be as good at it as He is.  It makes me realize just how amazing and wonderful it is that God is an ever present  help in trouble; our God with us; the One who promises to never leave us or forsake us.