Saturday, September 02, 2006


In the midst of my routine, I do find comfort, because part of that includes reading scripture and praying. I try to do this daily. Today I was reading Psalm 1 and a few chapters of 1 John. In Psalm 1 righteous people are compared to a tree planted by streams of water. I have always loved that comparison. I'm doing a study by Eugene Peterson along with my reading of Psalms, and one question was what does a tree bring to mind? I thought about their stability first of all. If a tree is removed from a street, the whole street looks different. A row of trees was removed from our town's library perimeter because the roots were lifting the sidewalk they were so huge, and the silhouette of the corner looks bare without them. A tree never ceases to be beautiful to me. In every season, they evoke an emotional response and seem like sentinels keeping guard wherever they are. A healthy tree continues to grow, can give fruit and shade, be a home to animals, create lifegiving oxygen-what a lovely metaphor for a godly and loving life.

In 1 John, much is said about the love of God and what our love ought to look like. 1 John 3:17 talks about having worldly goods and not sharing them, that the love of God could not be in our hearts if we do not share what we have with someone in need. And it goes on to one of my all-time favorite verses, 1 John 3:20, that if our hearts condemn us, God is larger than our hearts and knows us thoroughly. Both of those verses caused me to take a mental inventory of my life-have I been loving in a practical way, and if I have, can I trust that what I do is approved before the Lord and not condemn myself? It is very easy to condemn yourself if you have a wayward child. Self-blame can be so poisonous. It does nothing to help the situation. I suppose I concluded that by the grace of God I am practical with my love and I trust that God loves me in spite of and because of the things I do.

The comfort I find in this part of my daily routine is the comfort of knowing I am not alone. God has graciously bestowed on human beings free choice. We can choose the way we live. If we choose to acknowledge Him in all things, there is a promise that He will in turn direct our path. I believe that, and I want that assurance, even when life seems so out of control.


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