Is there something beautiful in your life you have been overlooking?
I heard a sermon over the summer about faith dominos. The speaker described these as people or situations in someone’s life that led them over the course of time to encounter God. She went on to say God uses the elements of the world he created with perfect timing, falling one against the other like a string of dominos. Each domino moves a person closer and closer to their encounter with God. We were challenged to be a single domino in the string of many in the life of someone who may be struggling.
“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT
Walking to work the other day, I spotted an old tree that captured my attention standing against the backdrop of the breaking dawn. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture. Later, I felt compelled to garnish the image with a few inspiring words.
I stretch out my arms,
lifting them to the sky.
Even as events happen
I don’t understand why.
Aging boughs creak, groan,
swaying in an angry wind.
Hope arises in the morning
when the sun warms my limbs.
After an exhausting day at work, I peeled off my sweaty clothes and tossed them on a pile of laundry. But before I could take up residence on the couch, there were a few household items I needed to take care of. Feeding “big boy” (our parrot fish) and walking Jake and Brody (our two dachshunds) topped the list.
After finishing a relaxing walk with my pups, I grabbed the stack of dirty clothes and tossed it in the washing machine. A couple hours later I transferred the load to the dryer.
I grabbed a fresh towel and a wash cloth from the dryer the next morning as I prepared to start my day. While taking several gulps of coffee, I noticed wads of paper scattered across the floor. I recognized the fragments immediately. They were “scraps,” thoughts I collected for chapter 8 of my upcoming book, which interestingly enough dealt with the issue of distraction.
Accusing thoughts surfaced–Brody! It’s a proven fact he loves to shred anything made of paper. But how did he get ahold of my precious thoughts? Yet, he didn’t look guilty as he rested quietly head in paws. I didn’t know what to think.
Moments later, I visited the dryer again. This time rummaging for a pair of socks. More wads of paper appeared among the clothes. As it turns out, this was my doing!
If I had taken the time to capture these thoughts in my manuscript instead of carrying them around for weeks in my shirt pocket, this calamity could have been averted. In my moment of anxiousness I was reminded of this verse of scripture:
“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ASV
You may be wondering what losing scraps of paper has to do with this passage of scripture. I had the same thought and considered putting this story on ice. I decided to ponder the matter for further and pray about it. A thought came to me this morning. The source of most of my scraps used in this blog find their origin in bathing myself in the peace God provides.
I have to chuckle. From now on, whenever I see, “guarding your thoughts,” (as in folded scraps of paper in my pocket) it will remind me of my washed and dried scraps of paper.
Philippians is one of those inspiring reads prompting some to plaster its verses on tee shirts, wall plaques and coffee mugs. It’s been called by some the epistle of joy. With that thought in mind, I’ll be including “scraps” from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi in my blog over the next several weeks.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” Philippians 1:6
The good work being referred to is the work of grace in the heart of a believer in Jesus Christ. Consider Charles Spurgeon’s comment on God’s desire to complete the good work He began in the lives of his children:
“Where is there an instance of God’s beginning any work and leaving it incomplete? Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe cast off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness.”
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,” Philippians 1:9
Believe with all your heart that God has a purpose and a plan for your life!