Monday, September 5, 2016

The Basics of Need

  Not many things in life are truly needs. Air, food, water, rest, and shelter keep us living here on earth and Jesus gives us eternal life. Anything else is outside the realm of need no matter how strongly we feel, right?

 Of course, each need can be broken down into specific requirements. For example, we need water but particularly, we require water that is clean. We need rest but specifically, we need a good amount of uninterrupted sleep. 

 I am not getting this at the moment, not because I am not able to sleep but because Jellybean's feeding pump has decided to revolt with an onslaught of obnoxious beeping every 30 minutes claiming to be clogged. Ahhh, technology. So, I have given up sleep at least until this feed ends in about 30 more minutes. 

 While I am sitting here in the dark, my mind is thinking of all the things with which God has blessed me. A lot of blessings in my life are outside of the realm of need and it is amazing that God not only thinks of our needs but goes even further. I am kind of a weirdo though. There are not a lot of things that I wish I had personally. My mind runs more towards being physically practical or helpful. When God sees fit to bless me with something that is beyond those two criteria, I tend to squirm in a writhing pool of awkward emotions. 

 And, maybe that is the point. Need goes beyond just the physical life sustaining substances. Need dives right down to the heart of the matter - God's will and His glory. True need is derived from not what keeps us alive but what God deems is His will for the moment. So, if I squirm at what God hands me that seems beyond practical or helpful, then there is a lesson to be learned that is needed for His purpose and that should be my desire. 

 Lord, let it be that you determine my need and provide for me accordingly. If it be that I am starving, let me not think only that I need bread but seek to know if Your will is for me to have peace even if I do not get bread. For if I am seeking first the kingdom of heaven, then my needs are much less earthly. Give me the vision that I may see difficult situations as not just a need for escape but possibly a need for the strength that I will gain by going through them with You. 

 More of You is what I truly need so I do not get distorted by just what I see. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Without Ruth...Not in Minnesota

  Driving hours across Iowa, one has lots of time to ponder things, lots of things. For some reason my thoughts were fixated on the word "ruthless" and the fact that it means without ruth. This lead me to think about Naomi and what would she have done without Ruth. She would have been a poor widow all alone far from family. BUT GOD did not leave her without Ruth and they were led to the kinsman redeemer. She was not left Ruth-less and gained mercy and love when she thought God was dealing bitterly with her. 

 God did not leave me without ruth on my trip. It was a little scary trekking across country with just me and Jellybean and all his medical accessories and special made food. He traveled better than I did actually. He rarely fussed and we were able to find nice, clean rest areas with large bathrooms that accommodated the stroller so he didn't have to sit on the dirty floor. 

 We finally arrived at our Minnesota destination after 2 overnight stops, Jellybean immediately took to everyone who loved on him bunches. My nephew was just home from his spine surgery and I was hoping to help. That evening my sister's pastor and his wife came over with groceries and it was such a sweet expression of love and compassion. 

 One job I got to do was remove his old bandage. This was without a doubt the hardest task. He was in such pain as I pulled up the adhesive that was literally like pulling up a layer of his skin. Afterward, he said that it was okay. He was so gracious with my fumblings. 

 Some friends texted me encouragement and prayers. It was always helpful and right when needed. Another example of love and compassion. 

 It was sad to leave, but my nephew was doing so great that when it came time to go, it made me happy that they didn't need extra help. I saw much love, compassion, and grace and more evidence that God never leaves us especially in the toughest times.