It doesn’t change a thing

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While her husband was on a business trip, my younger daughter and her newborn son came to stay with us. What a joy it was to meet each morning through the wide-eyed wonder named Luke.

At five weeks he has already changed so much. Beginning to shake off the sleepy cloak that wraps a newborn’s mind, he is alert for longer periods during the day (and regrettably for his parents, during the night as well.)  When he is awake, his arms and legs engage in a constant stationary dance to music only he can hear.

This morning as he lay beside me on the couch pumping his tiny arms and legs, I began to whisper in his ear. Occasionally he would fix his eyes on me and seem to be soaking in every syllable.

“I love you Luke. You are so beautiful. And even though you really don’t understand how much I love you, it doesn’t change the fact that I do.”

It is doubtful that he understood a word of what I said, but my voice still commanded his momentary attention.

Sometimes I am just like baby Luke. When God calls me, my response involves thrashing around in a crazy stationary dance.  Stuck on the couch looking up at the ceiling lights, neither moving backwards or forwards, my is mind running wild.

What if I fail?

What will people think?

How can I accomplish something so far outside my comfort zone?

Then I remember the promises of God.

I remember that Romans 8:31 says if God is for me, then who can be against me? And according to 1 Thessalonians 5:24,  if God has called me to it, then God will see me through it.

When I’m stuck on the brink of a land flowing with milk and honey, tempted to retreat to Egypt, I can go forth in the confidence that God’s love lies ahead and behind me. Whether or not I believe the promises doesn’t change God.

He remains the same.

The only change is in me when I respond to His promises with faith and love. So when I am faithless and fretful I must listen closely for Holy Spirit’s truth.

The lovely reminder He whispers in my ear.

“I love you Anne. You are so beautiful. And even though you don’t understand how much I love you, it doesn’t change a thing.”

Be Like a Tree

After spending a few frozen days cooped up in our house, I ventured out into the snow-covered world courtesy of my husband and his faithful four-wheel drive vehicle. As he was navigating the hilly country roads, I was marveling at the beauty of the ice-laden landscapes. Everywhere I looked, trees were topped with thick layers of ice and snow. Even with only the filmy winter sun’s appearance, they were dazzling.

After a coating of ice had fallen, multiple inches of wet snow piled on top. Many of the trees’ limbs were bent low to the ground under the increased weight. Other trees had succumbed to the added stress and were surrounded with broken branches at their base, their limbs unable to sustain the storm without injury.

Life is like that sometimes. It comes with storms so harsh and cold that it threatens to shatter me into pieces on the cold, hard ground. Buried beneath the weight of my circumstances, I am overwhelmed. Disappointment, disillusion and heartache pelt against me, piling their heavy load upon my branches. How can I sustain such a storm? How do I bend, not break?

The answer for me lies in the scriptures. Psalm 1: 3 tells me that blessed is the one who meditates on the Word. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” In every season I must be connected to the Word. My roots growing deep into its rich soil, fueling my spirit so that it remains tender and pliable.

The book of Psalms is just one of the treasure troves of God’s promises. Promises written to me that feed my faith. They tell of God’s unfailing love and protection. Reminding me that God is an ever-present help in time of trouble delivering me from all my fears. So that whether it’s the blizzard’s blinding breath or the sun’s scorching rays, I can stand tall with supple branches, roots growing deep, drawing my life from the promises of God.