God’s Today Assignment

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     As the cool of early morning covers my yard I see activity in my filbert tree. Every year there comes a harvesting time for the local squirrels. We have grown to expect and joyfully watch when these few days each year arrive. It is fascinating to watch the acrobatics and diligent work that begins at sunrise and continues to sunset for several days in a row. Every nut is gathered, checked, shelled and tucked away for future use.

     However, that tree has now grown to be nearing 20 feet tall and this morning I found myself holding my breath as my little woodland critters began this tenacious dance. They teeter on thin branches pulling and shelling nuts, then as if the height doesn’t matter; they jump and swing from branches high in the air to reach the next tiny treasure.

     They have no fear and nothing distracts them – even my yapping dachshunds who circle the base of the tree. Their eyes are focused on the assignment at hand.

            Prov. 4:25 Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. (ESV)

     We can learn a spiritual lesson from these little squirrels.

     They woke to have one assignment today and that has been their job – and only job – all day long. Nothing distracted them from that purpose.

     Jesus walked with so many needs and expectations circling him every day but He chose to focus on the voice of His Father. Only doing what He was called to do – thus when His short three years of ministry was complete, He could say “I glorified you on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do.”

     We allow everyday expectations and needs to pull us, run our lives and distract us into exhaustion. We must choose to listen and obey the Spirits voice. When we say no, begin to manage our own expectations-as well as realign others expectations; we are then allowed to joyfully pick up His specific assignments, stay on task and with joy have plenty of strength to accomplish what He desires for us.

     Just as my little squirrels focus only on the prize – the tiny nut treasure – our forward focus on God’s assignment for TODAY will bring an eternal treasure and allow us to rejoice with the words that Jesus spoke – “I glorified you on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do”.

     Join me today in a choice to jump and swing from the highest branches – reaching for the next treasure – HIS assignment set up just for you to complete. Willingly lay down those urgent things that distract and open your eyes to His eternal plans for your TODAY.

Philippians 3:13-14 Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

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Up from the Ashes

In the midst of the pain and loss a seed is found – life will move forward, life will spring forth, life will be green again as it rises up from the ashes.

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I often ponder the parallels found in the truths of scripture shown through the natural and spiritual. Many such, have been in the forefront this year.

As last spring began, the lush tall forest trees of the west coast stood strong and vibrant, never knowing what the next season would bring. Spring soon led into a scorching summer as flames consumed over 8 million acres that now lay in ashes – those same lush forests destroyed.

An interesting fact occurs in the midst of forest fires – the seeds of life are spared, hidden and protected – they are surrounded by a hard safe shell that allows them to spread, land and in the midst of the nutrient ash – in time – they will bring forth life. Seedlings of life will begin to turn the black and gray colored hills and mountains into soft green life.

These last 6 months have left much in ashes across our country. Thousands of lives will never be the same due to floods, fires, and hurricanes but also from accidents, drugs, suicides and disease. They too, never expected to have their lives lay at their feet in ashes.

However, strength and new life will arise. If the ash lies at your feet it doesn’t look or feel possible, but somewhere deep inside faith stirs, then rises up to keep moving forward. Somehow that seed of faith has been hidden and protected. In the midst of the pain and loss a seed is found – life will move forward, life will spring forth, life will be green again as it rises up from the ashes.

In the midst of the ashes believe that Jesus has a plan – a protected, hidden seed within you. Your story is not over – trust in your Heavenly Father. He loves you, never leaves you, walks with you, is faithful and good all the time. Trust Him to bring life up from the ashes.

Is 61:2b-3 He has sent me to comfort those who are sad, those in Zion who mourn. I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow, and I will give them celebration clothes. He sent me to name them ‘Good Trees’ and ‘The Lord’s Wonderful Plant.’(ERV)

Psalm 30:11 Then he turned my sorrow into joy! He took away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. (TLB)