Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday's Blessings

On this very warm Thursday morning, I am thankful for so many blessings! The "little blessings"- if there are such things - are so easily overlooked but enrich my days in unexpected ways.

Among countless things, today I am thankful for:
flowers that add so much beauty to my world
the cool breeze that blew as I watered flowers this morning
beautiful birds, such as the doves, that feed in the yard
the beauty of the flag rippling in the breeze
a quick visit from a cousin who came by to pick up extra tomatoes
a day that I don't have to be anywhere at a certain time
a lively discussion about heaven and how to get there that I had with a teenager last night
emails from former students asking for prayer
the way God answers those prayers
the message I heard at campmeeting on Sunday about the love of God . . .

The love of God . . . and the peace He gives (the doves remind me of His peace and the Holy Spirit) . . . truly the greatest of all my blessings and make all the "little blessings" possible!

"Oh, how He loves you and me . . . "

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Lesson in the Corn Patch

After the storm

A few weeks later

Heavy rain and strong winds can wreak havoc in a corn patch. That's just what happened in Husband's garden a few weeks ago. The healthy, beautiful stalks were bent toward the ground, and it looked as if the crop was lost. Husband was tempted to plow up the rows of corn and start over with a different vegetable. After some thought, however, he decided to "help" the corn stand upright again, hoping the roots had not been damaged too much.

And so, stalk by stalk he stood the corn up and packed dirt around the base of each plant with his foot. One stalk . . . then another . . . and another. It was a tiring, monotonous task that took time and determination. But eventually you couldn't tell that the winds had touched the garden. The plants continued to stand tall and grow, producing enough corn for us and many of our neighbors.

Husband's successful efforts to get his corn crop standing and thriving again reminded me that people around us often need help in "standing up" after being knocked down. The storms of life can bend the strongest of us. So what can the winds of difficulty do to the weak ones . . . the children . . . the elderly . . . the abused . . . the needy. . . the hurting . . . the forgotten . . . the hopeless ones? Unless you and I become the hands of God and help lift them up, they may never "stand tall" again.

Now I know that you and I can't stand the whole world on its feet, but we can help and bring hope to those in our sphere of influence . . . one person at a time . . . one good deed at a time . . . one day at a time. Yes, it takes time and determination - and a heart of compassion. Reaching out to others can get tiring and messy, our hands and feet can get dirty, and we may wonder if our efforts are worth it. But somewhere down the road, we'll look back and see some of the fallen ones on their feet, heads held high, and living productive lives.

In the process of lifting up another, we somehow enrich our own lives. And I think nothing pleases our Heavenly Father any more than seeing us stoop to help a brother or sister. After all, He's the One who first reached out to us . . . and is still offering us His hand today! As the VBS song says:

"I get down; He lifts me up. . . "