I’d like to invite you to join me in reading Luke the next few weeks! For me, it’s meaningful to think on the life of Christ in the weeks leading up to Easter. I like to read one of the four gospels at least once a year, because it gives us an excellent way to get to know Jesus. We come to know him and learn from him as we see his actions, hear his words, and gain a sense of his heart for God and people.
By starting now, we can read about five chapters a week for five weeks (there are 24 chapters in Luke). Then the readings for his death and resurrection will line up close to Easter!
We all have hard seasons in our lives. In these desert places, sometimes there is some thing we are waiting for and want, like a career change or people to connect with. Or, there is some thing we are living with that we don’t want, like illness or a difficult relationship. We hope and pray things change quickly. But when it doesn’t, how can we live and love well in that season?
I’ve been thinking about how God is life-giving in the midst of stress, suffering, and the various hard things we often experience. Jeremiah 17:5-8, the “parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land” makes me think of alkali flats, an area near my home.
Out of the corner of my eye, I became aware of a flock of black birds flitting outside our back windows. A large number of birds flew together searching for food. It’s winter. Cold. Rather barren. And in the midst of these realities, God provides food for the birds in the form of small fruit on our tree. This makes me think of Jesus’ words:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” ~Matthew 6:25-27
The last few weeks, we’ve been considering the paths and and choices we make. Wisdom guards our path and keeps us walking in the right direction (Wisdom for Your Path from Proverbs). Honoring God in the “small” daily decisions prepares our hearts for making bigger decisions in life (Which way to go?). And when we are in the maze of life, we can ask some smart questions to guide our bigger decisions (Navigating Life’s Maze).
What is your path like right now? This week, I want to invite you to set aside a few minutes to spend some quiet time with God. He is the Lamp that shines light on our path. Spending time with Him keeps our hearts close to Him, reminds us to trust Him, and helps us see our next steps clearly. I encourage you to find yourself a comfortable, quiet place to spend a little time with Jesus.
“For you are my lamp, O Lord,
and my God lightens my darkness.” ~II Samuel 22:29 (ESV)
In Elgin, Iowa, local farmers create an amazing corn maze each fall. The photo below shows the dairy theme they designed the year we visited there. Some ways were dead-ends or led us in a circle. And some areas had more than one way through. The corn was tall, and once we were in the maze we couldn’t see the beginning or the end. After experiencing our share of dead-ends and circling back, it was rewarding to make our way out!