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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

We are gathered around the table–five women whose lives have been upended in some measure by the closure of the university.  Four are faculty wives; three of us are stay-at-home moms.  One lady is a faculty member.  The reports vary:  jobs are in hand for two families;  three job contacts in one day for another (we say YAY!); and a couple more are acting and waiting…a job in itself.  We are here to share life and to talk to God about it around this table.  We’ve been doing so for the past several months.

Our hostess opens her Bible, and our hearts, scattered here and there by our various specific circumstances yet bound together by our common one, are washed over and settled down with the flood of these truths from God’s mouth:

I know what I’m doing.  I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

As we pray, it occurs to me that, even though those verses were originally given to a group of people who had been exiled from their home land, they were not words for only then–or for only now.  God never changes, and He desires our hearts toward Him and our trust in Him to be always steadfast–regardless of the circumstances.

Anchoring–those truths are anchoring.  A shower song this morning starts “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?”  I didn’t know this, but an anchor doesn’t always do its job just by virtue of its weight.  It keeps the vessel in place by that means OR “by its flukes, which grip the bottom”, according to Webster.  Looking up “fluke”, I find that it is “the triangular blade at the end of an arm of an anchor, designed to catch in the ground.” (Triangular–good for my analogy…)

Truth digs in and hangs on.  What truth is anchoring you today?

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In January, my friend and fellow coach and I took four Bible quizzers to an invitational meet in Goshen, northwest of Fort Wayne.  I had never been to the host church.  My afternoon prior to departure had had a tight schedule and printing off a map was not on my to-do list, since I was not driving.  When Lynn’s time ran even shorter than mine, she asked if I would print off a map and directions.  I did the best I could at the last minute, but what we ended up traveling with was quite unclear and, consequently, we got lost.  (Maybe our second mistake was when we looked around the McDonald’s where we stopped for supper and assumed that the most mature-looking people we could find that did, indeed, live in Goshen, could give us the best directions from the restaurant to the church.)  The result of our late arrival at the meet was that our quizzers missed several rounds of quizzing–which may have cost them a chance of placing well in a particular quiz event.  (It was a humbling moment when the quizzer who had the most to lose willingly forgave without anger or tears.)

We traveled that night under faulty counsel…and we did not journey well.  A phrase, whose source I’m unsure of,  sifted to the top of the pile this morning on one of my “scraps” in the location where collected bits of wisdom have been accumulating lately:  “…counsel our hearts according to the truth.” 

Our quiz meet travel fiasco reminds me that part of journeying well depends on the map you use.  In the moment of pressure in my tight schedule, I had settled for a map that really wasn’t adequate to meet the traveling needs of the next few hours.  It didn’t have enough detail.  It didn’t take into account that we were strangers to the area and might not make the distinction between “County Road 17” and “OLD County Road 17” (or whatever the number was). 

In thinking about journeying well toward whatever is around the bend for our family relative to the next job (replace “job” with the decision of your choice), I am reminded that the map I follow will make a difference.  As we focus on the truth of God’s Word and let our hearts be counseled according to that, the wisdom we gain for the trip will be of the “vertical” variety–God’s wisdom to us.  Our pastor, teaching from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, has been reminding us that in the face of the uncertainties of this life, vertical wisdom is the only kind that will see us through. 

Stress or panic might tempt me to look to conventional wisdom alone as the GPS for this journey.  But “counsel our hearts according to the truth” is always-reliable map selection advice  if I want to journey well.

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