Browsing Tag

Blessings

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: 30 Reasons why 60’s better than 30…

  1. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I might as well be good with it. 
  2. The obvious and best one: I’m getting closer to heaven all the time. 
  3. Ezra
  4. Colleyanna
  5. Maggie (Each grandchild should get a separate number in this list.)
  6. People excuse  extreme forgetfulness (like when you see her every Sunday and every Wednesday night and you can’t remember her name). 
  7. Tuesday is senior day at the thrift store. 
  8. No more dreading the decade of the “sixties.” Too late for dread now. 
  9. My best friend turned 60 before I did. Glenn Colley will always be older. 
  10. All the personal hormonal drama is a thing of the past (and the purse paraphernalia that accompanies the drama is, too.)
  11. I get to wear the greatest name: Mammy.
  12. I rarely ever have to say “no” to any children. 
  13. Nobody expects me to know what’s going on in the fashion world. 
  14. People expect me to wear stuff that feels good…like elastic waistbands, Dr. Scholl’s and oversized tee shirts.
  15. I’ve by no means arrived in the wisdom department, but experience brings it on and years breed experience. 
  16. Teenagers have grown more polite to me each year. Doors are opened and they call me ma’am (Leviticus 19:32)
  17. As Ezra put it, “You are old, but, since you don’t have any kids, you have fun.”
  18. Neither minimalism nor hoarding bothers me at all. Life’s too short to even contemplate.
  19. Peer-dependence is mostly a thing of the past. Seeing peers go to glory more often some how does that.
  20. More and  more people I love live in the place where I’m headed.
  21. I worry less that my teeth are yellow-ish and am more thankful that most of them are there-ish.
  22. People stop wanting you to take computer tutorials and, instead, just upgrade, repair and replace for you. 
  23. There was no Lip Sense when I was 30. 
  24. There was no sense in which I had thousands of “friends” at 30. But now…
  25. I have a crown of glory (Proverbs 16:31).
  26. My shoes are in my own closet, my straightener is in my own bathroom, I  generally have a parking space in my own driveway and laundry baskets take a lot longer to fill up.
  27. My phone is not fat and bulky anymore. (We won’t think about what IS fat and bulky these days.)
  28. My kids think I’ve gotten so smart. My grandkids think I’m way smarter than their parents. 
  29. Maybe I AM smarter now that, as a home-schooling parent, I’ve gone through primary and secondary school three times.
  30. The value of memory has at least tripled in my old eyes. 

 

But, for all those reasons, it still makes me a little bit sad that the march of time is happening to music that’s on fast play-back. Whatever it is that’s worth doing in this lifetime should be begun this very moment. The rapid rate of the passage of time, as a sixty-year old woman in 2019 reflects, is breathtaking. Hit-and-run years have, right before my eyes, taken their plunder and left the realization that the bulk of the important influence that builds any legacy, for good or evil, has already been exerted.

Ezra explained that water goes up into the sky and gets into the “cwouds” and then it “wains” back down into the muddy puddles and all of dat is called “ ‘vaporation”.As James put it, the vapor of my life is vanishing (James 4:14). But I guess there’s no evaporation in heaven. After all, we sing, “No clouds ever darken the sky.” I know there’s no aging process. Since this then, is my only chance at aging, I pray I can count its blessings and minimize its painful little ironies like “Just about the time you have enough money to do some fun stuff, you don’t feel like doing it, or “You finally learn you should listen to your body—just about the time your body just starts pointing and laughing.” 

And, speaking of listening to your body, mine’s reminding me often of the greatest thing about getting old. The victory flags are coming into view!

When the perishable (body) puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(I Corinthians 15:54-55)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Praising His Power (Read to the end and be blessed!)

There are so many things about which I wanted to write at 4:00 am this morning. Jet lag is real and exacerbated when you have a spouse who’s also experiencing it. You’re wide awake at 3:30 a.m. You’re pretty sure he is, too. His movements are restless and his breathing includes an almost audible sound of frustration every now and then. You’re almost sure he’s awake, but you still don’t say anything in the darkness, just in case he has stolen a few moments of sleep in the wee small hours of the morning. 

I thought a lot about the trip to the Bible Lands (https://www.biblelandpassagetours.com) this morning. It was a tight travel with 46 other people, only a few of whom I’d ever even met. Glenn and I spoke, in studies and devotionals, a total of 21 times and this schedule counted as an annual vacation?! We walked (much of it strenuous hiking) a total of about 60 miles. We packed and unpacked a large bus several times a day. We ate some pretty unfamiliar foods and I’m told that I did eat camel tongue, but I’m in denial about that. I permanently lost my cell phone in Jericho. I did some difficult counseling (or problem-talking is really a better description)  along the way. The plane rides were long; the nights were short. The temperatures were topping out at around 100 degrees several of the days and most restaurants don’t serve a glass of ice with anything you order to drink. I didn’t see a single store that compares to Publix or WalMart, though I’m sure they must be there. I left a bunch of my clothes in Jerusalem because my niece was on her way to do a similar tour and her luggage never made it to Tel-Aviv. There were bumps and adjustments and rigor and sweat. 

And it was the best trip of my lifetime! I will treasure the memories and savor the rich teaching for the rest of my days on this earth and maybe even carry a larger bucket into eternity! I will remember the bodies of water: the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. I will be thankful for the water of life. I will remember the ruins of Bet- Shaen and of first century Jerusalem and of Dan and be thankful there’s no ruin in heaven. I will think about the passionate wailing at the Western Wall and be thankful there is no wall of separation between me and the One who ministers in the Most Holy Place for me. I will think about the Jews who still cling to the observances of a system that has no blood of redemption and ever praise Him that the law of Moses was nailed to the cross and that I do have blood.  I will remember the intensity of the Arab/Israeli struggle around the state of Israel and be prayerful for the simple gospel and its attendant blessings to permeate and, one day, powerfully affect the spiritual climate there. I’ll think about the world-changing gospel, likely first preached on the steps of the temple where Glenn was privileged to proclaim them again a few days ago, and just praise Him that the forceful words of Acts 2 have found their way into my heart two thousand years later. I will work to help them find their way into the hearts around me. 

I will keep working and praising (and stumbling and failing), but I will do it with an added dimension of thanksgiving. A woman who is enjoying the blessings that are inherent in Christ—a woman who has entered the Holy Place and ministers in the service of the High Priest —is blessed beyond comprehension. May those of us who are those women make daily choices that reflect hearts of utter dependence and extreme gratitude! 

So some simple lessons will be forthcoming in some subsequent posts. 

But for today, I want to tell you about something I heard last night over the dinner table at Zaxby’s as we sat there with some of our younger couples and singles from the West Huntsville church. One of our couples, Stephen and Brenna Anderson, had just returned from a trip to Washington, DC. Searching out the church there for a Wednesday night assembly, they found that the prospects of Bible study with Christians inside the city were more difficult than they’d thought. They finally found a single congregation inside the city and made their way via the metro to a spot within walking distance. They arrived early and, when they knocked, were admitted by a young man who told them that the ministers were out of town, but welcomed them in. The Bible study was to begin at 7:00 p.m., but 7:15 came and it was still just the three of them. Finally one more brother arrived and, as they began to sing together, just the four of them, two men wandered in from the street. One of the men was obviously very inebriated; the other listened intently to the prayers and praise and, at the end, asked for prayers as he made his way to a destination in Virginia. He indicated that he really didn’t know exactly what he needed, but he knew he needed prayers. The prayer was offered and the service ended. While the local people tried to help the drunken man to safety as he left, Stephen approached the man who’d asked for prayers with a simple life-changing question: “Would you like to have a Bible study?” 

The man answered “Actually, I would.” 

It took a while for the local man to “handle” the situation with the disorderly man, so Stephen spent that time in study with this visitor. The man, whose background was Muslim, had already come to believe in the Lord Jesus and was already searching the scriptures  for salvation’s path. He knew a lot about the Bible.  After a while in the Word, the man’s next question came: “Could I be baptized now?” 

Stephen said, “Well, let me see about that…I’m a visitor here, too, but let’s ask if we can make that happen.” 

And it did. The baptistry was filled. The man’s sins were washed away and he went on his way rejoicing. 

Stephen and Brenna left him, the infant Christian, in the care of the man who baptized him. They went on their way (hurriedly, because the metro was closing) rejoicing, too. 

God’s people searching out God’s people. Two or three (or, in this case, four) of them gathering in His name and knowing He is there. God’s Providence working mightily. A powerful combination producing the very best thing that could possibly happen on a vacation! 

How can you not be encouraged to begin your work-week with His name on your lips? Let’s do this week for Him!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Maybe there’s a Kitty…

I was the teacher for the ladies Bible class. I proceeded to try and get there early, so I could put a chart on the board comparing Melchizedek with Christ. I dropped off Colleyanna, my sweet two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, who’s staying with me this week, in her classroom and hurried to room 119. I was a minute early, but there were lots of girlfriends in there already and they were chatting about potty-training…all about the stress you go through when your kids are first out of diapers—You have about ten seconds to find the bathroom when they tell you they’ve got to go. There was advice about not rushing it…”My Joy’s only been potty trained for a couple of weeks and she just turned three.” 

And I was listening while I was writing my chart. In my Mammy-head was “Maybe I should be glad she’s not potty-trained, then, because I don’t think I could handle any more stress just now,” and “Oh, well. Colleyanna is just two-and-a a-half. There’s plenty of time…But we have to do it before PTP, for sure, so she can go to class.” 

And just as sure as the world, I wrote a column on my chart entitled “Melchizedek” and, on the opposite column (instead of “Christ”), I wrote “Colleyanna” and started listing my verses of comparison. 

When it came time to actually study the verses with that room full of ladies, I had them look up the verses as we discussed the list and someone would read them out loud. Only the first verse had nothing to do with the topic. Astute women in the class (who should have been teaching) quickly realized I’d added a one and it was verse five instead of 15 …or some such simple mistake. Those ladies are very forgiving. 

Then we got to the second verse. Same thing. One chapter off. Nothing about the fact that Jesus is the King of Peace. This time they laughed that i’d mess up two verses in a row.  I commented about how I was going for 100 percent wrong scripture citations and we moved on. 

…To the third wrong citation. My phrase about the King of Righteousness was in the previous verse. And I could not stop laughing at myself. “Why am I up here teaching instead of you all who can find the verses?!” I was thinking. “This is a great game though. See if you can find the verse she really meant.” Kind of like those kids’ secret code puzzlers over on the elementary hall, where you break the code and every letter in the “solution” is really two letters off. I started to wonder if I would be able to regain my composure and go on with Hebrews 7. (In the back of my head, I also wondered how such an airhead would possibly be speaking 287 times in Israel in a couple of weeks, put together a live podcast from the Sea of Galilee, complete a lectureship manuscript before leaving, try to counsel a sane person though a failing marriage later in the week, and follow simple recipes to send meals to my in-laws tomorrow…And how’s anybody entrusting the care of a two-year-old to this Mammy?…”Make a note to get all of your loved ones to be sure and be at the web-inar about caring for loved ones with dementia, for sure,” I told myself while moving to the point about how we do not know the genealogy or descent of Melchizedek. Soon I will not know mine either. 

And then the bell rang and  I forgot…just forgot…to go and get Colleyanna from Bible class. I just proceeded to go right in the auditorium and have a seat. She was a lonely little thing, still sitting there buckled in her little seat just admiring her coloring sheet on a perfectly empty table. “We wondered if you were coming,” the teacher said. 

“Oh, you mean this is “pick-up-only’ class?” 

I forgot to bring the ice-cream freezer I was loaning to my friend for the youth devo. I forgot to bring the “Awake at Night” book I was giving to another friend. (But fitting title for my week.) I forgot to get the details of my international phone plan for the folks who are helping me do that podcast from the Sea of Galilee. I found myself humming that hymn that ends up with the words “Remember No More.”

Pulling into the parking lot of WalMart late last night, I felt a little like I should not be allowed behind the wheel at all. But there, at the door of WalMart was an ambulance in full flashing-lights mode. I thought about some poor soul that had suffered a stroke or heart attack while in the store. Someone inside had a real problem. I needed to stop and pray for them, take a deep breath, and count my blessings.

Then I noticed wide eyes in the backseat of my SUV and I heard a little voice from the carseat behind me “Look Mammy! Maybe there’s a kitty stuck in a tree.”

Count your blessings while you can still count. But then again, none of us can count that high!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Great Smoky Mountain Marriage Retreat: The Lunch Surprise

Last Friday at noon Glenn and I sat in a very nice restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN. We were blessed by our benevolent God to get to be part of the Great Smoky Mountain Marriage Retreat. Together, it was our privilege to get to speak nine times at this event. We do not know why or how we received this honor that’s all at the same such a great pleasure and an extremely humbling experience. After all, our own marriage is certainly far from perfect and our human weaknesses are always conflicting with our divine aspirations. But I’m telling you, if you’ve never been to this event, you ought to think about making plans for next year. The teaching we heard there was very thought-provoking and action-motivating. We agreed that we would love to get to go back and just soak in the teachings of others and that our marriage could not escape improvement if we could do that.  The practical adjustments recommended, if even partially applied, could not help but enrich even the best of marriages. So, if you are thinking, “I wonder if this retreat would help us…”, the answer is “Yes.” Prioritization of time for this is our recommendation.

But, back to the lunch at the nice restaurant….That lunch was actually a highlight of our time in Pigeon Forge, because it was the one time while we were in town, that we got to sit down and eat a meal with our kids, Hannah and Ben Giselbach. Really, it was our first time in four years, I suppose, to sit down to a meal with them, without the wonderful, but sometimes conversation-disabling distraction of their children. Ezra and Colleyanna spent the weekend at our house in Huntsville with a favorite cousin (really sort of a double-cousin), Song Nicholas. SO there we were, soaking in the conversation about the retreat, about the beautiful scenery, about the food, and…yes, even about missing the kids.

We had great food and we all splurged and even ordered soft drinks or tea. (How often does this happen anyway?) Not one of us even shared a meal with anyone. We were getting good at adulting-sans-babies by the time we finished up. We told the nice waiter that were were all done and couldn’t hold a bite of dessert. He replied, to our surprise, “Then you’re free to go. Those folks in the booth behind you took care of your tab.”

I know you’ve probably had that happen. If you have, you know how it makes you feel. You think “That’s just about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for us.” You start thinking about the price of that meal and how that those sweet people knew it was going to be a costly sacrifice, even as they were asking for our ticket. Then you think about how you can’t wait to hug them and express gratitude and thankfulness for their tender care of you. What a very special thing to do!

The only hitch, for us, was that, while we knew these people were attendees at the Great Smoky Mountain Marriage Retreat, we did not know them, personally. I looked and looked for them (I knew I could recognize at least one of their kind faces…the sweet face that briefly talked to me as we entered the restaurant.) But I never knowingly saw her again during the rest of the weekend. I went into both ballrooms and scanned both audiences at the end trying to find her. Glenn even ask for their identity from a public speech. But these sweet people were elusive.

If you are either of those people in the benevolent booth behind the Colleys, will you accept our profound thanks for such a lovely gesture. You encouraged us beyond what we could say and made us want to be better, more generous and more anonymously thoughtful of those around us. We promise to pay it forward as we go through our immediate future days. May God bless you for your kindness to our family.  “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it to me.” We know that there are a myriad of ways in which we are surely among the least and we are constantly thankful for His mercies shown us through His good people.”

Five little lessons:

  1. You should come to the Great Smoky Mountain Marriage Retreat and you should just go ahead and plan to be better for having come. One couple that we encouraged to come has already informed us that they found light at the end of a tunnel while there. We love that. Even if your marriage is not in a dark spot, the light that Jesus is can shine brighter in your home.
  2. You should sometimes take time with your adult children without the kids, if this is possible. The babies are the best part of your lives right now, but your adult kids still need some conversation and bonding time with you, too. Adult kids, you really make your parents feel special if you want to hang out with them.
  3. Christians are the best and kindest people on the planet and they have been very good to the Colley family.
  4. Pay attention to faces and names. I’m not good at this, but I know Christians who are, and they are blessed because of it. I’m going to work harder at this!
  5. God’s people are one of  His primary conduits today for blessing His people; so consciously be a conduit. Conduits are clean and useful, especially when God’s water of life is flowing though them.
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Pick-up Lessons

I was driving my husband’s recently purchased pick-up truck through a veritable monsoon between Jacksonville, Florida and Columbus, Georgia. I stopped at a McDonald’s in a little town called Dawson, Georgia. The pickings were slim and I needed three things: a fish sandwich, a restroom, and a safe parking lot where I could put my seat back and sleep for fifteen minutes. But when I tried to start the truck after that little nap, the starter wouldn’t even turn over. I had left the headlights on and my battery was dead. 

My husband was in Texas that day recording some material for World Video Bible School, but I caught him via phone just before he began taping. He said my plan to cross that highway on foot and go in that O’Reilly’s and ask them to come and test the battery was a good plan. So I did. The bad news was that they did not have enough employees to spare one for my battery check. I had to turn right back around and cross that highway again, to no avail. “We’ll send somebody over when our courier gets back in a little while.”

So, of course, I crossed back over and did that thing that never helps very much….I worried. Once I got to Columbus, I still had to load and cover some furniture items with a tarp and then make the last leg of my trip back to Huntsville, Alabama before I could sleep that night. It was afternoon already. (…And I really needed to play with the grandchildren in Columbus for a few minutes, too!)

I went inside the McDonald’s. Two old codgers sat there chewing the fat over their afternoon cups of coffee. I thought it might be worth trying, so I said “You don’t have a pair of jumper cables, do you? I left my lights on and I can’t get the auto parts folks to come for another little while.” 

One of them said he did have some and he’d go get his truck and see if we could “start her up.” He uttered a profane word or two, but in a few minutes, I was excited to be ready to roll again. I jumped out of the cab and shut the door to run around and thank these two men one last time before leaving. Just as I did close the door, I heard that familiar electronic sound of power locks. I had just automatically locked my keys, purse, and phone in the truck…and it was running! I ran back around to confirm what I already knew…every door was locked up tight. I looked at one of the old friends. He said, “Ma’am, this just ain’t your day, is it?”

“We ain’t got no locksmith in our town.” (Of course not. Of course, they don’t.) “But the sheriff’s a friend of ours. That’s who we’ll have to call. He might have to scratch up your truck a little.” (Of course he will. Of course he will scratch up my husbands new/old truck on it’s very first trip out of town.)

But, at this moment, I was thankful for my new “cussing” friend and I started a conversation while we waited for the sheriff… about my husband—where he was and what he was doing out in Texas:

“Oh, he’s a preacher, then. Well, where do y’all live?”

“We live in Huntsville, Alabama. My husband preaches  in Huntsville for the West Huntsville church of Christ.”

‘Well, I have a great niece who lives in Huntsville…really in Madison… but I can’t think of her name right now….But what have you been doing all the way down in Florida?”

“Well, my son lives down there and his wife is having a baby. So I took a cradle that my husband made and I worked on the nursery.”

“Well, what does your son do in Jacksonville?”

“He’s a preacher, too. He preaches for the Lakeside church in Orange Park.”

“Well, why are you going to Columbus?”

I thought, at this point, about reserving some information, but these two old men just didn’t seem like perpetrators of injury. So I said, “Well, that’s where my daughter lives. Her husband preaches at the Edgewood church there in Columbus.”

“Well,” he responded, “I ain’t never heard of so much religion in one family.” Then he told me about something he’d watched with emotion on television—about a father being in thankful prayer when his son was saved after being wounded in one of the school shootings. 

I said, “God is so good. I’ve been talking to him several times already today.”

He said, “I bet you have. You’re needin’ to, I believe.”

(I noticed that this kind old man never cursed again. He complained about the heat and humidity. [By now, the rain had given us a short respite.] He complained that his sheriff buddy was off-duty today. He complained about the deputy taking so long. But he never used that colorful language again.)

The deputy did not have the right tool (Of course she didn’t), so we waited a while more for the back-up car to come. I was glad, that if this kind of stupidity on my part was going to emerge, that it did happen in a sweet little town where the back-up patrol was called in for the Jimmy tools. 

I could hardly watch while they did the truck-scratching work. I thought of my husband’s excitement the previous week, as he told me about this new white truck he’d found “without a scratch. Somebody did hit the bumper, so the man just bought a brand new bumper to replace the old one. I mean, Cindy, this truck is pristine. I think I’ll buy this truck.” 

So, instead of watching,  I went inside and bought gift cards for the men who were being so very patient and kind to me. (I did have one credit card in my pocket.) These sweet men tried to refuse the little gifts, but they’d already told me that they eat breakfast together there at McDonald’s, with the sheriff and a few more men, every day, so I knew it was a practical little thank-you gift. I insisted.

Before long I was driving on toward those sweet grand-babies. By now I looked like a homeless granny without a shelter bridge. The driving rain was back with a vengeance. But, you know, grandchildren don’t notice drenched hair or wrinkled clothes. They’re just looking to see if you brought a surprise. So I’d stop and get a frosty just before I got to Wood Duck Lane. But I would not, under any circumstances, kill the motor or get out of the truck. I’d use the drive-through. 

The take-homes:

  1. Worrying really never does avail much. Praying does (James 5:16). 
  2. People often say they can’t help cursing. “It’s just such a habit.” That’s not true. Knowledge is power.
  3. Never close the door on a running vehicle. (especially if you have a child locked inside in a carseat….Can you even imagine?)
  4. There are lots of people who have crusty outsides, yet very benevolent, patient insides. Those people may be good candidates for conversion. some of them have not seen “much religion” and maybe you could show them some. 
  5. Pristine material things will never be pristine for very long, anyway. So don’t sweat it so much when you are forced to help them along to the destined place of rest…the scrapyard.
  6. My husband is the best. His response about the door?…”Well, It’s not really that bad.”
  7. Sometimes you have to tell your husband you scratched up the truck. You should remember that on the days when he leaves his socks on the floor or scatters his popcorn on the rug under his chair.
  8. Good days are relative. You just need to look around (at cancer, at automobile accidents, at children lost to death, etc…) to realize that sometimes when “This just ain’t your day.” it really is very much your day.  
  9. Grandchildren make everything better—the one on the way in Florida and the ones who love ice cream in Georgia. But some of you were already ahead of me on this one. Thank God for them every day. Pray for their heavenward progression every day. Just do not let days go by without praying for each of them by name. 
  10. Son-in-laws are good, too. Mine helped me tie up that furniture, a piece he had re-finished for a family member for Christmas. He then insisted that I was not going to drive home that night without him testing and replacing my battery. (And not even one curse word under his breath.)

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Still Using a Little Dixie Cup?


Looking at all of this water as I sit here watching the waves roll in on this beautiful Alabama Gulf shoreline brings to mind my two-year-old grandson, Ezra. It was a painstaking task for such a little one who  loves splashing in a puddle even more than I love putting my toes in this deep and expansive one.  But he was determined to make his own puddle for splashing in my bathroom floor with a dixie cup and a tiny stream of water running in my bathroom sink. I saw him pour the meager ounce of water on the hardwood and I asked him “Ezra, why on earth are you pouring water in Mammy’s floor?” 

“I make a puddle. I can spwash.”

“Well, you may NOT make a puddle in the floor, but you are welcome to make one in the bathtub, if you like.”

He smiled broadly. That was even better! He would get to carry the water in his little Dixie cup, that with each fill held a little less of its shape and got a little more crumpled. Tirelessly, he went back and forth from the sink to the tub, pouring his little purple and yellow cup half-full of water into the big garden tub, barely even making a wet spot for jumping. In truth, he was spilling more on the floor en route than he was collecting in the tub. 

It occurred to me that we, finite little creatures in the workings of an awesome God, are a lot like Ezra. We keep doing the same futile things over and over again, trying to make our own “puddles”. We painstakingly try to collect the things that will make for happiness in the end. We often spill and make messes in the process and what we ultimately accomplish is  small and temporal. We fail to realize that we have a Helper, who could give us unbelievably effective and permanent results if only we would come to know His ways for our lives.

See, Ezra didn’t think about the fact that there was a big and powerful source of water in the spout of that tub. What would come out of that waterspout, if I but turned a lever for him, would fill up his tiny Dixie cup hundreds of times without the trip he was making back and forth. In fact, he would not even need the crumpling cup. There would never be a mess on the floor and the danger of him slipping in that mess would never threaten. Not only that, but there’s a stopper in the bottom of that tub. With the turn of a big knob, I could plug that reservoir up, so that none of the water would be wasted. None of that big stream of water would go down the drain where his little trickle of a puddle of water had been slowly disappearing. All of the resources were there for Ezra to not only jump in a “puddle” and have a splashing good time, but there was enough ingenuity there for his little Scuffy tugboat to sail or even for him to have a heated sauna swim, had he preferred, as I would have if I were his two-year-old size. 

Sometimes the blessings and opportunities are all around us, but we keep carrying the Dixie cup, spilling the contents along the way and processing through the same futile routines over and over again. We think we can work our way to desired goals only to find out in the end that our dreams are disappearing down the huge drain that only our God can plug. He has every resource we need to achieve what really will make us happy and fulfilled, but we fail to investigate His Will. We fail to ask for His wisdom. We fail to understand fully His resourcefulness. He controls all the levers and knobs and he freely offers His limitless capability for our ultimate progress and benefit. But often, like Ezra, we just go on about our vain tasks with impotent precision, expending life’s time and energy in fruitless pursuits. (In this case, it was profitable for me to allow Ezra to be “entertained” for a while before I showed him the “puddle” I could so easily make for him. See, I needed to dry my hair and put on my make-up. But God is never too busy to turn on the living water for those who are seeking it [John4:10].)

I know many people who have thrown away the Dixie cup and turned on the waterspout. Can I help you know His will for your life? You can stop living small and messy and start basking in His spiritual abundance!

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. (Ecc. 2:11)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc. 12:13)