Saturday, April 27, 2024

Lessons Learned From Cinderella?

I have a confession to make.  I enjoy Cinderella type stories.  Yet is the Cinderella story we all know a true picture of what love really entails?  In the story the prince falls in love with a beautiful magically transformed Cinderella.  Yet the real Cinderella was also a young lady who was being abused by her family.  She most likely wore ragged clothes and was covered in ash soot.  She may have had major self-esteem issues because of how she had been treated by her family.

It appears as if the prince accepted her, because when he found her in her lowly estate he married her and took her to the palace to live with him.  In order for initial love to survive the prince had to have committed love as well, however.  He had to love her more than he loved himself.  He had to love her in spite of her weaknesses and hang-ups.  He had to love her in sickness and in health.  He had to have a "until death due us part" love for her.

Many of my readers are showing that kind of committed love to the family member for whom they are caring be it spouse, parent, or other family member or even a friend.  This kind of love requires sacrifice and is not always Cinderella like glamorous.  It takes commitment no matter how difficult it gets.  Thank you, dear caregiver, for the love that you show in that way to your loved one.

Remember too, dear caregiver, the Lord, your true Prince, accepts you and loves you with all your weaknesses.  He loves you with a true committed love which we humans can only begin to mimic.  He also clothes you with His righteousness, if you are His child!

(If you missed last week's post on our real home, our eternal home; you can click on the following link to read that post: )

Friday, April 19, 2024

Our Real Home

 As many if not all of you know, my husband is now living in an assisted living facility.  This has been a difficult adjustment for him, so I ask you to pray for him.   Earlier in his stay at the facility there were many requests and sometimes demands on his part to go home.  When he said that he wanted to go home, he was referring to our condo in our small town.  As I think of this, however, I believe there is a desire in all of us to go home, to go to our real home, our eternal home.  

As I ponder this further, I wonder if this is not my husband's longing deep down in his spirit as well, to go home to his real home, to the place of no tears, no aging, no pain, and no heartache, to go to a place of rest and security free from the difficult issues of this life.  This world is not our real and lasting home.  We are merely on pilgrimage journeying to our eternal home.  The Lord Jesus is our Shepherd guiding us to our real and eternal home.  He provides abundant blessings and protection along the way.  Yet it is best, if we do not get too complacent or attached to this world, for we are just passing through.

 Personally, I sometimes weary of the pilgrimage.  When my husband and I married, less than five years ago, we both had big dreams.  We both had lost our first spouses to difficult diseases, and this seemed as if it was a chance for a beautiful second love for both of us.  Instead he is now living at a facility, and I have my own physical issues of osteoporosis, back pain, cataracts etc.   Yet God assures me that in addition to an eternal home promised to me, I can be certain that God had placed me exactly where He wants me to be at this time and place.  There is a purpose for where I am in my life.  There is a purpose for even the trials, if only to teach dependence on him.

So wherever you are in your life, dear reader, run your life race with vigor depending on the Lord. Be thankful for your blessings, but don't get too attached to this world.  Look forward with joy and hope to your real home in Eternity.  

Friday, April 12, 2024

Why is There Suffering in the World?

Why does God allow suffering in the lives of Christians?  Why are we living in an increasingly dangerous world of persecution and suffering?  Why is there suffering of any kind in this world? Why is there abuse of all kinds and hardships in our world? Why did your loved one become ill?  If God is a God of miracles, why doesn't God just fix things?

There are no easy answers to these questions.  We do know that sin entered this world when Adam and Eve, the first people, disobeyed God.  Hence, we no longer live in a perfect world.  It is now a world affected by sorrow and sickness.  Also people make bad choices sometimes which unfortunately affects other people as well.

On a personal level I do know God has used the difficult experiences in my life to teach me valuable lessons.  I am learning that I am not in control.  I am learning of the need to depend on the Lord, even though I still am prone to fret and try to solve things in my own strength.  I am learning of the need to seek God for Himself and not for what He can give me.  I have seen His faithfulness over and over.  Through trials I have grown and continue to grow in my love for the Lord. I have come to know not just in my head but in my heart in a deeper way the truths of His promises.  I often still get easily discouraged, but I know that feelings are not a measure of God's truths. Feelings do not negate God's promises to always be with me.

Jesus said we would face trials in this life.  He also said, however, that we can take heart, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33 in the New Testament of the Bible).  He has promised to always be with us and  to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b in the New Testament).  We also have the assurance that someday all will be made right and perfect when He returns.

We just celebrated Easter a couple weeks ago.  Christ suffered unimaginable suffering, so we could be saved. Easter further assures us of His presence in our lives through the trials we suffer.  It proves His love for us.  We need no other proof of Christ's love, when we really contemplate what He did for us.  Rest in that, dear Reader.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Christmas Catcus Lessons

 As most of you most likely already know, the plant in the picture above is called a Christmas Cactus.  It was blooming for me around Christmas of last year.  In fact, if my memory is correct; I bought this plant around that time of year.  For several months, however, it has not bloomed at all.  The leaves were healthy and green, but there were no blossoms. 

Now I understand that the Christmas Cactus also sometimes blooms around Easter.  That is just what happened this year.  A few days before Easter it started to get blossoms on it, and then one day it produced the beautiful flower you see in the picture.

As a person who does not particularly have a green thumb, I was excited about this development and even posted it on my Facebook page.  Yet then I thought about the spiritual lessons from this.  When Jesus came to this earth as a baby in a manger that was a glorious day for mankind.  There was now the promise of new life for believers.  When Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins and then rose again to prove that He had won over sin and death, however, that new life and blssoming of eternal hope was sealed and accomplished.

Through all those years between when Adam and Eve sinned until Jesus came to this earth to accomplish His work of salvation, God's people had to watch and wait for that day of salvation. In anticipation of that day Isaiah 35:1 says,"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom."  Did God's people ever grow weary looking for that salvation to come?  Then one day it happened!  Some did not believe and accept Jesus, the Savior, and His salvation when it did come.  But for those who did accept that salvation it brought joy, new life, and blossoming in their lives!

Now some day Jesus will return to this earth a second time.  Only this time He will come back as a King of kings on the clouds of glory.  It took my plant a long time to blossom a second time.  So Jesus' second coming may seem like a long time in coming, but one day it too will happen!  You and I may become weary of the trials of this life, but Jesus is coming back to bring His children to Himself. As the song says, "What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see"!