Thursday, October 22, 2015

Searching for the Source

When I returned home from the grocery store, I found Tippy (our beagle) snuggled up--blanket and all--on the rug in front of the wood stove.  For those of you who don't already know this, we heat our home with wood.  There is no other source of heat other than a few space heaters in the other rooms.  In the winter, the wood stove runs 24/7.  In the spring and fall, however, it gets a little tricky.  The mornings are cool enough to warrant a fire, but by the afternoon, I prefer to have the windows open.  This morning was cool though I didn't realize just how cool it was in the house until I returned from my errands.

Before I left the house, I made sure each of the dogs had a blanket and a warm place to sleep.  What I didn't take into consideration is how much Tippy, in her old age, is becoming sensitive to the cold weather.  It is affecting her more than it ever did before, which was made evident to me when I saw how she had dragged herself and her blanket in front of the wood stove.  The only problem was that I hadn't started a fire before leaving.  The wood stove was just as cool as the rest of the house, but Tippy (even being as dense as she is) knew that the stove was typically a source of heat, so she snuggled up to it to get warm.  Obviously, once I saw such a pitiful sight, I started up the wood stove and gave Tippy the warmth for which she had been searching.

We can all relate, can't we?  You exercise for weeks, yet you still don't have the strength to make it through the busy day.  You flip the light switch, and the room remains dark.  You call a friend to share a burden and get an earful instead.  Do you see the pattern?  The search for power, light and encouragement falls short of our expectations and leaves us wondering why we can't find what we're looking for.  Could it be that we're looking to the wrong sources?  Let's break it down.

Looking for strength?  Psalm 28:7 says, The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.  Yes, exercise and healthy habits are great for the body and mind, but if we're trusting in those habits to give us the strength we need to make it through our days, we're depending on the wrong things.  What happens when we can't exercise?  Where is our strength then?  If we're searching for the true source of strength, we'd be better off trusting in the Lord who never wavers and never fails.

Needing light?  Psalm 27:1 says, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  (Cool!  Did you notice how we got "strength" in there again?)  Lights are great, and it isn't unreasonable for us to expect the lights to come on when we flip the switch.  That is how they're supposed to work, right?  But sometimes I think we count on those same lights to dispel the darkness within our souls, but frankly, that's not their job.  Only God can shine a light in the dark places of our hearts and minds.  He is our light, and the darker the day seems, the brighter He shines.

Want encouragement?  First Samuel 30:6 says, And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  When David didn't have anyone to turn to in his grief and frustration, he knew he could turn to the Lord.  I couldn't even give you a guess as to how many times in the Bible the Lord uttered the words, "Be of good cheer."  It's a lot, I know that much.  It's a blessing to have friends and family with whom we can share our burdens, but there is absolutely no encouragement like that which comes from the Lord.

What are you searching for today?  The source of strength, light or encouragement?  Or perhaps you're looking for the source of something else.  May I remind you that Jesus is all we need, and He is the source of ALL things? For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16)

Come to Jesus.  He has what you need.

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