Christian Perspective

Encouragement

 
 

Christian Perspective

Each Small Part


"Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore." Psalm 105:4

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Thought: Marching Around Jericho

I don't know about you, but I tend to think that if I'm doing what God wants done, it should be easy. Things should fall into place. Right?

Not necessarily. Although the Lord does sometimes let things just fall into place, other times He has us go through a process.

This principle struck me recently while reading through the book of Joshua. God could have easily caused the walls of Jericho to fall down instantly for the Israelites, but instead He chose to have them march around the city every day for six days, then, on the seventh day, march around the city seven times.

"And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets." Joshua 6:3,4 (KJV)

But, here's the beautiful part--God marched around the city with them. Notice that His ark went in their midst!

God is always faithful to be with us throughout the process, but we sometimes act as if we forget He is there, don't we? Rather than marching with joy and confidence, I often find myself complaining about the march, focusing on my tired muscles rather than on God's promise and presence. It makes a big difference in how we live when we choose to take our eyes off ourselves and the "march" and unto God, remembering He's here, walking with us each step of the way.

Next time you find yourself feeling discouraged or sorry for yourself, put your eyes back on the Lord. Remember the "march" is temporary--and, regardless of what happens here, eternal victory is sure.

"...and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."Matthew 28:20b (KJV)


Story: Just Do Your Part, However Small

Joseph played his violin passionately, oblivious to the players around him--oblivious even to the conductor's patient instructions. All his life, Joseph had studied great violinists. He'd heard of the virtuoso songs they'd played, and the honor they brought to their orchestra. He wanted to be like them--to bring honor to his orchestra and his beloved conductor. Above all, he wanted the audience to hear this song. His conductor had written this song, and Joseph knew it had an important message.

So Joseph played loudly and fervently. He even began playing other parts of the score besides those marked for him. He wanted to be sure each part of the song was heard.

Joseph didn't realize the harm he was doing. Although the rest of the orchestra kept playing, their beautiful music was being punctuated by off-time and uncalled for notes from Joseph's violin.

After the performance, Joseph hastened to see his beloved conductor and teacher. "How did I do? I tried so hard!"

Joseph's conductor didn't answer immediately. Instead, he signaled for Joseph to sit down. "I'm glad you came to see me. We need to talk. You want to do something great, I know. And you want everyone to hear the music I wrote. But you must just play the notes and the parts I assigned you. You didn't do that this afternoon."

Joseph looked up in surprise. "But I was trying so hard to play so everyone would hear the beautiful song you wrote!"

"I know, Joseph. But you weren't playing the part I assigned you. And you weren't listening to me for the proper cues and timing. As a result, your music just muddled the song."

"You mean...I could have honored you more by playing just those few notes on my line?"

The conductor nodded. "Don't underestimate the power of a few notes. You honor me best when you do the part I've given you, however small."


Homeschool Tip: Additional Requirements

- Cris Loop

As homeschool moms and dads we can relate to the Joseph in the above story and his desire to do more, can't we? We have heard God's call and want the best for our children. As a result, we are often tempted to go beyond our "instructions," only to find out later we are "muddling" our conductor's arrangement.

When I first started homeschooling, I wanted my children to succeed in every area of life. I knew God was making a way for my children to be homeschooled, and God had promised Isaiah 54:13 (NIV), "All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace."

With this type of promise you would think I could have relaxed a little. I didn't. Like Joseph, I added requirements to our day that were not really necessary. It was years before I realized my human efforts to "do more" were nothing more than well disguised concerns due to a lack of trust in God. My desire to please God and do a good job was getting in the way of what God had for us.

As you lay out your fall plans and schedules, remember to take those plans and schedules to the Lord and listen to His "instructions." Don't be afraid to adjust as He shows you things that need to change. You'll be glad you did.


Hymn/Poem: Gaining Through Losing

I recently found this poem in Gaining Through Losing by Evelyn Christenson, and was so blessed I wanted to share it with you. What a pertinent reminder that God knows much better than we do what we really need! - Katherine

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey,
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for--but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

- Anonymous (possibly written by a Confederate soldier)


Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, © 2009. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, © 2009. Feel free to forward these e-mails in their entirety and to reprint/share articles by Katherine or Cris Loop within these e-mails (please include a link to our website when you do). Please contact us for information about reprinting articles written by people other than Katherine or Cris Loop so we can put you in contact with the appropriate person to ask for permission.

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