From the time I was twelve until I graduated from high school, I lived in an environment of verbal and emotional abuse. During that time, I learned to stay within the safety of the four walls inside my bedroom. As long as my music could not be heard or my one friend who could come to my house was quiet, I was shielded from the abuse.
As the nails of adversity were continually being pounded into my heart, I taught myself how to escape through my dreams and I developed an increasing desire for chocolate. God had been pushed to the back for a season because Mother and I no longer went to church nor did she and I read God’s Word together anymore.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 – What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Tomorrow is my earthly father’s birthday. It is difficult for me to view him at the age of eighty nine since he left this earth at the age of thirty seven. I have limited memories of him since I was just seven when he died.
Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua took his stand for God many years earlier. In Numbers 13, when is was time for the Israelites to go into the land God had promised them, all but Caleb and Joshua chose to retreat and disobey God.
John 16:21 – A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
When God let me know that I was pregnant with our second child, Bobby and I had mixed emotions. Our first child came into this world with several medical issues and some of those medical concerns were still being addressed. Not only were there medical issues with our first child, but our first child was only going to be fifteen months old when our second child was born.
Our first child required enormous amounts of attention because of his medical situation. My mother nor Bobby’s mother lived close so they could not help on a regular basis. By the time Bobby arrived home from work, I was beyond tired physically and emotionally.
God’s Word still applies to our lives even today. His Word reveals who we are and what we are not. There is nothing left out of God’s Word. We see the good, bad and the ugly.
Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Several past Presidents of our wonderful country either said or implied that character does not matter.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God judges by faith and character not appearance. While most of us spend hours maintaining our outward appearance, we should be spending more time developing our inner character.
Psalm 119:125 – I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
We need discernment so we can understand and apply Scripture where we need help. God’s Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, Psalm 119:105. However, God’s Word only goes to work when we apply the lessons, commands and examples to our lives.
Psalm 119:18-19 –Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.
Battles, 1 Samuel 17, to the visible eye, David, the lowly shepherd boy was no match for Goliath, the mighty giant.
1 Samuel 17: 43-45 – He, Goliath, said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Recently, Bobby and I had an opportunity to answer a calling to the mountains. Our favorite place to go for that calling is Vogel State Park.
Vogel State Park is beautifully nestled at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Blairsville, Georgia. The clear crisp streams, creeks, lake and waterfall brings a quiet calmness to our souls and reminds us that God is in complete control of our lives as well as His creation.
Lake Trahlyta and Blood Mountain at Vogel State Park