25 Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? 26 Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? 28 And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
Matthew 6:25 – 34
The verses are from the American Standard Bible. They are beautiful to me. I love beautiful words; beautiful arrangements of them; eloquent speech; sensitive conversation; intelligent value on the faith; and to hear the heart of one who believes in the Jesus I know.
Today is Ash Wednesday. February 17, 2021
I should have sung alto lines with the choir tonight.
I would have received the imposition of ashes on my forehead reminding me that “from dust I have come and from dust I will return.” (ref Genesis 3:19)
I would have pondered my sins, asked forgiveness, and committed to live life as it is before me, desiring neither more nor less than that of the will of our holy Father God in heaven by moving forward with the Holy Spirit leading every step, because in reality I already know the price Jesus paid for me.
I would have considered a personal denial for these 40 days of Lent… I consider it at this moment…As I consider this now, my thoughts are on things that I feel I could deny myself and some things that in honest reflection seem too hard to deny myself. I am surprised at this thought – that there are things that seem too hard to consider… this frightens me a bit…where is my threshold? Am I lukewarm? (ref Revelation 3:16) I will push hard after this answer…
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
And so, I consider the lily.
(Matthew verses above)
No in-person service…not even Covid to be blamed.
I am in southern Texas having experienced extraordinarily harsh freezing weather. Travel is unsafe. No infrastructure for this. A shortened Ash Wednesday service was presented on live-stream. I experienced it. I am glad for it.
I need to begin this walk…Remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, my precious Savior. …and again, I ask him, “…why save me?”
We said the words… and imposed ashes upon each other.
By the sweat of your face
You shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
Maybe, just maybe I will share a little more of the real me. Maybe, somehow I will know, feel, be washed clean. Maybe I will start anew in some new way. Maybe I will cry. Maybe I will sob. Maybe I will long for things that are right and some that are wrong. Maybe in Jesus I will know and feel the healing balm of repentance thus getting a thing or two right. Maybe on Easter morning I will sense the easing of humanity’s strife; the lessening of the kicking against the goad; the lightening of life’s load-burdens that we are known to hold onto for through the ages. Perhaps, I will release what is not mine to bear; and what is not mine to have; and what is not mine to hold. In the end…perhaps I will once again absorb into my being, my soul, my heart the simple words of this song such that the purest of joys is powerfully centric and I sing, ” Christ has walked this path, the path that we are on. Angles walk with us, the path that we are on. Father, Son and Spirit keep us in your care and remind us that the path that we are on, Christ has walked.” by Jeff Johnson. I play it on the piano…poorly.. but with great love and passion.
Perhaps, I will begin with my new white tennis shoes on my feet in new-fallen snow as I pray that grace and mercy are found in every step I take this season while considering Acts 20:24, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” …precious…hmmm…It is sweet thing to be held as precious by another but in humility not to hold one’s self in such esteem… so humbling, to be told you fit this description. Beloved… you are precious to me. Hold it as a dear thought if you wish 🙂 but solely find your worth in the preciousness of the life given in exchange for yours – Say it. Say it now…”Jesus died for me. He gave his precious life’s blood so I can live forever in Heaven!”
What a precious Lily…
Suppose I show you my plain wrapper…will you open it? Would you ever know that Job’s Tears are inside?…or that there is a ribbon that sometimes embellishes it’s plainness or even perhaps there are some real pearls inside…I ask you… if the wrapper is plain would you care?
Suppose that I sing for you and the melody is sweet, but the notes are not perfect and voice is not strong?
Suppose I show you my messiness – that I am not so neat and orderly as one might expect, but suppose instead, I will sit with you and talk with you and hear your every cry…
I am considering whether lilies abide among these thoughts of vulnerability and exposure, or are these questions the simple chords of loss, or of a wandering time in wilderness, or of God’s work and a song not yet heard and sung…
All the while, I have no definitive answer for the questions I’ve posed on this quest, but, I do have some answers for many unasked, for, the scripture is clear on them. My Father knows all that I need and so I will seek his kingdom, and righteousness and all He deems needful will be added unto me. I pray that anxiousness is not a fast companion as I, naked and exposed, walk with Jesus from the wilderness of this Lenten journey into the bliss of Holy eternity on Resurrection Day!
Walk with me Dearest one. Let us discover together as we Consider the Lily – a bouquet awaits in the joy set before us by Jesus.
I love you,
P.S. I really did start this on Wednesday…I just didn’t finish it until Thursday…Sometimes I am a night owl and other times an early bird…It is so quiet these times it’s as if I can hear the whispers of God’s still small voice… mmmm… precious, indeed.