Daily lessons from unexpected moments

We should always be delighted in new things that God reveals, both in his written word as well as in our surroundings. 

Today I served in our church’s nursery and spent a good portion of my time with a sweet four year old boy with special needs. Today he wanted to color. The process included handing me markers, yelling the color, and then dictating parts of the picture to color. It was just simple one-word commands but it made him happy, so I was fine with it.

After we finished the first picture, he turned the page and started reading what was on the next page. Let me repeat – four years old. He wasn’t reading words like dog or cat. He was reading two and three syllable words. I AMAZED and excited for him and by him. It was a heartfelt moment of pure joy on my part. I was also reminded that I don’t understand everything but God does (I knew that but it’s good to be reminded). The limitations that I anticipated were not there in this sweet boy. His limitations are defined by God and not by me.

I just needed to spend the right moment with him to be the student and not the teacher.  

Take time to be delighted, surprised, and awe-struck in people, nature, art, music or wherever else your heart roams.

Job 12:7-10 NIV        

7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Be kind to one another and be a blessing.  Thank you for your time.
Heidi Cleaveland

Drama llamas

Drama llamas!!  We all know who the drama queens are in our lives. These people react to many things in life as though a cosmic injustice has targeted them, and these wonderful drama llamas share it with all of us. I’m sure you might be able to recall a few times that you were a bit of a drama llama.  I certainly can (it’s rather embarrassing to recall).  Perhaps you might even feel a bit sheepish over some of your past emotional reactions. But guess what…it’s okay.

Really…it’s okay. We’ve all done it. However, here a few guiding points when it comes to emotions and feelings. Some scripture will be cited but not quoted. Feel free to look the scriptures up.

  • God created us – with emotions. He modeled us after his own image. (Ex 1:26-27)
  • God has emotions. The Bible speaks of God’s anger (Ps 7:11), laughter (scoff Ps 2:4) love (1 Jn 4:7-8) , jealousy (Ex 20:5 one of the Ten Commandments) , delight (Zeph 3:17), and compassion/pity (Judges 2:18) just to name a few.
  • Remember that Jesus was also angry (a justifiable drama llama) over injustices such as the money changers in the temple (Matt 21:12) and the self-righteous pharisees that didn’t want Jesus to heal a man on the Sabbath (Mk 3:1-6). He was justified and he didn’t hide how he felt
  • God wants us to experience our emotions, but not let our emotions rule us in a manner that will separate us from him. (2 Pet 1:5-7) We can make some bone-headed decisions when we let certain emotions lead us. But God equips us to handle emotions and instructs us specifically not to let anger control us (Eph 4:26).
  • God provides examples of men and women who took their emotions to him instead of acting out those emotions. A great example is Job. He was a righteous man who God allowed to experience great suffering to prove that Job would remain righteous. Job tried to understand why the suffering happened and why God wasn’t responding to him. Job was all sorts of drama llama for about 20 chapters. But in the end, Job remained righteous in God’s eyes because throughout the ordeal, Job continued to seek an audience with the Lord. Most importantly, when Job was acknowledged by God, Job didn’t ask for anything, but instead repented for running his mouth without understanding who God is and everything that God does (ch 38-42). How does that apply to each of us today?

Remember these things: God created us. He is clear in how he wants us to respond to certain types of emotions and he equips us accordingly. But God doesn’t ask us to deny justifiable emotions. I don’t understand everything that happens in this world, and I won’t pretend to. The one who does is a righteous and mighty God who loves us and is certainly big enough to handle our drama llama feelings. It’s okay to be angry about some things, just be sure to handle it the proper way.

I hope this helps you today.

Be a blessing to others.