Under the Umbrella

Posted by admin on August 22, 2012 under Encouraging Words | Be the First to Comment

It was only noon, but I had experienced a day’s worth of frustration already.   While I heated up a frozen dinner, I decided to dine at my desk.  Maybe reading email would distract me from my worries.

A few years ago on such “down” days, I would have consoled myself with a high-carb meal and sweets, maybe even a Big Mac, fries, and shake.  But wait.  As a cancer survivor and research study participant, I have learned new habits.  I plan healthy meals and write down my calories.  I eat what I enjoy, and I enjoy what I eat.  I eat mindfully.

So I added baby carrots and grape tomatoes to my plate.  Then I opened the back door to gaze at the patio, where wind chimes clinked in the lemon-scented breeze.  A comfortable chair sat in the shade of a brand-new umbrella.  What a lovely day.

I would have a perfect view of the roses, hummingbirds, and peach trees, if I sat at that table. . . .

SOMEONE was inviting me to lunch.

All right, I accept.

My mind was in turmoil as I carried my lunch outside.  My heart was burdened with concerns for friends and personal needs.   I actually felt sick with anxiety.  Lord, help me take all these miserable, wild thoughts captive! 

The cool Pacific breeze washed over me, like the wind of the Spirit.  I closed my eyes.  Lord, into Your hands I commit . . .  this person . . . this fear . . .  this grief . . . this dilemma. . . .   

Overhead the rainbow umbrella fluttered like a flag against the sun.  Scriptures came to mind.  “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade upon your right hand.” (Psalm 121:4)  Thank You, Lord.

A little scripture song echoed in my mind:  “He led me to the banquet table.  His banner over me is love.” (Song of Songs 2:4)  Yes, Lord, Your love covers me and all who trust in You.

I sat there as my food cooled.  But when I finally picked up a fork, the wild hungers were calmed, the raging fears were caged.  I was satisfied in body and spirit.  Lord, You are in control.  Help me remember that.

I want  to be mindful that I am a child of God in training.  Instead of indulging in self-pity or a silent tantrum, I am learning, like the Psalmist David said, to comfort myself in the Lord.

“I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me.  Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child,” David said.  “Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forever.”   (Psalm 131:1b-3)

My patient Father, loving as a mother, longs for me to run to Him with my needs, not to mindless distractions like food, entertainment, or shopping. He invites me to pour out my thoughts and tears.  I lean on Him and let Him hold me.   Just as He nourished His people with manna in the wilderness, He feeds me with the Bread of Heaven.  Day by day I can come to Him and be filled.

The Lord Jesus Christ stands today at the door of our hearts and knocks.  He has prepared a table for us in the garden of the Spirit.  His grace overshadows our lives.  On the road, in a work cubicle, in the silence of a room, He spreads the feast of His Presence.

“For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world,” Jesus said.  “I am the bread of life.  No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” (John 6:33, 35 HCSB)

Come and dine–under the umbrella of His love!


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