Why Should I Feel Discouraged?

August 28 2008 055 Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for heaven, heaven and home,
When, when Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He;
Oh, oh-oh, his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches, watches it over me.

His Eye is on the Sparrow by Lauren Hill

” I had felt frustrated by the small number of people that came to our little service. It seemed like I was just rushing in, doing my duty and then going home when God chose one afternoon to change my muddy attitude. I was passing around shaking hands saying,” God bless you” to everyone when one woman slipped something into my hand. I opened up my palm and discovered two shiny quarters which she had given me. “No I can’t take this’” I protested. She just smiled widely and said “You keep those; there are lots more where they came from!”

I was instantly reminded of the widow’s two mites in the Bible story. Remember that Jesus said that the widow, “put in more than all these…” When God sends us the widow’s mites he is putting into our hands of what he values most. I would not at all be surprised if some of the people standing near Jesus might have laughed. Those pitiful worn out copper coins were nothing to compare to the golden shower being poured in by the rich. But that day God may gave me a golden shower of laughter to lift my spirit. In that moment a light clicked on in my heart reminding me of the preciousness of that woman in God’s eyes.”

The Sweetest Fruit

FL050008 As my Dad grew older he began to leave things behind. First, went his career, then his home town as He moved to Florida with my Step-mom Amy. Close friends began to pass away, then family members and finally the love of his life, Amy. For Dad’s final six years he remained alone. Though we tried to get him to consider coming to be with us he felt safe and happiest where he was. Sometimes he began to feel left to the side – unimportant – no longer useful and without value. But my Dad became our family’s greatest treasure. His gentle life continued to give love, hope, and encouragement.

Years ago I remember pruning the apple orchard every Winter. Most people don’t realize it but the young apple trees don’t give any fruit at all. It takes years of growth before the first fruit is formed. Each December or January we would pass through the trees removing the dead and diseased limbs as well as the useless sucker growth. Each of these things needed to be taken away in order for the strength of the trees to be given the fruit. Some of the oldest trees, though scarred by the years yielded the sweetest fruit. They had become trained by a lifetime of cutting to give all their strength to the apples that formed as the blossoms opened each year in the Spring. God also has a promise to we who have been around for a few years in His orchard!

They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green Psalm 92:14