Monday Morning Devotion-June 24, 2019
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Ever been around somebody who just talks all the time? They never, to tell the truth, seem to "shut up." OK maybe that's not a polite way to put it, but that is the way it sometimes seems.
Even folks who have a lot of intelligent observations to make can wear you down, no matter how interesting the things they say are, if they talk all the time. You keep waiting for them to take a breath, but they don't. How do they do that?
Our little granddaughter Ellee is a talking machine. At three, soon to be four years old, I am continually amazed at where she comes up with all those words and how she just never seems to stop talking. Yeah, she's a cutie, but my goodness give our ears a break sometimes, please. Where is that IPad, anyway? That is the one thing that slows her down. Watching a movie or kids program diverts her attention.
There is someone who talks continually, and it never tires us. That is God. Now how does the Almighty not bore us when he is always talking to us. Maybe it's because He doesn't have to use words to communicate with us.
Sarah Young points out the key: "I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words. I fling glorious sunsets across the sky, day after day. I speak in the faces and voices of loved ones. I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delights you. I speak softly in the depths of your spirit, where I have taken up residence."
Recently I talked with the legendary Florida State University baseball coach Mike Martin who talked about communicating continually with Jesus. Martin has just retired after winning more games (over 2,000) than anyone who has ever coached college sports. Perhaps, that is the key to his success. For the article I was writing in Sports Spectrum, a national faith-based sports magazine, Martin said: "God has given me every opportunity to be successful. I think the high points of my faith occur daily. I know that Jesus Christ is with me 24 hours a day. I talk to Him constantly."
Apparently that constant conversation never tires out Coach Martin. Maybe this should send some other coaches scurrying to develop a relationship in which they can do the same. After all, Eleven (his uniform number and nickname) does pretty well in life with that approach. He retired after 40 years as head coach with 2,029 wins at the age of 75. He came to know Jesus as his friend and Savior when he was 16 and attended a Billy Graham Crusade with friends in his home town of Charlotte, NC.
It is not hard to tap into a constant conversation with the Lord. Young writes: "You can find Me in each moment, when you have eyes that see and ears that hear. Ask My Spirit to sharpen your spiritual eyesight and hearing. I rejoice each time you discover My Presence. Practice looking and listening for me during quiet intervals. Gradually you will find me in more and more of your moments."
As Jeremiah wrote in today's scripture lesson: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." God is not hiding. He is not trying to make it hard to have a conversation with Him.
The Psalmist wrote: "the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge."
Also, in Psalms 8:1-4: "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"
Hey, I never thought of that. There it is right in scripture. Why Ellee talks so much.
"from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise." That's what her continual conversation, as one-sided as it may seem, is saying. It is telling me and the Lovely Susette that she is God's gift to us. We have been blessed that the Lord singled us out to love and be loved by this little chatterbox. It's heavenly conversation even if it seems one-sided. :)
I've talked before, in these devotions, about my daily prayer walks (now approaching 1,100 miles) and what they mean to me. They feature an on-going conversation with the Lord in which I not only can unburden myself to Him, but I get to view the beautiful things he has created.
I see woods and flowers, squirrels, rabbits, deer. Have seen foxes and all kinds of birds.
Heavenly sights like blue skies and an infinite array of different cloud patterns.
Sometimes when I wake up a problem or several problems or potential problems may infiltrate my early thinking. These tame down when I start doing my SOAP journaling (scripture reading and application).
Then when I walk outside there the conversation begins in earnest. Just breathing the fresh air, feeling the wind and seeing the sunshine is God's way of changing my problem-plagued thinking. You've heard the old saying referring to after the storm or after you have lost something ( a job, a game, a friend, etc) then you look outside and the sun came up in the morning.
After Mike Martin's team played their final game for him at the College World Series, one they lost and were eliminated, I sent him a text the next morning thanking him for all the great memories and for his friendship. His reply was "Thank you Jim for your kind words. Last night was disappointing but thank God life goes on."
Mike Martin was able to see beyond the disappointment because he knew that the on-going conversation with Jesus would make everything right again. It's the same conversation we can have with Him. It starts when we look at all the beauty around us and give Him thanks.
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus for the continuing conversation we have with you that makes everything better. Amen!