I am grateful for many sources of timely words of inspiration in my life. I especially treasure these pearls of wisdom and hope when I'm going through what I call a slump, this time apparently the result of general tiredness of mind, body and spirit, along with (or perhaps fueled by) some physical maladies. These are some that have been particularly helpful in recent days:
-- Upper Room Oct. 8, inspired by Colossians 3:12-17: "It is much the same with what we learn from God’s word. We can read the Scripture, highlight favorite passages, and make notes in the margins of our Bible. We can attend Bible classes, hear sermons regularly, and discuss what we’ve read. But actually doing something with God’s word is the real work, the evidence that we have read and studied the Scripture. (Written by Pat Rowland, Tennessee)
-- Jesus Calling, Oct. 9, had a beautiful reminder that even though I'm making great strides on keeping my focus on Jesus, which indeed pleases Him, He is distressed when I complain. And the timing was perfect, because, try as I do not to complain, I had found myself doing it more and more. The reading, supported by Philippians 2:14-15, suggests that when I am tempted to grumble aloud to others, I should take it to Jesus, instead, trusting Him to restore His thoughts in my mind and His song in my heart.
-- Upper Room Oct. 10: Jesus said, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4)
"Like the soybean and corn sprouts sending the roots into the soil, a Christian’s action is to delve into God’s word, the Bible, in order to grow spiritually and to produce fruit. The fruit grows when we spread the good news and lead people to Christ. We can do this by telling our story — what God has done for us. Sometimes we use words; but always we can tell our story by living so that others can see Christ in us. Just as emerging plants receive the sunlight, we want to receive what God sends our way to strengthen us and encourage us for whatever lies ahead." (written by James H. McKelvey, Tennessee)
-- Voices of Recovery, Oct. 11: Just the words I needed to read to remind me that eating over stress, pain, tiredness, frustration or any other problem doesn't help solve the problem. It just adds various other problems. "My Higher Power gives me the choice to be able to say: I don't want to eat that, to go down that path. I know what will happen." I don't always make the right choice for me, but this reminds me that I have experienced the reality that when I do make good choices with food, things go much better. Abstinence from compulsive overeating, for me, really is the softer, easier way.
-- A Praying Heart, Oct. 10, which I read last night as I was wondering how I would get everything done I thought I needed to do before work today. It is titled "Dealing With Distractions." The Scripture is Proverbs 4:23, as presented in The Message: "Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions."
Among the suggestions of the meditation: "When you find yourself wrestling with distractions, you might want to try praying the distractions. That means offering up to God any errant thought that might come to your mind."
-- And then perhaps the most timely, shared by a Facebook friend on Oct. 10, although I can't figure out the source: "The Bible never once says 'Figure it out' but over and over says: 'Trust God.' He's already got it all figured out."