Photo by Daniel o’dowd on Unsplash

This post is part of a writing challenge I took part in to stretch my writing. Five Minute Friday’s word for the day was “Quiet.” This is spontaneous writing in only 5 minutes.  

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.” Psalm 131:2

It’s a funny thing about writing prompts. I saw the word for the day, quiet, and immediately several Bible verses came to mind. I had no clue about what to write, mind you, but I had the verses. The first one that came to mind is the one above. What a word picture. These soon followed:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.” Psalm 46:1-3

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

I couldn’t leave out these two verses, because they have been everywhere I’ve turned lately:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

These verses prompted me to wonder two things:

  1. Does my life look anything like what is portrayed in these verses right now?
  2. Why is the Lord repeating those two verses over and over again?

Well, a bit of introspection has shed light on both.

First, the Lord loves me, and knows exactly what I need, and when I need it. He knows when I’m discouraged and need a prod to get me back on track. I know that He’s good, He’s in charge, His plans for me are good, and that all things will work together for good because I love Him, but sometimes… sometimes I need to be reminded to live what I believe and trust, even when it is hard.

Second, no, right now my life looks nothing like what I read in those verses. That’s where I want to be, though. I want to be so close to the Lord, wrapped in His enveloping presence, that the storms can’t even touch me.

Wouldn’t that be nice? You probably feel the same. You may have already accomplished it. You might be thinking that you learned those lessons long ago in Christian Living 101.

I did, too. I’ve been up on the mountain top, but I’ve spent a lot more time in the valley. It seems to me that the valley is where we grow the most. That’s where the fruit grows best, after all. If you’re in the valley, too, be encouraged. You’re not there alone, and because the Lord is good, and in charge, has good plans for you, and works all things together for your good, He will see to it that you bear good fruit while you’re there.

I’m reminded of an old song that I haven’t heard in years by 4Him, Where There is Faith. This is part of the chorus:

Where there is faith
There is a voice calling,
keep walking
You’re not alone in this world
Where there is faith
There is a peace like a child sleeping
Hope everlasting in He who is able to
Bear every burden, to heal every hurt in my heart
It is a wonderful, powerful place
Where there is faith

Here is a link for your listening pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm6MG4HTKSU

Quiet. In the middle of chaos, quiet. Like Peter walking on the water in the middle of a storm and being rescued by Jesus, Yeshua. Let’s keep our eyes on Him and not the storms that surround us. Quiet.

A side note on Jeremiah 29:11:

The word translated here as prosper is also translated as welfare in some translations. The original word in Hebrew is shalam, meaning to be complete or sound. A word study also linked the word to shalom, defined as completeness, soundness, welfare, peace. I was listening to a teaching recently on prosperity, and the speaker mentioned that our Western mindsets view prosperity as an accumulation of wealth, but that’s not what they understood when the Lord spoke that to Jeremiah. They understood it to mean complete, lacking nothing. As in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Or in other words, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.”

Sowing Tears, Reaping Joy


Photo by Tadas Mikuckis on Unsplash

This originally appeared on my personal Facebook page as part of a writing challenge I participated in to stretch my writing:  Five Minute Friday’s 31 DAYS OF FIVE MINUTE FREE WRITES. This is spontaneous writing in only 5 minutes. The word for the day was “Practice.”

“Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.” Psalm 126:5

I enter the room and it beckons me. I have walked past it many times throughout the day, determined to ignore it. I have refused to entertain the memories that the sight of it evokes, but I cannot avoid it any longer.

Sighing deeply, I pull out the bench, and sit down. I gently open the lid, and slowly, tenderly stroke the ivory keys of the piano.

My eyes mist, knowing that I am a poor substitute for the boy we are both missing. With a sob, my fingertips brush the keys and I articulate for both of us, “This house has been silent for too long.”

They worked in tandem, the two of them. He, forcefully, masterfully, pounding the keys and her, thundering in response, filling the house with resounding melody and harmony.

“You miss him,” I whisper. “I know. I do, too.”

I gently caress the keys, bringing forth a melancholy sound that barely plumbs the depths of our sorrow.

It has been too quiet, for too long.

He never had to be reminded to practice. Thoughts fly quickly back to when he was but seven years old, and the piano, a gift from a dear friend, entered our home.

The boy and the piano became fast friends, spending hours upon hours getting to know each other.

Then the boy was nine, and he challenged himself to memorize every piece of music his teacher gave him to practice, and he was not content until he could play unaided and without flaw.

Then the boy was eleven, and his fingers had grown stronger and he was given complex pieces to memorize, and all the while, the piano kept in perfect step with him, a swirling, breathtakingly beautiful dance of sound.

And then he left. He chose an adventure overseas, leaving a silent house in his wake.

“It has been too quiet, but he’ll be back,” I reassure her. I close the lid and run my hands fondly over the smooth mahogany. “He’ll be back.”

“You have taken account of my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8

“You know when I sit and when I rise; You understand my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down; You are aware of all my ways.” Psalm 139:3-4



Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

This originally appeared on my personal Facebook page as part of a writing challenge I participated in to stretch my writing:  Five Minute Friday’s 31 DAYS OF FIVE MINUTE FREE WRITES. This is spontaneous writing in only 5 minutes. The word for the day was “Wait.”

“I wait for the LORD; my soul does wait, and in His word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5

I have always loved wildflowers.  I love the mix of vibrant and muted colors, and the way they appear to be randomly strewn across the ground.  It’s like God Himself reached down with His hand full of flower seeds and scattered them where He wanted a splash of color.  There’s a wildness to them, tamed by no man, yet their beauty shines forth just as their Creator intended.

Have you ever seen a package of wildflower seeds?  A variety of seeds are all mixed together, and you have no idea what flowers are going to grow from the mix.  You plant and wait, and water and wait, and in time their distinct colors, shapes and scents are revealed for all to see.

I have an affinity for a succulent called Desert Rose.  They are my favorite flowers because they thrive on neglect…so even I can grow them.  They don’t bloom very often – mostly after a dry spell, followed by a few days of rain.  When you are fortunate enough to find them in the plant nurseries, they seldom have flowers, and the labels don’t indicate what color flowers will appear.  You take them home, plant, and wait for the surprise.

We are the same!  The times we have the most growth tend to be after dry spells, or times in the wilderness.  We are all in the process of maturing, and we won’t be finished until our time on earth is complete.

Look around and you will see people in stages anywhere from seedlings to mature, flowering shrubs.  We love to comment on the beauty of the fully formed flowers, but aren’t as enthusiastic about the seedlings and the shoots that are without bloom.  We can be impatient, can’t we?  We forget that we were once seedlings ourselves.

Wait.  Have patience.  God is not done with them…or you.

“For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and I know this very well.” Psalm 139:14

“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” Martin Luther