Monday, June 6, 2011

Delighting in the Lord :: Part 1

{Written by Bethany Ann}
I just love getting letters from dear friends, don't you? The joy of seeing a lovely little envelope with a sticker or to addressed to Miss Bethany Ann in a feminine hand brings me much excitement! I often ponder the sender's thoughtfulness in taking time out of her day to write me a letter. Just knowing that someone very special to me took time to share with me her family's recent news, what the Lord has been doing in her life, what books she is reading, etc is often such an encouragement! Often times life is so busy for people that they forget to take time to encourage others, how sad! I can defiantly say that my pen-pals have been such an encouragement over the years and through their Godly advice and counsel I've grown in my walk with Christ tremendously!
    
Because of my sincere love for letters, each Monday through Saturday I eagerly await the faithful post carrier's arrival to our white mail box engraved with the obvious show of many years of faithful service to us and our mail. :)  It is almost like someone is bringing me a treasure!  :) When I see that red car with a bumper sticker that reads "U.S. Mail" I excitedly await at the door and once he leaves our mail and moves on to the next box I race to open the mail box and see what treasures he has brought us today. In haste I flip through the pile of envelopes and catalogs...a bill...and other bill...a catalog...a letter for one of my siblings...I come to the second to last letter and realize that my chances of the next letter being for me are slim.  I flip the letter expecting it to be yet another bill. but wait! No, it is for me! Excitement rushes through me and I run inside to enjoy my letter and start a reply.
~*~
One day as I was waiting for the mail man to arrive I sat down on my bed and looked out the window. No mailman yet I thought. As I sat there and thought of random things the Lord brought to mind something that I had never thought of in that sense. He whispered in my ear about the importance of delighting in my time spent with Him. "You know what Bethany?" He seemed to say. "Yes, Lord" I thought. "You know how eagerly you await a letter each day and how excited you are when you do get one?" "Well...yes." I thought. "Well why do you love getting those letters?" "Well, Lord I love getting letters because they make me feel special, I love to hear from my friend and see how they are doing. I also love writing them back and I especially enjoy the occasional stickers or stationary that's included in the letter." I thought, remembering a little gift a friend recently sent me in a letter. "They are my dearest of friends!" I think. "When you get a letter do you lay it on the table and think 'Oh, I'll read it later, there's to much to do now!' and then go on about your business?" the Lord asked. "Of course not!" I quickly thought "I'd never in my wildest dreams to that!" I thought. "I care about the letters far to much to let them sit for a while before reading them!" 
     
"Okay, then lets say that you wake up in the early morning to the beeping alarm and think 'I need to read my Bible!' but then you think 'But I'm so tired...we stayed up late last night...' as you pull the covers tight you think 'Just one more minute...' and before you know it you have gone back to sleep and awake 30 minutes later and realize that all you time with should have spent with Jesus was wasted. 'Now I need to get dressed and make breakfast, I'll have to do my devotion later' you think. What happens then?" the Lord asked. "Well I forget to do my devotions later and don't realize it until bed time. If I do remember to have my devotions during the day it is hard to concentrate with the noise and would have been much easier if it had been done before everyone woke up" I thought. "Well I wrote you many love letters...why don't you have as much excitement to read them as you have to read letters from your friends? After all, I am your dearest of friends!" Jesus gently said. "Well, yes you are my very dearest friend!" I quickly said. "Is it because you say so or because you truly enjoy being with me? You make excuses such as "I'm too tired" or "I'm too busy...I'll do it later" but if I really was your best friend then you would be eager to read my Word" He says gently. I then realized just how important it is to devote time to the Lord!
~*~
So often I don't have as much excitement and enthusiasm to spend time with God as I should! Spending time with God, and actually delighting in it and looking forward to it is very powerful and will literally change our life...but only if we let it. We can read our Bible but not be learning or benefiting from it. When we don't truly love the Lord and enjoy our time with Him then it won't be as beneficial and we won't get much out of it. Prayer is also an important part of spending time with God. When you meet a new friend do you sit down away from her instead of getting to know her better? Of course not! The same is true with God! How can we expect to truly know our best friend, Jesus is we don't spend time with Him? How can we truly know Him if we only spend the least amount of time possible with Him? We should desire and long to spend time with Him, and the best part is that we don't have to wait for the mailman to read His Word! :)
    
But what if the desire just isn't there? What if we truly do want to know God, but our heart tells us that reading a book if more interesting? Then what do we do? Well I think this is the number one reason why people who could have a wonderful intimate life with Jesus don't-because they listen to their heart and don't take action in doing what they know is right.  Quite honestly we might think that reading a magazine or writing a letter is more interesting and fun than reading the Bible. So we lay the Bible down and pick up the book. We give into our sinful desires and into the devil's plans. We don't realize that we are falling into the devils sneaky trap and if we don't realize it and do something about it we will be taken in without warning.
     Read part 2 on June 20th!
Photography by Bethany W. Designed on Picnik.com

6 Words of Grace:

Grace said...

Indeed! Very good post, Miss Bethany! I have been struggling with this as of late, and this article was a great encouragement.

May the Lord bless you, dear!
~Miss Grace~
P.S. I am ever so sorry I haven't sent YOUR letter yet! I will attend to that very soon. Thank you so much for your patience!:)

Miriam said...

Won wonderfully written, Miss Bethany!
That was an great challenge!!

Anonymous said...

Bethany, I have had the same problem, so this was really encouraging. Thank you! I'm looking forward to your next magazine!

In Him Alone,
Emily J

haley said...

Great post! So encouraging! Can't wait for part 2 :D

Lindsey Marie said...

Ow. This really hit home with me this evening, Miss Bethany. My prayer life has been really slacking and my devotional life has been not the best. I've been "busy" or in other words, lazy. I need to reprioritize. Thank you for the wonderful reminder, dear.

Blessings,
LindseyMarie
LindseyMarie97.blogspot.com

The Kautts said...

I too have struggled with that, Bethany. It is good to have friends who can pray for us and encourage us to spend MORE time with God.

Thanks for posting this! It was a good reminder to me.

If you ever need photos for the article headers, shoot me an email at: 60blueeyes@esagelink.com. I take photos, and you can see some of my photography here: http://texasskies.blogspot.com/search/label/Photography?updated-max=2011-05-23T21%3A08%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=20 and https://picasaweb.google.com/112085623808326430590/May13201103?authkey=Gv1sRgCPzazLP40au0FQ.

In Christ,
Johanna

www.texasskies.blogspot.com