"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. " Psalm 54:2. I can't help but look at that verse and reflect on some of the words in that scripture. We've been working on words in our house, well the combination or lack of the combination, and what they mean. We live on a small farm, so when I say to my children, "Stay out of the sheep's pen." That's what I mean, those words specifically, and there's action involved in the sentence. With three boys and a curious little girl, I see the merging of the sentence to morph 'add on's' in their mind's context to..."Stay out of the pen", but go get the eggs in the barn, find the kitten, and climb a hay bale to see what truck is coming up the hill. All of which requires jumping a fence and crossing an icy, muddy, mucky pen full of pregnant ewes who only have one thing on their mind right now-where is the grain? As parents and adults we all know why we request directions like this, not to be yielding in their exploration, or closed to their creative and curious minds, but for primarily safety and teaching. As I think of the 'add on's by my kids, I am quick to look at the add-ons my mind jumps to with scripture. How often I don't put the best words forward that I'm reading which are clearly there for my safety and teaching. As well as the 'light bulb' illuminating on all of those little words in scripture that aren't actually so little. They are the safety net to my safety emotionally, spiritually, physically, and the biggest teaching by my teacher. Like this scripture, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another," John 13:34. I'm quick to add-in; 'Love one another' as long as you're not driving me nuts, as long as you haven't hurt me somehow, or as long as I don't trust because I don't know that 'another' to love. Then when it comes to 'As I have loved you', the phrases hardly stop in my head, as long as I am good, as long as I pray, as long as I don't sin, as longs as I exercise, as long as I don't grump at my kids...as long as. What I do know is the 'add on's' are lies of the enemy, and training myself in scripture to stop at the 'As I have loved you', has been a huge slow down and learning curve to grab ahold of exactly what it states. As I am being taught to hear those words and stop, the other words of scripture become even stronger. The first part of the scripture says God commanded us to Love one another, and commanded us to know As He loved us. He wasn't just throwing this out in the wind for when He feels like loving us, or when we feel like loving another if the moon is aligned or the weather is just right, kids aren't arguing, jobs are perfect, no one's sick, bills are paid, etc. He commands it...that is God the He of all He's, not a dude clipping along on a donkey in Israel, He is the maker of ALL the universe, not just a subdivision. So seriously, who am I to question any command by Him, and his command definietely doesn't add on the when we feel like it scenarios. It is a command flat out, for ALL times not under a special clause or circumstance. Next it says He gives this to you. A gift given under a loving command from the great I am, but 'this is given to you'-that's me, that's you, that's your neighbor, that's the person who you're feeling most un-personable and un-Christian-like towards. There's so much in that scripture, it's exciting to put it together and know, truly know, who is saying this to us. His words have power and action, of, in and for Him. And the great thing is, God gives us grace to break these words in scripture down, as well as learn how to not always 'add on' our humanly add on's in and around His words. He directs us to stop, take in His exact words, and hold tight to what He is specifically saying because it is He who is keeping us safe, as He teaches us to grow in Him. He's not yielding us, or pulling back on the reins from what He's showing us. He's opening us up to see the illumination of those words of everlasting life with and through His guidance, while also giving us a beautifully bright gift.
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