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what leah learned

"Encourage one another daily, as long as it is today," Hebrews 3:13. Adventure in progress…

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Creative fiction

Go to the river

riverwoodsuk

There once was this little girl who was lost in the woods. Surrounded by thick dark trees and complete stillness, not a creature moved past her eyes in the dimness of day hidden from the full light of the sun. She was alone.
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The girl found a soft place to camp beneath a hard oak tree. Each morning she awoke from her mossy bed and left the protection of the branches in search of food and water.

One day she found a river.

Cold, refreshing, inviting waters that danced on the tip of her tongue as she eagerly filled her smile with life sustaining drink.

From her side pocket she pulled a small vessel of tin and filled it with water from the river. Eagerly she held the container in her hands and protected it from spilling the treasure inside. She walked back into the woods with her hands cupped, careful not to trip on a root.

Several times a nearby brightly flowered bush or gathering of (possibly poison-she was unskilled at telling the difference) berries distracted her for moments long enough to cause a few tear sized drops to spill over the edges of her cup.

When she reached the camp she had made by the tree she sat next to her hovel in meager triumph, the vessel of water in hand and admiration for its contents in her eyes.

Over the next few days she stared at the precious beaker half-filled with water as she lay on her bed. She thought about it while she was thirsty. At night she dreamed about the sparkling water within. Each day she longed to feel the cool stream run down her throat.

But she did not drink it. Nor did she ever return to the river.

_____

What does this story mean to you? Was the girl a hopeful or a fool? Did she live long? What would you have done if you had found a river while you were lost in the woods alone? 

_____

 

Maybe you wonder why she didn’t drink the water she had rather than letting herself die of thirst, idly admiring instead of using it for its purpose. Perhaps you would have told her to get a larger container or return to the river as needed?

The girl allowed her surroundings to distract her. She failed to understand the purpose of the river she found when she was in need. I personally wonder why she did not move her entire estate to the riverbank and never leave it’s side?

The river was her source of life. What kept her away?

I think this story can illustrate the type of interaction we often have with God’s word.

We take a verse or two, maybe even memorize one of them. Or at least we write it down on a post-it note and put it neatly scripted in a visible place to admire. But we don’t let it penetrate our heart.

How often to we camp in the word and drink our fill? Even when we do we like to wander off with plans to return later, maybe. Or we think we have enough not to make another trip.

Why don’t we start coming to the river with bigger glasses and thirsty hearts?

Better yet, let’s go to the river and plant ourselves in deeply to stay.

 

“They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3

Studying Tips-

Cross-referencing: I just discovered this great tool for studying verses with the original Hebrew. Use it to find the deeper meaning of each verse and meditate on how it applies to you.

Start with this prayer from John Piper when you open your Bible:
Incline my heart to your word, Open my eyes to behold your word, Unite my heart (unscattered) to fear your name, Satisfy me with your steadfast love. Amen.

Write in a journal: You can go back and read what He has spoken to you in the past for encouragement.

Share with other believers: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

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Faithful Runaway

The wind howled as with the force of an angry God behind it. Ship shattering waves pounded the side of the boat in warning. I could not hide much longer. Clamoring below deck, the other sailors called out to me above the fury, “What have you done to bring this upon us?”

Confessing the truth I let them throw me overboard. I saw the Captain’s eyes as he gave the order, a deep sorrow bought by a man who knew too much loss. They had tried to save me, but no one could. It was my choice to disobey, not theirs. They would not suffer any longer because of me.

This is the end, I thought. I earned this. I will sink deep into the abyss, tangled in seaweed like a forgotten stone.

“Jonah,” he called to me from the place I knew by heart, his voice like my own. His hand was upon me as the last shadow of consciousness ran through my brain. Then, like a black ghost came my rescue out of the deep, and he swallowed me up.  

Misery I thought I had known until I sat in the belly of that great beast. I pleaded with Him day and night to end it. He waged war against my anger, my foolishness, my selfish pride. “I will not save them!” I yelled at Him in refusal. Never could I bestow upon such a vile people the same love that finds me worthy. 

Three days he wrestled with my spirit and then mercy, I was thrown upon land. The nasty monster sank back into the ocean as I filled my hands with sand. Coughing and sputtering I praised God for my life. Salty earth never tasted so sweet.

Broken spirit, I turned from the shore and set onward to the town which caused for me such trouble. No, it was myself, I know this. It is easy to hate what you do not know. To know something is to love it. 

I know Him in my very soul. We were a team, a speaker of truth and a proclaimer of mercy. I was thirsty for his presence always. Joy that I could find nowhere else. I was blessed to teach, not arrogant in my gifting. I wanted to follow Him all of my days, to obey and speak life. Wherever I went his Spirit did miracles in the hearts of men. There was no life apart from Him, and His life was mine.

So I ran. 

I knew if I sat in those docks that he would work his will into my heart and I would have no choice but to obey. I took the first ship leaving in the opposite direction and told no one where I was going. But the sailors were kind to me so I told them, “I have ran away from the presence of God. He spoke to me and in the hardness of my heart I could not bring myself to obey.”

“So I ran.”

He followed me.

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