But Thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. Psalm 86:15 NASV
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15 NIV
When asked which commandment was the greatest, Jesus condensed it to loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as our self. I want to share honestly with you a lesson learned on my journey with Him. Matthew 22:35
My next door neighbor and I went to the same church. We both sang in the choir and had formed a good friendship. Judy had surgery on her neck and was going to be immobilized for several weeks. The choir members supplied a week of meals for Judy and her husband. I cooked a couple of meals as well. It was summer time and my garden was flourishing so I would drop in and check on her with ripe tomatoes and a vegetable dish. In my mind I felt I had done my part.
A few days later during my quiet time I was using a list of the names of God as a prayer and meditation guide. One of the names that I was meditating on was Abounding and Abundant. I was thinking on all the ways the Lord had been those things to me. Then in my heart I asked the question, “Since I am to be like you, how would these qualities look in my life?” I was going through my day when suddenly the Lord answered my early morning question. In my spirit I sensed Him saying, “I would feed Judy until she is well.” I took a deep breath as I let this response sink in. At that time I was taking care of my mother-in-law who was an invalid. I said, “Lord, if you want me to do this I want to do it with joy and not just a sense of obligation.” I told my husband what I felt the Lord was asking me to do and if he was willing to purchase the extra groceries and to help. He got on board with it and for the next couple of weeks I cooked for both our families Monday through Friday. On the weekends her daughter would come and take over. I had such joy and gladness as I planned and cooked our meals. My husband would load up their portion and take it down when her husband got home from work. They were blessed and so were we.
What did I learn? When we take His yoke upon us and truly want to learn from Him, we will find that He is gentle and humble in heart. I know that Jesus would have indeed supplied their need with His own hands when He walked this earth. Now He was asking, not demanding, to use my hands. Even in the midst of a lot of work I found rest for my soul. Matthew 11:29-30 I also learned that we can exchange a sense of Christian duty for a vibrant experience of His abounding and abundant love and grace flowing through us. Jesus asked us to go the second mile, to be a cheerful giver, to be as generous as He is. He also said that it was more blessed to give than to receive and we certainly experienced that. Glimpses into His heart may cost us something but it is so worth it.
MY PRAYER: Lord, I don’t want to walk in duty and miss the delight of your abounding and abundant nature flowing through my life. I ask you to reveal yourself to and through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.