Well, it appears that I have gotten your attention! It surely got mine when God gave me the title for this musing. I can tell you that it’s probably not what you think; however, the cream has many uses for relieving pain, soreness, burning, itching, and discomfort along with temporary “shrinkage!” How’s that for an object lesson?! Selah!
While I maintain a full schedule and do spend time in the Word, it appears that God delights in speaking to me during my sleep! A couple of weeks ago, God gave me this musing loud and clear and He has continued to write it on my heart (in bold lettering) this week! I remember waking and suddenly sitting up in bed with a puzzled feeling.
PREPARATION “H?” I giggled! “Oh, this is a good one Lord!” So, as always, I’d like to turn this image into one with spiritual meaning and pray it speaks to your soul with great impact as it has (and is doing) mine. I pray that it will help relieve pain, emotional soreness, discomfort, and prompt that burning-itchy feeling to get things in order as we attempt to shrink many things in our lives.
It happens to almost all of us the first week of January! We feel the need to get our homes and lives in order. We put away Christmas decorations (well most of us – I’m still using my Christmas dishes!) and our new gifts. We remind ourselves that January is a great time to organize and re-organize and we might even begin that process. But why, really? Shouldn’t we always have that in the forefront of our thinking? Maybe some of you do, but my life is not wired that way. For me, the months from October through December are extremely chaotic with special events, meetings, and closing down the year. I race from thing to thing, slinging, tossing, and shuffling items from one room to another to make space for more things or for people who waltz in for a visit or a stay at my house. By January, I’ve misplaced everything! I HAVE to get re-organized! I cannot function and I get very out-of-sorts! This puts me into a funk, along with gloomy weather, and I think I’ll never pull out or see light at the end of the tunnel! But deep within, I know that it will be fine and I’ll soon see blue skies. January is typically very grey for me and my soul gets choked up. And when I look around at the overwhelming piles, and even the urge to re-decorate, it’s very easy for me to wanna leave town and not return! I have to remember this scripture verse and truly the only one who can help is The Lord.
Perhaps we feel “out of sorts!” I believe it’s because we are not prepared! We think our house needs to be pristine or maybe it doesn’t measure up to those of your friends. Shame on us! Shame on ME! We all live chaotic lives, in some form or fashion; especially if you have children that you shuttle from one event to another! Or, perhaps you feel like a bag lady, constantly moving from meeting to meeting, appointment to appointment, carrying lots of gear, and wearing many hats. Maybe you feel hospitality isn’t your gift. Have you ever stopped to think that it’s not really your house people come to see? It’s you! I’m sure it’s also the fellowship or encouragement you share…or need! I often say to new comers into my home, “You are welcome to stop in and see me anytime, but if you want to see my house, make an appointment!”
And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. Luke 19:5,6
Did you catch that? Received Him joyfully…and Jesus invited Himself!
Martha was welcoming…
“Now as they were traveling along, He (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.” Luke 10:38
This is the same Martha that rebuked her sister for not helping in the kitchen. Martha knew what she was doing when she invited them in!
What about Lydia…she promptly opened her home to Paul.
And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay” at my house. And she persuaded us. Acts 16:15
And there’s the Jailer in the Paul and Silas story…
“Then he brought them into his home and set a meal before them.” Acts 16:34
In all of these instances, who could know if preparations were made ahead of time for each of these guests? I don’t see in scripture where anyone had an issue of keeping people at bay because of clutter or untidiness. They seized the moment and had a real understanding of Koinonia fellowship. Whether a meal, a bed, or a brief time of visiting, they didn’t think twice. I want to offer my home and exercise “drop of the hat” hospitality.
How many times have you walked into someone’s home and you could just feel the peace? You wanted to linger there forever! I can just about promise you that it wasn’t just because everything was beautiful and orderly, donning calm hues, but because of the loving warmth that was showered upon you as you entered! Your gentle spirit and peace is reflected because there is rest and peace with God! That can only happen when there is total trust in Him…for all things! It is God who grants perfect peace. When there is unrest or chaos in my heart (sin), everything gets “off balance.” Recognizing when I’m unbalanced and remembering to keep my mind stayed on Jesus always dismantles my turmoil and disorganization within and without!
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4: 5-9
Finding peace as I prepare my home,
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