Saturday, April 28, 2012

A thankful heart is always a Joyful heart

Living close to a wooded area has many advantages. The sound of all sorts of tropical birds awaken me and I draw to my patio with my own pet Sugar. Sugar is a lovebird who is in the parrot family. She needs a lot of attention and as I type, she sits on my shoulder or trys to flutter down to the keyboard.

I always let her out for a small amount of time each day. At times, getting her back to her cage is a problem though. Yet, each day we hear the rustling of the trees and the screech of the turkey vultures or the peep of the cardinals. I see raccoons come out of woods at times. On occasion I even spy a armadillo or two. A few cats wander by and I am glad for the screens as they might decide Sugar is a good idea for breakfast.

The life of a Christian is not without it's moments of trial. The Lord uses that time to stretch our faith much like my pet Sugar stretches her wings. Yet, we are reminded of our own inability to fly alone. We are safe within the boundaries that our Lord sets for us. In Psalm 23 it says 'thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.' If you know what the rod and the staff are used for, it can be a puzzle. The shepherd uses those tools to poke and prod the sheep to remain within the boundaries. They are free to graze and live in comfort while within those boundaries. Yet, often they are led off into the wilderness where a lion or bear could consume them.

They hate to be sheered. They will balk when it's time to have their hair cut. We too hate it when the Lord removes things from us. Yet, at times we need to be pruned in order that we may grow healthy. Years ago when I left NY to come to Florida I sold or gave away everything I owned. We traveled with our few possesions with a small van. It was a pruning time and  yet we found what we truly needed what forever within our grasp.

We learned what we could live without and how to live within the boundaries that God set before us. That does not mean we develop a poverty mentality and never give to others. It simply means that we are free to enjoy all that the Lord has to give us according to His riches and glory. Not according to our own fluttering and looking for things on our own. We are learning the value system in a whole new way.

I find myself thanking the Lord for the beauty of each day whether it be stormy or sunshine. A thankful heart lacks very little. A heart that seeks what others have, seldom is filled with joy however. As the birds chirp and enjoy the day, so I will be thankful and continue to pray.

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