“…We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of GOD…”
.Brother Lawrence from The Practice of the Presence of God.
I’m at one of those transition places between what I wanted to know and what I still need to know. I’m looking for that new focus of my daily study. Usually I begin with THE Word and then find my words but all I have today is word ideas prompted by that quote from The Practice of the Presence of God. It feels like I’m beginning backwards but I’ve just spent a few weeks on the assurances that access to “high notions of GOD” are built right into those who dwell with his Spirit inside them. Here I am Lord. I love you, please lead me…to your “Whatever” and the fullness of understanding there’s “Nothing” you will withhold as I continue to ponder the mystery of how to practice these high notions of God…and their wisdom for daily life.
Proverbs 16:20 Whoever listens to what is taught will succeed,
and whoever trusts the Lord will be happy.
21 The wise are known for their understanding.
Their pleasant words make them better teachers.
22 Understanding is like a fountain which gives life to those who use it,
but foolishness brings punishment to fools.
23 Wise people’s minds tell them what to say,
and that helps them be better teachers.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
making people happy and healthy. NCV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 NIV
I don’t really like the idea of “fear” when it comes to the Lord: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. I know him to be a loving, protective parent who’s goal is my good, not to scare me into behaving…but there’s that word “fear” in the same sentence with wisdom.
I went to the dictionary, a Hebrew lexicon and someone else’s explanation of that fear hoping I’d find something less harsh. Guess what? By the time you’ve run that gauntlet of options you discover this truth. Mostly it really is THAT kind of fear. This is God, he makes the rules and sets that boundary of fear to keep us from deliberate sin and like a really good parent he will keep his word…all of it!
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
It reminded me of when I was a teenager. I heard myself say “I can’t do that, my mother would kill me.” It’s that kind of fear. It’s not wanting to get into trouble because you know exactly what that trouble will bring. That really is the beginning of wisdom. Turns out Mother knew best, after all.
I’ve had a wonderful experience being a part of a group that knits Prayer Shawls for gifts to help encourage people or celebrate with them. They’re just what the name implies, shawls full of prayers. We’ve practiced learning to rely on God to make the connection of who the shawl is to go to. We’ve discovered the gift of a shawl to someone else gives us new courage to reach out on a personal level We’ve learned a profound lesson that God can use even such a simple skill.
Proverbs 31:10-31 The Message
“She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.”
The Knitter’s Proverb
That good woman is on my mind, Lord
This knitting of mine, these Prayer Shawls,
Have shown me hearts that long for warmth,
That need a tangible gift of your caring love,
And the blessing of your embrace in their lives.
There are long hours of knitting that only you see.
Yet they have told others the story of your love.
Those hours have praised & honored you.
This is the gift you’ve shared through my hands.
Somehow this time with yarn and needles
Seems to be a part of your plan for my life.
It is a special part of who I am becoming…
A good woman, too, wrapped in your blessing
With knitting needles and a ball of yarn.