The bible says in Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” He had earlier stated that not one sparrow falls to the ground without Him noticing. It never ceases to amaze me that the God of the universe is interested in the everyday dealings of our lives. He has demonstrated this many times in my life. One such time was back when I was working as a Security Screening Supervisor in the Austin, TX airport. This particular day had been quite crazy. It had been a day of irate passengers and disgruntled employees. To top the cake I was working the 3am shift and started this crazy day exhausted. I found myself having a particularly hard time being cheerful. Let’s just say as much as I wanted to I was not exuding the love of Christ. I oversaw three checkpoints and would rotate throughout the day between each checkpoint. On my way to the next checkpoint I headed into one of the little shops to get a drink. While standing in line I noticed they were selling blue bouncy balls. Not just any blue bouncy ball but ones that lit up with each bounce. This was the level of desperation. I was all about anything that added a little light to my day. As a kid I would collect all types of bouncy ball. I was always draw to things that lit up and well the icing on the cake was that they were blue, my favorite color. No sooner had I picked one up then I heard God say “Don’t buy it.” I thought “Uh…What? I have the money and what does God care if I buy a bouncy ball? “ I asked the Lord “Are You really trying to hinder what little light I have in my day?” All I heard in reply was “Don’t buy it.” With a eye roll and a “fine!” I threw down the ball and walked out. That moment of light gone. I was really in a funk now. The day continued and it wasn’t getting any better. More work less resource was the outcome of my managers meeting. I wasn’t winning in the passenger, employee or management support departments.
Only a few hours left in my shift and I was heading down the concourse to the next checkpoint. As I neared the food court I saw a man standing by his gate. He was had his business suit on, computer bag slung over his shoulder and he was bouncing one of those blue bouncy balls. He was about 75ft away from where I was standing rehashing why God, my heavenly Father had made such a deal about a “stupid ball”. I muttered under my breath, “Nice Ball” The man somehow heard me and said “Yeah it is isn’t it?” With that he bounced the ball across the food court and right to me. “You can have it.” I stood holding the very ball I had intended to purchase earlier. My mouth dropped for a few seconds. I looked back up to where the man had been standing across the food court and by his gate. He was no longer there. In awe I continued my walk to the checkpoint. The rest of my day didn’t miraculously get better, but I didn’t care. The God of the universe, the one that hung the stars, doesn’t care about a “stupid ball”, He cares about me. He went out of His way to set me up to know once again that He loves me. He cares that I like little blue light up bouncy balls. He’s a personal God that takes time to demonstrate His love to His children.
We come to the Lord through an understanding of His love for us and the sacrifice He paid for our sins. As we continue living on this earth we find ourselves shaken by different things. Sometimes these situations cause us to drift away from God. Maybe we experienced a friend stabbing us in the back. Or our financial situation becomes difficult. Or your family situation gets messy. Theses situations can seem unbearable and are truly difficult. The challenge is to remember that these are not reasons to walk away from the Lord. We must serve God for God. We gave our lives to Him because we learned about His love for us. Life situations do not change that Love. Our desire to serve the Lord has to come form His love for us and our love for Him. If it is going to be lasting it cannot be based on seeking blessings. See when we build our relationship with God on the things of this world that crumble and fail we will draw close and walk away based off the instability of those things. But when we build our relationship with the Lord on His love that never fails, we will have stability in our relationship throughout life’s challenges. The Bible calls the Lord a strong tower that the righteous run into and are saved. So as you build your relationship with the Lord make sure it stays focused on Him. Serve Him for who He is not what He does.
You may be familiar with the childhood experience of a toy or clothing catching your eye while in a shopping center, then venturing off from your parents to go investigate it. Of course after satisfying your curiosity you look up and your parents have moved on. Have you ever located your parents by their laugh, cough, a personal saying or their tone of voice? This was my experience throughout my childhood. I would look up from my curiosity driven adventure and my family would have moved onto another isle in the store. Fortunately my dad had a distinct cough. Each time we were out and about and I had separated from him, I would use this cough to locate him in the store. I would also use his voice or laugh. How is it that I was able to distinguish his laugh from someone else’s laugh? Is he the only person who laughs in that way? Is the world full of unison laughers and my dad is off beat? Of course not, everyone has distinction in their voice.
So how did I know it was him? I’ve heard his voice a million times. When I got up in the morning there it was “Jessica time to get up!” When I tripped and fell “Jessica are you alright?” or when I was out of line. “Jessica, now don’t do that.” It’s no wonder when I was walking down the produce isle in the supermarket and heard “Wow these onions sure look delicious.” I recognize the voice that has been there all along.
The same is true of hearing the voice of God. It comes from spending time with Him. It comes from allowing Him to be apart of your waking up, your laying down, your playing, your correcting and your encouraging. A real relationship with the Lord only comes through proximity with Him. It’s in the everyday times that we learn who He is. What matters to Him. How deep His love is for us. It’s where we learn to distinguish His voice form all the others. That way if you ever find yourself looking for Him or if He calls to you, you will recognize His voice because you have had many conversations with Him and have spent much time with Him.
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**I love my dad
The teacher moved the flannel version of the three wise men across the board. I’m sitting in the back of the classroom intently listening to the teacher tell us about this baby named Jesus. She proceeds with the lessons and mentions the word “sin”. I know that word because my mom said that’s what happens when I do something bad. Somehow I understand the teacher. I understood that this sin is keeping me from the adult Jesus and His Father. That they love me. They love me even more then my parents. I feel their love even though I don’t understand how. Tears slide down my face, over my soft cheeks and onto my dress. I can’t stop looking and listening to the teacher. She explains that the Father; the one I somehow know is creating the intense feeling of acceptance, peace, security, importance and belonging is drawing me close to Him. She explained that because sin kept me away from the Father He sent His Son to die for me. Tears welling in my eyes caused the flannel Jesus to become blurry, but I could still hear the message. She was stating that because of the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus did not stay dead. He rose back to life. I couldn’t help but smile through my silent tears. I was so relived to know that He was alive. The teacher asked if anyone wanted to make Jesus Lord of their lives. Again unsure of how I could understand that she meant I would give Him my whole life, every part and every future day. That He would guide me and that my only task was to love Him and obey. His love was so intense in my heart I felt like it was going to explode. When she asked for those who wanted to make the decision to live a life fully for the Lord to raise their hands, mine shot up and the tears flowed uncontrollably. I want Him; I want to always live with Him in my life. I wanted to call out to the teacher and proclaim, “I want Him!” She called my parents to come in and she prayed with me.
This was the day I chose to follow Christ. I experienced His love. I knew He was real and I knew I only wanted to live a life full of Him. It was this day in the third year of my life that would set the course for the rest of my life. Not everyday is peaches and cream, but the mark His love left on my life has never wavered.