January 2, 2019
Good Thoughts for the New Year
Laws of the Lighthouse
by Max Lucado
The first of the year is known for three things: black-eyed peas, bowl games, and lists. Some don’t eat black-eyed peas. Others hate football. But everybody likes lists.
The Bible certainly has its share of lists. Moses brought one down from the mountain.
There are lists of the gifts of the Spirit. Lists of good fruit and bad. Lists of salutations and greetings. Even the disciples’ boat got into the action as it listed in the stormy Sea of Galilee. (If you smiled at that, then I’ve got a list of puns you’d enjoy.)
But the greatest day of lists is still New Year’s Day. And the number one list is the list I call the Laws of the Lighthouse.
The Laws of the Lighthouse contain more than good ideas, personal preferences, and honest opinions. They are God-given, time-tested truths that define the way you should navigate your life. Observe them and enjoy secure passage. Ignore them and crash against the ragged rocks of reality.
Smart move. The wise captain shifts the direction of his craft according to the signal of the lighthouse. A wise person does the same.
Herewith, then, are the lights I look for and the signals I heed:
- Love God more than you fear hell.
– Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
– Make major decisions in a cemetery.
– When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
– Succeed at home first.
– Don’t spend tomorrow’s money today.
– Pray twice as much as you fret.
– Listen twice as much as you speak.
– Only harbor a grudge when God does.
– Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
– Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
– ‘Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
– God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same.
– When you can’t trace God’s hand, trust his heart.
– Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
– Don’t feel guilty for God’s goodness.
– The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
– Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
– Live your liturgy.
To sum it all up:
Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the captain. Fish a little. And then get off when you get home.
From In the Eye of the Storm
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado
August 1, 2018
You Don’t Have to Carry Your Worries (God’s Carrying Them for You)
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (I Peter 5:6-7).
Friend to Friend
I am a mom to a child with life-threatening allergies. It’s been nine years, but it hasn’t ever gotten easier, or less scary, or normal. I wouldn’t trade this kid for the whole world, but at times, the job of managing it all seems too much.
What struck me the other day, as it often has, is how carefree my son is. Gradually he will shoulder the load of managing his allergies, but to this point, it is mostly ME doing all the things: reading the labels, washing the hands and the dishes before prepping his food, calling companies, knowing what’s safe and what’s not safe.
My son isn’t worried, because he knows I am. He doesn’t ask me a million times what I’m giving him, or where it came from, or, “Is it really safe for me to eat”? He sits down and enjoys, because he trusts that I have handled all that. (And I have.)
And I felt a gentle reminder recently, “You can be like that, too, Jessica. I have this handled, and you can relax.”
Oh, to embrace this kind of carefree peace that the Lord is offering me.
Oh, to believe so completely that my Heavenly Father has handled all of the details, from beginning to end of my story.
Oh, to sit down at the table of life and freely eat, enjoying each bite of goodness that is on my plate, knowing that what is in front of me is safe, and good, because it has passed through my Father’s hands.
Friend, I don’t know what load is burdening you today. I don’t know what worries are dragging you down, what fears haunt your thoughts, what concerns press in all around. I do know that whatever it is that’s keeping us up at night - He’s already up, and He’s already handled it. We don’t have to worry, because He is carrying those worries for us.
And perhaps that is where the analogy breaks down. When I care for my son, my “care” often tips into worry, fear and anxiety. Yet Our Lord is never like this. He is fully equipped to manage every jot and iota in our lives, He loves us beyond measure, and His plan is unequivocally good. His is a powerful, nearby love that wraps around us even in the most terrifying times. He is always present, always loving, always in control. This is tremendously comforting to me.
Lord, sometimes the load of life is overwhelming, and we cannot carry it. At those times, Lord, let us not seek to become stronger, but to rest in Your mighty hands. The things we are worried about - will You carry them for us? It’s too much for us, Lord. We need You.
In Jesus’ Name,