NOW YOU WOULD THINK THAT..A Time, Abide in, Secrets Of, Lessons From …would hold no special bond or tie. But to me they do. I want to share with you the unique journey of discovery I’ve enjoyed recently. It stated when I began to read Chris L. Kincaid’s book called a time for every PURPOSE under heaven. Chris has a fun blog and she is devoted to sharing ideas, thoughts, and photos each week. I bring this up because her book has the same wonderful voice, as though she had all the time in the world with me as she shares her missionary tour to Africa. The warmth and reality of her struggles makes me feel as though I’m there too. The vivid imagery of the people and the challenges they face is not overshadowed by hopelessness. God is with them.
When I decided to make Andrew Murray’s book abide in CHRIST my daily devotion for this month I was pleased to find that he wrote from one of my favorite passages John 15:1 – 12. Each day I read about abiding, resting and trusting God, so important when we endeavor to do anything for him or for his kingdom and for anyone in need. God knows what He is doing and when to do whatever needs done. I was tickled to discover that Andrew Murray was also from Africa.
Several days later I decided to start reading Secrets of The Vine by Bruce Wilkinson. I saw the tie between these three books when I read what he wrote about John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” The vinedresser works hard to provide and nurture those vines. Chris’s book showed me courage and devotion and love in action from generous people. People like you and me. All the while I’m recognizing that God is working a bigger work behind the scenes. He is available and attentive toward His people. His love and dedication is the bigger work. I’ve driven past vineyards before and appreciated the fruitful vines and exquisite fragrance, but I’ve never caught the vinedresser working. Though I never saw the work being done I admired the fruit from such efforts.
I’ve been passing over the book called Lessons from a Sheep Dog for two years. On Easter Sunday I was sick and so I stayed home from church. When I picked this book off the shelf it just felt right. This was the day to read it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author, Phillip Keller, was from Africa. He wrote a touching and very personal accounting about how God taught him spiritual truth through working with a sheep dog. Lass had been abused and started life in a home where her abilities were not appreciated or allowed. Mr. Keller demonstrated the care, love, and discipline of a shepherd, which so reflects God’s relationship with us. When I read that book I felt as though I had eaten a full meal. His down to earth and humble thoughts touched my heart.
Sometimes life gets pushy. Sometimes people expect something more or different than what we can give. Those are the right times to draw back and rest in Him. Wait on Him and find refuge in Him. All these different books have spoken to me that God is working harder for our good then we ever could. He is there when I or you need a drink from His living waters. I suppose I just needed a bigger picture of what He has been accomplishing in the background, beyond my notice. It’s been nice to realize that though I pay attention to what I should be doing, or what others expect, or what is happening now…Father God is still working on being the master of my (our) situations, the tiller of the soil I (we) have the opportunity to grow and flourish in.
I invite you to take one or all of these books in hand and gain a BIGGER picture of our FATHER GOD, I doubt you’ll be sorry that you did!