A Thankful Tribute

“Peace, Peace to him who is far off and to him who is near! Says the Lord; I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise]”   Isaiah 57:19

As I traveled up a winding road I have traveled many times before, I had one thing on my mind, the old apple tree at the top of the hill.  When I arrived at the top, I was disappointed to find a barren and withered tree.  Then I remembered that back in the spring, I had not seen the blooms of a fruit tree. Blossoms on an apple tree are a picture of the fruit to come.  The blossoms in the spring give us a glimpse of the fruit that the tree will produce in the fall.

We can learn so much about our lives when we look at the apple tree.  God say’s we are the apples of His eye. Once we are a tree, He prunes, waters, and watches us as we blossom and bring forth fruit in due season.

On another day, I traveled up the same winding road and I saw two “trees” standing on the hill.  As I got closer to these two “trees”, I saw beautiful blossoms.   These two “trees” were a husband and wife around eighty years old, whose life reflected the fullness of the Lord. From their lips came words of thankful praise, their heart was full of joy as they rejoiced in God’s goodness that day.  The words that came from their lips revealed a thankful heart.  Even in the midst of troubling times, they were truly grateful for God’s blessings in their life.  Their spirit was strong, even though they had weathered many storms.  Their braches were low with fruitful words you could take home. As I left that day, my basket was full with more fresh fruit than ever before. I had been with two people whose lives truly produced the fruit of the Lord.

I Shall Be Satisfied!

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” Psalm 22:26

Resting Place of GodThere is a deep longing in the soul of each person that needs to be filled.  God-placed it there as part of His creation.

As a deer seeks for the water so our soul longs for love.  A thirsty soul is a longing soul that is looking for something that can not be satisfied by natural means.  The longing of every soul is to be loved unconditionally.

A longing soul can only be satisfied by the Lord because He is the only one who has perfect love to give. Everyone has a deep well on the inside that needs to be filled with supernatural water.

When you are very thirsty, water is the only satisfying drink that will quench the thirst.  Perfect love is like fresh water.  A longing soul will not be satisfied until it has an encounter with the perfect love of the Lord.

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”  Psalm 107:9

Look to the Lord to satisfy the longings of your soul He loves you with an everlasting love.

Receiving God’s Love

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.” 1 John 4:16-17 

Those who have not experienced unconditional love may have a hard time believing that God loves them.  Conditional love is not God’s kind of love. Conditional love is based on performance and expectations.  You may have experienced conditional love when someone had an expectation of how they thought you should perform.   If you performed to meet their expectations, then you were accepted and affirmed.  If love is measured by how well you meet someone’s expectations, then you will never feel loved.  You can never measure up.  Conditional love is based on measuring.

Unconditional love flows and cannot be contained.  It is like a flowing river that never stops.  It would be silly to go to the Mississippi River and try to measure the amount of water in it at a given moment.

Many people today struggle with feeling unloved, and they do not know why. The reason is because they have not fully experienced unconditional love before, which is God’s kind of love.   When you receive God’s love, perfect love, you do not have to fear measuring up again.

1 John 4:18 says,

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.”

Why do so many people struggle with feeling like God doesn’t love them?  The heart must be soft, much like the soil of a garden, in order to receive love.  It is easier for a child to believe that God loves them than an adult.  Their heart is soft because they have not had years of heartache.  A garden must be tilled to make the soil soft so a seed can be planted.  The heart that has only experienced conditional love will grow harder as the years go by.  Some people eventually give up and say, “Why do I even try?”

If your heart has grown hard, then like a garden, it will need to be tilled so you can receive love again.  As the heart is tilled, the rocks and roots are removed and the heart gets softer.  The tilling brings about healing.  A healed heart will not be afraid when love comes close. A healed heart begins to open up and receive God’s love, and then give love to others.

How to Experience the Love of God?

There was a wonderful Christian song written several years ago titled, “It’s My Fathers House.”  One line went something like this, “There is a big, big house with lots and lots of rooms and a big, big, table with lots and lots of food.  A big, big yard where we can play football…It’s my Fathers House.”

This song portrayed our Father God’s house as being home we can’t wait to go to.   Like coming home after a long journey, you can’t wait to get there and you can smell cookies baking even before you get to the front door.  When I am preparing our home for our kids to return, I make sure they feel loved with God’s unconditional love.

The prodigal son found God’s love as he walked toward his father’s house that day.  Even after he had squandered all his inheritance, he still saw his father’s loving arms reaching out towards him as he returned home.  His father represented our Heavenly Father, full of love, grace, and mercy.  Everyone needs to experience Father’s love and know that God loves them no matter what they have done.


Stressed and Distressed? Try Resting in His Arms

“And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting looking and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him, [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless unbroken companionship]!” Isaiah 30:18 AMP

Have you ever sat for hours, listening to someone talk and thought to yourself, “I sure wish they would just get to the point?” I have! I have heard many teachers try to explain God’s love by using so many words and by the time they were finished, I had lost their point in the explanation. Over the years I have prayed, “Lord, just make it simple, so I can understand. I want to get it.”

As I read Isaiah 30:18, everything that describes God’s love to me was wrapped up in this verse. I felt completely safe, secure, and loved as I read it. Nothing could confuse or take the truth of His love from me. It was if I was taken up in His arms, and at that moment, I was held so securely I would never doubt again. He loves me so much and He has been waiting on me to fully receive His love.

He loves you too! He is looking, watching, and longing to be gracious to you. He has poured His loving kindness and tender mercies out and is watching and waiting for you to receive them. Like the father of the prodigal son, he was waiting, watching, and longing to see his son come back home. When the prodigal son finally came back home, his father wrapped his arms around him and covered him with the finest robe. Everything the father owned had been his.

That is how I see God; His arms opened wide with a robe just my size in His hands, waiting to wrap it around me. I am His daughter, and He has been patiently waiting on me. He says, “Daughter, I have been waiting on you to come and receive all I have prepared for you. All my blessings are contained inside of my love for you to receive.”

God’s desire has always been to show you how much He loves you. Simply receive it, and you too can rest in His arms all day.