Luke 6:48-49 The Message
If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last.
But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.
I love working in my garden; getting hot and sweaty and dirty and exhausted, frees my mind, relaxes my body, and chases away worries.
There was a patch of Nandina shrubs out back; it was, and is there no more, except for the roots. I knew this was a very health patch of Nandina, which is also called Heavenly Bamboo. Like bamboo, the Nandina puts out root runners underground that resurface as shoots for new plants. It is great for establishing a nice stand quickly, but as I found out, those roots are intricately tangled together, anchored solidly by other roots nourishing, strengthening, and supporting each other.
I had to dig deeper and follow the root system to sever the anchor roots; then the job was figuring out how to distinguish one tangled plant from an adjoining plant. The procedure was and is tough and very time-consuming.
I am still working on this patch out back. My husband has joined the project and has added a long metal pipe and a large rock as leverage to free the roots. Grateful am I for this much-needed assistance. I could never have done this job alone.
Romans 15:4 Easy-to-Read Version
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Those things were written so that we could have hope. That hope comes from the patience and encouragement that the Scriptures give us.
Lately, I find myself digging deeper and deeper into Scripture. As I write, questions arise, and I find myself searching through Your Word, Lord, for answers. Often, one question and one answer leads to more questions and more answers. This doesn’t frustrate me; Your Word amazes me, Father, and I look for different translations to get a different viewpoint of the same book, chapter, and verse.
I don’t get hot, sweaty, and dirty as I sit in my easy chair searching and writing; I haven’t given up or become too exhausted to continue. You see I love searching through the Bible, finding verses new and old; digging deeper I am finding more meaning as I attempt to apply Your Word, Lord, to my life. As I write I feel You freeing my mind to new possibilities, relaxing my worldly tensions, chasing away worries, and replacing them with a pleasant peace. My time spent with You and Your Word refreshes, inspires, and lifts me up.
Thank You, Lord, for choosing to spend time with me. Your instruction enlightens and challenges me. Your love encourages me. Your presence amazes me! I am blessed! Amen