“Zacchaeus was a very little man,
and a very little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see.
And when the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree.
And said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I'm going to your house today!
For I'm going to your house today!'
Zacchaeus was a very little man,
But a happy man was he,
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he.”
(The tree below is called the Zacchaeus tree and is in the city of Jericho.)
As I sit my thoughts leap about my head like bees buzzing around fresh flowers. Thinking of the things I have done that I did not wish to do, thinking of the things I should have done that I did not do, thinking of how I need to do more of this and less of that, thinking of how far I have come and yet how quickly I slip right back to where I once was.
The world is so very noisy, our minds so cluttered, bombarded on a constant basis with the idea that if we just buy this one thing, we will be happy, if we just lose a few pounds all will be well, we listen to this song and that song and the televisions blare out their constant stream of garbage, and we have forgotten the sound of silence. I find myself longing for it and yet often unable to hear it, unable to catch those moments due to the constant clamors all about.
So today, while feeling small, under the mighty sycamore tree, with my mind abuzz with a whole lot of meaningless regrets, wants and worries, the thought came into my head, clear as if spoken….”be still”….and I sat for a moment, just beholding the trees, my how large the leaves have grown since I last paused to look. I hear the birds singing, a bee buzzes around the flowers on a nearby bush, a yellow and black butterfly soars overhead. How majestic are Your works O Lord…..and the thoughts begin to leak back into my head, how I have failed Him time and time again….and again comes the “be still” and I sit and behold the wonders.
I begin to pray…….and again comes the “be still”. Sometimes we just need to sit in silence and behold things.
Even in the midst of chaos there are moments of silence, we simply need to turn off the clamor inside our heads and sit quietly and behold all that is around us.
I got up, my break over, feeling refreshed and alive and marveling at the awesome grace of the Lord whom I serve. He is there in the little things. He is there when I fail, He is there when I triumph, His grace is sufficient, and all is His grace.
I will leave you with a few quotes from one of my readings today, which spoke deeply to my soul.
“You’re guilty but you’re not condemned.
Whatever you’re caught in, I make you free.
Whatever you’re accused of, I hand you keys.
Whatever you’re judged at, I give you release.”
“Grace isn’t a paltry thing but the most powerful thing — the very power of God — so don’t ever underestimate it:”
“God gives you grace and acceptance before you overcome your sin.
Because it’s His grace and acceptance that let you overcome your sin.
You don’t overcome your brokenness to have God’s love.
It’s God’s love that has you overcoming your brokenness.”
“Only when you go to the Cross first & hear no condemnation,
can you go to the mirror and see deep transformation.
This is the only one road to take all the way home.”
“Jesus doesn’t condemn you, Jesus is condemned for you.
Stones will be thrown, but Jesus takes them for you.
Spears will be hurled, but Jesus offers His side to shield you.
Battles will come, but Jesus will be nailed to the wall for you.
You don’t have to overcome your brokenness to have His love.
It’s His love that has you overcoming your brokenness.”
“This is the only one road to take all the way home.”
(Quotes are from the blog of Ann Voskamp and can be read in context and fully at this link: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/05/how-to-handle-the-loud-critics-headlines-and-self-critic/)