Silly Goose!

 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3

As a teen-ager I lived on a small farm for about two years. Every day I had pigs to slop, cows to milk, chickens to feed and even a couple of goats to tend. But of all the animals we had on the farm the ones I liked the least were the geese. Yes some mornings the cow could be ill- tempered, the pigs were smelly, and the chickens needed constant protection from the local raccoon but the annoying thing about geese is how they acted like they were better than any of the other animals on the farm.

photo of white goose

Photo by Annari du Plessis on Pexels.com

Whenever I approached to feed them they would stick out their necks and hiss and flap their wings in a phony show of courage. But if I took a few steps toward them, they would turn tail and run as fast as their clumsy webbed feet could carry them.  No matter how much they hissed, flapped or ran they never really convinced anyone of their importance. In fact one of my favorite things on the fourth of July was to shoot bottle rockets close to those geese and then laugh uproariously as they hissed and honked –  (Remember I was a teen-ager!) 

But before feeling so smug about how foolish those geese were I need to ask myself about the  times when to God I must have looked a lot like those geese. He sees me put on a great show of bravery and self-importance for my family, neighbors, or church; but when faced with real danger I have often run for the hills. How amazing that God still loves me and doesn’t treat me like I sometimes treated our poor silly geese. Instead He gently corrects me and tells me to remember that my importance isn’t about being better than others. No one is better than anyone else in God’s family. We are all loved and are each given a different job to do. So let’s not act like silly geese. Yes, God has made us special –  but not better than anyone else on the farm! 

 

Pulling out Those Pesky Thorns!

Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.             Matthew 13:7 ESV

Thorns come with a wide variety of nasty consequences to their recipients. From the big ones that roses hide beneath their blossoms to the tiniest that coat the stems of stinging nettles, they are designed to cause pain. Why would any farmer choose to plant in such a place? Oh that is because without his knowing the thorn’s seeds are carried by the wind and rain and bed themselves down in the same nicely plowed field as the wheat or corn.

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The message for us is that we not only need for things to be taken out of our field, like rocks and roots, but we need to watch out for what comes in. It is not only about having good soil; it is also about guarding against bad seeds. Living for Jesus isn’t complicated. Wrong motivations, temptations and sin are constantly working to try and make our lives seem more complex than they really need to be. So how do we pull out those thorns from our lives? Paul’s message to his friend Timothy makes it simple. Focus on the things that matter to God and He will take care of the harvest!

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  1 Timothy 1:5 ESV

Sleeping in Harvest?

More years ago than I care to share I remember helping friends with putting up hay. Though they had begun early in the morning the 1700 bale count was just too many for them to finish alone. The hay was perfect and lay in endless numbers on the field but on the horizon loomed dark thunderstorms. At hearing of their dilemma over the phone we jumped into our pick-up truck and sped across miles of dirt roads to help. What fun we had that night as we pitched in to help our tired friends. At 2 a.m. the rain finally came but just 50 bales still lay outside the barn.

Today there is also a harvest and there are hearts ready to be gathered into the Father’s barn. There is also a storm on the horizon and it is coming our way. Are we willing to give all to see as many as possible brought safely in or will we hang up the phone and go to sleep for the night?