But when a strong wind buffets a flag, it immediately draws your eyes to it. We watch its ripple and hear the snap of canvas as the wind tosses it to and fro.
Racers start their engines and put their foot on the gas when the flag man waves the green flag. At a race, do we pay attention to the checkered flag until it's waved wildly to signal the end of a race? We're probably not looking for the flag that's just sitting idly in the flag man's hands.
I guess it's human nature to float along when things are going well for us. Believe me, I much prefer calm seas in life. I am a list maker who likes things to go a certain way. My Type A personality is much happier when my life is ticking along in a predictable pattern.
However, I broke my toe in a farming accident last month. Believe you me, that wasn't on my to-do list. I had just recommitted to watching what I eat and trying to lose the pounds that have crept back on during the winter.
Even though I wasn't as careful with my eating as I should have been, I was still exercising six days a week. And suddenly, a doctor was telling me that it is going to take 6 weeks to heal my toe. Walking my 4 miles a day is not an option at the moment.
That is not in my plan, Lord! But, I look around me, and I realize that a broken toe is not that big a deal in the scheme of things in life. It is a minor inconvenience. Others have much bigger obstacles to navigate than a stupid broken toe.
I've been enjoying the song, "Blessings," by Laura Story. I've heard it on K-LOVE numerous times, but the words are really sinking home with me these days:
What if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
And what if the trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise
Definitely something to think about, right?
I read a Guideposts devotional not long ago. It was based on Matthew 8: 23-27:
Jesus Calms the StormThe devotional said:
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
The test of our Christian commitment is not our ability to lounge at the tiller of our lives while events are sailing along smoothly. Rather the test is our response when the tempests blow. Jesus' disciples had spent many hours in boats. When they recognized the dangers presented by the elements, they turned to Jesus, and He did not fail them.
The capacity for knowing God enlarges as we are brought by Him into circumstances which oblige us to exercise faith; so, when difficulties beset our path, let us thank God that He is taking trouble with us, and lean hard upon Him.Are you experiencing calm seas right now? Or is life buffeting you with as much force as a stiff Kansas wind?
No matter your circumstances in life - trial or celebration - Christ can be your banner. God is with us and has the power to calm the storm. Pick up the banner of Christ! He will carry you through.
As you listen to Laura Story's song, scroll down and check out some fun ideas for Flag Day June 14 or for your 4th of July celebration! Enjoy!
June 14 is Flag Day. Try these fun recipes from Family Fun.
For a healthy finale to your Flag Day celebration, serve this red, white, and blue treat.
Recipe and photo
from Family Fun magazine
- Whipped cream cheese
- Sugar (optional)
- Clean and hull five strawberries, then add dollops of whipped cream cheese to the top of each one. Sprinkle sugar on the cream cheese (optional), then top each strawberry with a blueberry and arrange them as shown.
from Family Fun (www.familyfun.go.com/recipes)
- Ice cubes
- Cranberry juice
- Wild Berry flavor Gatorade Fierce
- Diet 7-Up
- Fill a clear glass with ice cubes. Pour the drink with the most sugar (check the nutrition label) into the glass. For our red, white, and blue recipe, start with the cranberry juice.
- Very slowly add a beverage that contains less sugar -- in this case, Wild Berry flavor Gatorade Fierce. Be careful to pour it onto an ice cube -- not directly into the other drink -- to keep them from mixing.
- Use the same technique to add a layer of Diet 7-Up
- Kim's County Line Photo
- Or, if you're feeling ambitious, what's more all-American than a blueberry pie? Click here to see step-by-step photos, a recipe and instructions for creating your own pie.