Almost as soon as we had pulled away from the curb, the baby started crying. Our ride usually took about 30-45 minutes and the baby wailed the whole time. Our conversations that night wee minimal due to the noise. Some kids had headphones on and listened to their preferred noise.
Near the end of the ride, one of the last passengers noticed a smile on my face. The young man asked me a question, "Pastor Bob, why are you smiling? Doesn't that screaming baby bother you?" "No!" I replied. "That baby is just doing what babies do and I know that screaming is not going home with me!" We laughed and even the young mother cradling the crying child smiled in her struggles. We encouraged her;
"This too shall pass. There's better days ahead!"
DAY 12 WORD
and bless thee,
and multiply thee:
he will also bless the fruit of thy womb,
and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil,
the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep,
in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.”
There seems to be a pattern in the Bible that I call PSTI - Pleasure, Struggle. Turning and Increase. As means of trying to explain a little deeper (because these are deep thoughts!) allow me to define these words as I see them.
1. Pleasure - the self looks to satisfy the self through any means possible. We pleasure in things before God. Physical satisfaction become our most pleasurable pursuit.
2. Struggle - God will always allow us to struggle when we turn from Him. Disobedience to God's way of Love will lead us into a trail of travail and hard times. Our struggle with sin separates us from God.
3. Turning happens when we are sick and tired of doing things our own way. The struggle becomes overwhelming and we cry out to Him. His Word - the Bible, is full of His promises that are always kept. He will never leave us or forsake us - no matter what.
4. Increase - repentance brings about a new fertility in our lives. Multiplication happens after we have surrendered our lives back to God. Increase is the reciprocity of God's Love.
There are times when we don't think we're ready for an increase so we try and control the circumstances. Abortion is a means of controlling God's increase. Having a baby is a great example of spiritual birth and physical birth. In the Genesis story of creation, we read how God created something that was formless, dark and empty, like an empty womb. God separated the waters from the dry land just as a baby has to "break the water" before the child becomes an increase in the world. Vegetation and fruitfulness appear on the land as the child is nurtured and grows.
All increase is from God. Sin represents an increase of separation from God. Ultimately, the increase of God's Love in your life will lead to a separation from this world in which you are only a sojourner. Your life will be eternally lived as a heavenly increase separated from the dry land of this world.
Trust God with an increase that you may not be ready for. He will make a way where there is no way. He parted the Red Sea and lead His people to the Promised Land. He delivered Daniel from a den of hungry lions. God so loved us. that He let His Son die before His resurrection became the greatest increase of Life in the history of God and man. Let God be your readiness, He will help you take care of the increase that He is giving you.
DAY 12 PRAYER
“The Lord bless you,
and keep you
and guard you];
The Lord make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
[surrounding you with lovingkindness];
The Lord lift up His countenance (face)
upon you [with divine approval],
And give you peace
[a tranquil heart and life].’”
In Jesus Name.