Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

A Guantlet of Gaps April 30, 2012

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 2:39 pm

While on our recent boating adventure we have visited numerous marinas.  Each marina was unique, there seemed to be one thing they all had in common…GAPS.  I had not really ever paid much attention to the gaps in the boards that make up the docks…but walking Hughie(our porky little Yorkie) down them has made me a lot more aware of them.

Poor Hughie, at each marina he would have to walk down a usually long dock to get to a grassy area for his daily constitutional duties.  Sometimes our slip was near the main dock, sometimes we were at the farthest end.  Each morning, afternoon and evening, he and I would head out down the dock.  The boards that made up the docks were usually weathered and unevenly spaced.  It was as if the dock makers of the world got together and decided to space the boards the exact distance apart as an 11 pound Yorkie’s paws!

Almost without fail, he would be traipsing along when “thunk” his little paw would slip between the boards.  It never hurt him, but it was obviously annoying him.  He is already a VERY SLOOOOOOOW walker.  It takes almost 20 minutes just to get him down the dock on a good day.  He walks carefully along the tippy edge of the dock for some reason and his paws slipping in the gaps only made it worse.

When we are heading down the dock we are usually met with comments from other boaters such as, “He walks as slow as I do!”, “I don’t have any giddy up any more either.” or “Poor thing, must be hard to walk that dock.”  Sigh…

I know I could carry him down the dock and avoid all of this, but I know he needs the exercise and the trip down the dock is sometimes all he gets.  I also know I need him to be comfortable navigating the docks since he will spend a lot of time on them over the years.  I don’t want him to need me to carry him everywhere, he is a dog after all.

I hold his leash taught so he won’t fall off the dock even when he is at the edge.  I am quick to pick him up when he gets stuck and, if the boards are too bad, I do pick him up and carry him.  Sometimes I get in a hurry and I want to carry him to make it faster or easier on myself…but I try to resist the urge to carry him.  What is easy for me may not be best for him.

Every morning, afternoon and evening Hughie and I head down the gauntlet of gaps together and I find myself thinking how much like this my walk with God is at times.

Isn’t life filled with tons of gaps?  How often am I walking through life and find myself tripped up by something unexpected.   My steps are not always met with firm ground.  Sometimes I misstep.  It is easy to stop paying attention to where I am going.   I have been known to walk too close to the edge at times.  Walking through life would be so much easier if I did not stumble so much.  Couldn’t God just carry me over all those pesky “gaps”?   How often have I asked God to propel me through a difficult time or task, or asked to have my path be made more straight?  Does God have to fight His desire to make things easy for me with His wisdom and love for me,  knowing that I need to learn how to navigate the gaps in life?

I know God holds me close and no matter how close I get to the edge, He is with me.  I know He sees the gaps, but knows I need to see them.  I know He is quick to pick me up when I step wrong or stumble.   I know every morning, afternoon and evening of my life God walks the gauntlet of Life’s gaps with me! 

“Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name.  When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” Psalm 91:14&15

 

Miss Grace and the Rooster April 6, 2012

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 12:59 pm

         One of the boats we are meeting up with frequently while on our journey here in the Bahamas is “Miss Grace”.   Though I do not know the origin of this name; most boat names have some sort of story or significance behind them, I am struck by the appropriateness of such a name this time of year.  All year long I am mindful of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) that I receive, but perhaps at Easter it is even more prominent in my thoughts as is the cost of such grace.  I know that it is only because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that I am able to come to the cross seeking forgiveness I do not deserve.   

          Today at 6am, thanks to a dog that likes to wake up early, I was out walking around the marina and docks.  The full moon was slipping down below the horizon casting a glow across the marina yard.   As I slowly lead the dog form tree to tree I could hear several roosters crowing.

         For reasons I do not wish to dwell on, there are several roosters, chickens and baby chicks, which reside in a thicket and field just beyond the restaurant kitchen.   These roosters do not quite “cock-a-doodle-do” so much as cackle and sort of screech out an odd melodious choking sound, “ah ah ah, ahhh, eech!”

         In the quiet of today’s walk, in the stillness of the air, the roosters crowing sent shivers up my spine.

          Today I thought of Peter.  I thought of his cowering just beyond the violent persecution of Jesus.  I thought of how his heart must have caught in his throat when HE heard the rooster crow…just as his friend and savior had predicted.  I thought of his overwhelming shame at the realization that he had indeed denied knowing his Lord. 

        This morning I too felt overwhelming shame at the sound of the rooster’s crowing.  How often have my choices saddened my God?  How often have I taken for granted the gift of every breath of life?  How many times have I squandered His resources or walked out of His will for my life?  The rooster’s crowing continued to fill the air around me.  I wanted to cry, my heart ached.

         I watched the moon completely slide under the curve of the earth, its pale light giving way to a dimness that is difficult to describe.  Within moments, a soft light emerged across the marina.   My eyes slowly adjusted from the dimness to pastel light as the sun punched its way up through the clouds on the horizon.   I am thankful today, and always, for the hope of redemption, a new day, for forgiveness and God’s grace.

          Those roosters certainly do not care what time of day it is, they continued to carry on throughout today…but I am glad.  You see, now when I hear their ragged cries, I remember God’s amazing grace, I remember my need for redemption, and I think to praise my redeemer!  My Redeemer LIVES!

“And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back…and entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.  And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed.  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  HE HAS RISEN HE IS NOT HERE!” Mark 16:2-6