Tag Archives: Jewish Sages

FETTERS

This time of year always makes me smile – A LOT.

Just before Memorial Day, the fetters would fall away as I ran down the steps – grade card in hand.
Freedom.
Dog and cat days.
Bicycle and adventure days.
Endless days of reading book after book from a library that seemed endless.
Play days with friends in the neighborhood and cousins across town.
Hot days before air conditioning and whirling fans.
Singing days with my heart sister.
Wading days at Riverside Park.
Hammock days – covered and screened-in Marine treasure – waiting for the storm or the softness of evening.
Days and days of “No more teacher’s dirty looks”

Who knew I would be a teacher with a dirty look as autobiography deadlines were missed?

The idea of living my adult life connected to the school calendar definitely appealed to my inner child. Even now, as I watch the Grands in MI graduate from high school and finish the final essays in this part of their lives or the tiny NC Grands count down these last days in Montessori, I still feel that smile bubbling up inside me as well. It helps off set some of the bittersweet things that I know come with the beginning of June.

“Surely, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”~IS 12:2

My last HMS class of 8th graders have posed for their final pictures at the high school. The last set of autobiographies have been stored on a shelf once again, and my connecting tethers to education are loosening even more. I have a feeling I will miss those tethers.

A few months back, I ran across a prayer. It was a simple prayer. A powerful prayer that caught my pen and found its way to the back of one of my note cards. Yesterday, as I was hanging some of those cards in my prayer closet, it caught my attention and the Spirit nudged hard..

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”~Robert Pierce,

Jewish sages teach that according to scripture there are two kinds of people that don’t mind being out-done by those they have been blessed to nourish – – – parents and teachers. When a parent watches their child stand successfully on their own or even build a life beyond the parent – the parent rejoices. In the same manner, a teacher who loves their student – smiles beyond measure when that student takes that knowledge and wisdom to soars beyond the classroom – – even when they soar even higher than the teacher.

My mom was like that. She rejoiced when I signed my first teaching contract. It was the first time, I remember being humbled by all her sacrifices. She cried over the phone as I told her how much I would be making because it was more money than she ever made in her life. I remember being dumbfounded – getting off the pay phone in the rooming house I managed,- and sniffling my tears into my Boo-dog’s fur. Don’t get me wrong, my heart was not really humbled yet – but in that moment – I understood the brokeness of God’s heart the first time. It is what I remembered as I prayed this prayer today.

June still makes me smile – just not in the same way. 2017 brings a mingling of those bittersweet memories and covering them in gold. Yesterday – a graduating class and graduating Grands. Autobiographies re-stored on a shelf. Tomorrow – a mother who danced into heaven 12 years as I held her close and whispered a song. The day after tomorrow – a 66th birthday to celebrate for this elder.

Different fetters falling away.
Tethers loosening.
Smiles to share.
Gotta love the freedom of the first week of June – no matter what year.

 

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #87

It is the month of thankfulness, and I am sooooo thankful that the political ads are about to go away – – -for a space of time. I am also thankful that we don’t watch regular TV very often, or I might be REALLY sick of the continuous play of political nonsense that only spews hate and venom instead of issues. Needless to say – today’s Ration was on point again.
 
‘We grow ‘righteously indignant’ abut our own grievances, and remain cool and calm in the face of corruption in high places, the exploitation of the helpless, and we shut our eyes to manifold evils that kindled the fire of anger in the heart of our Lord.’~1942 Ration #87
 
It reminded me of Manasseh. This boy king of Judah grew up and undid everything that is father had tried to establish – leading his people off G-d’s perfect path and onto his own destructive path. Then he took it up a notch by walking away from all righteousness, truth, love, and character – to the point of sacrificing his own children to Baal and killing the prophets who were sent to warn him – including his grandfather, Isaiah. [2 Chronicles 33]
 
As always, there is a price to pay. Manasseh was captured, tortured and, according to Jewish tradition, put in a bronze cauldron with a fire lit beneath him. It was then that he called out to all the gods he had been worshiping. In desperation, he finally cried out to G-d, the God of his fathers.
 
Jewish sages say that G-d was moved, but the angels were not. They argued back and forth that such a despicable man did not deserve mercy. G-d replied, “If I do not accept him in repentance, I am locking the door before all repentant sinners.” God forgave him and for the rest of his life, he tried to undo all that he had done. A side note – the rest of his life was 33 years which I find interesting.
 
There is a Jewish prayer that is used during fast times and the High Holy Days that I am adding to my prayers these last few days before the election. It is this line that holds me on my knees just a little longer: “…although we have no worthy deeds, treat us with charity and kindness, and save us.” Thank you for not locking the door. Thank you for forgiving us. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
 
1942 Daily Rations: ” ‘He…looked…with anger.’~Mark 3:3
 
“Jesus could get angry! But it is very significant that his anger was never for himself though he suffered injustice and abuse far exceeding anything that any of us will ever know. But it was the exploitation of others, especially the weak and innocent, that aroused his wrath. The selfish and callous subordination of the needs of man to the letter of the law, the desecration of the house of God by human greed, the perversion of abuse of God’s human greed, the perversion of abuse of God’s ‘little ones’– – -these were the things that made him look ‘with anger’.
 
Besides the splendid indignation of Jesus how petty are most of our outbursts of anger! We grow ‘righteously indignant’ abut our own grievances, and remain cool and calm in the face of corruption in high places, the exploitation of the helpless, and we shut our eyes to manifold evils that kindled the fire of anger in the heart of our Lord. If we would look ‘with anger’ through his eyes, we would do more about the wrongs of the world.
 
“Prayer: Forgive us, O Lord, for our anger over our own grievances and difficulties and grant us so to have ‘the mind of Christ’ that we may be deeply aroused by the evils that hurt and degrade our brothers In his name. Amen.”   [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #86

6 days left in this election cycle. A week from tonight, the newscasters will all be focused on declaring the projected winner before some voting sites even shut their doors. Candidates will be at party central. The populace will watching the game of the evening or the newest TV hit. And – whomever wins? Life will continue throughout the land.
 
November 1st is always the day that I try to pull out the the first of the Advent candles. One candle to light the darkness that Halloween always seems to bring into the world. A start to welcome righteousness back to a world that continues to fall further and further away from the path laid out in a perfect Garden.
 
“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,”~Gen 6:9
 
“…blameless among the people of his time.” Perfect. Righteous. According to Jewish sages, these are important words that most people just read over without thinking too much about them. I’ve done it many times. However, to the sages, every word is meant to be an important key to some wisdom that El wants us to understand.
 
The sages believe that one thing these words are to remind us that the times of Noah were completely empty of righteousness – – of any kind. But there stood Noah and his family. Not perfect by any means, but He did remember. He honored the traditions of his fathers and opened his tent to the four corners as he shared is belief in one God.
 
There are always a few – a remnant who remember. Always a God who continues to point the way and love us regardless. A Son who was completely righteous – in his time – and in ours and loved us beyond comprehension – with grace and mercy. That is what we have to remember – the righteousness that lives within us. The righteousness that has a plan – for us – – for our country – – for our world. We may not like it, but we have faith to lean on in the tough times.
 
Righteousness that awaits beyond next Tuesday. It will be there to guide and bless our journey forward. It will be there forever. All we have to do is open our tent to the four corners and share our belief in a Father who loved us enough to share His only begotten Son.
 
One candle in the darkness tonight.
 
1942 Daily Rations: ” ‘Thou said, ‘Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.’
 
“Read: Luke 23:1-9
 
“Pilate’s verdict concerning Christ, ‘I find no fault in this man,’ has been the testimony of mankind throughout the centuries. Consider the moral perfection of the Master. There was no flaw in his character. Although tempted in all points like as we are he was absolutely without sin.
 
“Consider is emotional perfection. There was no flaw in his attitude toward humanity. he cherished good will toward those who mistreated him. He forgave and prayed for those who crucified him. He hated sin, but he loved sinners and made the supreme sacrifice to redeem them.
 
“Consider his spiritual perfection. He lived in unbroken communion with God. From the time when as a lad in the Temple he said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ until he declared from the cross, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ he wrought in perfect unity and harmony with God.
 
“Sidney Lanier has given classic expression to this universal sentiment concerning Christ’s perfection:
‘What if or yet what mote what flaw what lapse,- – –
What least defect, or shadow of defect,
What rumor, tattled by an enemy,
Of inference loose, what lack of grace
Even in torture’s grasp,, or sleep’s, or death’s,- – –
Oh, what amiss may I forgive in Thee,
Jesus, good Paragon, thou Crystal Christ?’
 
“Prayer: Our Father, prompt us to aspire after the highest holiest, and best as exemplified in Christ. We pray in is name. Amen.”  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #78

There is a whisper through the ages of Jewish life, that God not only knows the number of the hairs on our head or the stars in the sky, but he also has assigned an angel to each piece of grass so that it might grow to its fullest potential and bless the earth with its grace and beauty.

Hallelujah.

It got me to wondering – again – like always. What can I say? Learn one thing and and have new questions. If blades of grass have angels, do you think – maybe – that was the origin of faeries? That faerie ring are really angel rings?

Hallelujah.

Listened to ‘Hallelujah’ this morning. When it popped up again on my feed tonight, I got the hint. I’ve listened to this song many times – by many different artists. The first time I really remember hearing it was early in the morning when the radio would come on to wake me up for school. If the radio came on playing that song, the kidlets got to sleep a little longer, so I could dry my tears. It was 1990. A world at war again. Desert storm.

Hallelujah.

“And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my lips [tongue] but Hallelujah!’ “

This is the verse that always caught me – catches me still. It is the verse that has disappeared in many of the new renditions – they tend to stop at the broken part of the song. It is the 4th verse where Leonard Cohen brought redemption to the listener. It is this verse that brings grace, and it reminds me that like the hairs on my head, the stars in the sky, the blades of grass in the field, He knows all my sins and still loves me. He has prepared a room for me.

Grace. Forgiven. Blessed.

Hallelujah.

1942 Daily Ration: Read: Psalm 85

” ‘I will hear what God the Lord will speak.’~Ps 85:8

“God speaks in whispers.

“There was a man in the Old Testament who found it, so. It was not in the storm, not in the earthquake that he heard the thing that brought him to his feet. There was a ‘still small voice’.

“There was another man who said, ‘I will turn aside to see’. The voice of the revelation of God is not likely to come to the hurrying passer-by. It comes to those who expose themselves, like a photo-graphic plate, to the impressions which make religious living real and satisfactory. The great things are the quiet things. ‘I heard the booming sunset gun, but did not hear the sun go down.’

“There is method here, a deliberate act, as the good man says, ‘I will hear what God the Lord will speak’. He is stepping out of traffic, for a moment, maybe many moments to listen for a voice which can be heard no other way, the voice of God is duty, in worship, in sympathy, in kindliness to others, in faithfulness to our calling as the followers of Christ. God is whispering to us also in the lives of all the fine people whom we know and love.

” ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!’~Matt 11:15

“Prayer: Our heavenly Father, teach us the divinity of the still small voice within that is ever urging us in the way of righteousness; so shall our hearts be renewed in faith, so shall we ever live in God. Amen.

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #29

I never really liked Labor Day. I think it started as a child. The first Monday of September (Labor Day) meant that school would start on Tuesday. What kid in their right mind would like that holiday? Certainly not me. In the late 1950’s I had better things to do.

  • Read.
    Ride my bike.
    Sing songs walking down the street with the bestest singing sister ever.
    Catch fireflies for the canning jar.
    Dance in the moonlight for a little while longer.

Obviously, Labor Day was just never my favorite “free” day. So today I didn’t have a free day – I worked. I finished washing the bedding and towels from our many visitors. Cleaned the porch of all the fallen leaves – again. Pulled some dead-vine debris from the garden and played with the spoiled lab girls.

All in all – a good day especially since I made time to study my devotions and listen to some Jewish wisdom as well. Somehow the day always seems so much better after time with my Father.

As I read today’s Ration, I realized that Jesus spent lots of time reading His Father’s words that He had written for His people. He melded two Torah verses to answer one question. They weren’t side-by-side verses, but He knew they were perfect together and just as relevant in His time as they were when they were first written.

Jewish sages believe that all the words of YHWH are relevant – no matter what the calendar date may say. 1400 BC or 2016 – doesn’t matter – time doesn’t matter. Jehovah is still speaking through His words no matter how long ago they were written- and for the second time this week – linear time circles and bobs in my own waters.

There is something more here that I am supposed to be recognizing. I need to really think and pray about this one since I really have a hard time figuring out how all those detailed rules and rituals and wars have anything to do with today. I foresee more research in my future…or maybe my past…or present??? One thing I know for sure – these Rations are timeless.

1942 Daily Rations: Read: Mt 22:34-40

“Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment Ad the second is liken unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”~Mt 22:37-39

“If there ha been radio programs in Jesus’ day how He would have starred in the question or ‘quiz’ type! The air is full of questions and thousands of dollars are given away to children and adults for apt answers.

“In the Saviour’s day questions were addressed to him from many sources. They came from honest inquirers and from evil-minded people who sought to entangle him in his talk. The answers he gave brought rich rewards in knowledge and truth….The disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians were quickly answered about the legality of tribute to Caesar. ‘Render…unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.’ Perfect answers to tempting and test questions were given in the following: ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick,’ ‘Neither do men put new wine into old bottles’…’The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’

“Today’s text is a brilliant answer. Jesus took two widely separated texts from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy, ch 6, and Leviticus, ch 19, and with lightning-like speed gave the summary of the whole law in the great commandment of love.

“Prayer: Love Divine, all loves excelling’ let me love thee with the might of my mind, the fullness of my heart, the depth of m soul, and my neighbor with the best of myself.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS #24

The new house truly became a home this week. It expanded, took a deep breath, and with a few drops of love scattered around each inch of it like flowers in a garden, our home smiled for the first time.

Funny, how old habits, knowledge, and wisdom resurface when needed (such as cutting enough potatoes to feed all those extra mouths yakkinng and laughing in your ear while indulging in a hug or two and singing a song with a Grand). Things that you thought you had thrown to the back of the closet because they wasn’t needed anymore. Day-to-day activities that need to ebb and flow when there are more than two of you in the same home for a period of time.

“Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.”~ Prov 4:4

I know I’ve written about this before, but I guess talking about forgotten knowledge brought it back to my mind. The Talmud teaches that when we are starting our journey on this plane, Our Father sends an angel to teach us everything that we need to know, and when they are done, they push their finger to our lips and blow it to the back of our “closet”. That little indentation over your top lip – the philtrum – is the physical imprint of your angel’s finger.

The question – why teach us only to make us forget it?

Jewish sages believe that while it is hidden from our physical mind it is still at the back of our closet. Seeking wisdom when we need it reconnects us with the Father who didn’t want to send us without Truth to guide us through this journey. It helps us – begin new journeys again – to smile again – to become ‘made new’.

1942 Ration: “Wherefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold they became new..”~2 Cor 5:17

After yielding to sin, after once being bogged down in the mire of life, is it possible to get out and be clean once more? Can we, once having conformed to the ways of this sorry world, break loose and be remolded to fit the higher plan that we know God has for us? Can we really forget ourselves and our short comings and live nobly in our own and God’s sight?

“Paul says, “yes, Do not let yourselves be fitted into the scheme of this age, but be cast in a higher form. This you can do by having a ‘new mind’. That is the secret of new life. When we are transformed through belief in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour, we are on the way to the ‘Land of Beginning Again’.

“And be not fashioned according to this world, but be ye transformed by the reviewing of your mind.”~Rm 12:2

READ: Romans 12:1-3

PRAYER: O thou Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, wash me and me me clean. [Here let us humbly confess those things that keep us from being our best selves.] Establish within me a new sense of thy boundless love and give me more power for living. In thy name I pray. Amen.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS #22

The week with our Littlest has passed way too quickly. It has been a gift on so many levels, and I can’t wait to see where life takes her on this next journey to Columbia in NYC.

It has been fun seeing this kidlet – who hated talking on the phone (except with friends, of course) – negotiating with car buyers (since a car in NYC is not exactly a necessity), accomplishing the impossible to be in compliance with a new state’s laws, leaving the security of the known for the unknown and weathering each and every decision with her wonderful life partner.
 
Wisdom is one of those things not necessarily guaranteed in this life. The Bible uses lots of metaphors when it talks about wisdom. “She is a tree of life to those who hold her fast and blessed are those who look for her.” Prov 3:18 Of course, Jewish sages add even more depth to this.
 
After the miracle of the Red Sea, the Jewish people traveled three days without finding water or taking time to study Our Father’s teachings. They were grumpy and bitter when they finally found water. Is it any wonder the water tasted just as bitter as they felt?
 
Water is more than water.
 
Trees are more than trees.
Wisdom is hidden amidst the ordinary things of life.
 
God told Moses to take some wood and throw it into the water to sweeten it. What we are not told in that story is that this wood was wood from the Tree of Life. Jewish wisdom says that when we study Our Father’s wisdom, life becomes sweeter. Somehow, I was not surprised by this.  For me – I had already figured it out.  Surrounding myself in His teachings adds much more to ordinary days. That’s why this week has been so “sweet”.
 
Today’s RATION also reminds us that we need to look for the wisdom He gave us through the suffering of his son. Until we seek it, our world will continue to taste bitter. We need that tree in our water. We need that grace hung from a tree. We need His wisdom.We need to pray the 1942 America’s Prayer Minute in 2016. Seeking that piece of wood to throw in our water.
 
“The soldiers who crucified Jesus sat in the shadow of the cross, after the deed was done, and watched him. The world has been watching hi ever since! There is something strangely thought-compelling about the spectacle of a good man being crucified as a criminal, about a teacher of love and righteousness being silenced by death and torture, about one who come to be regarded as God’s supreme revelation of himself being mocked, insulted, and killed by men too ignorant and brutal to realize what they were doing! I wonder if we really grasp the depth of meaning in Jesus’ atoning death, however, unless we also realize that in a very real sense the world is still crucifying him today! The crucifixion, alas, is a constantly recurring tragedy!”
 
“And when they crucified him, they parted his garments among the, casting lots; and they sat and watched him there.”~Matt 27:35-36
 
“And this is the judgement, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light.”~Jn 3:19
 
“Prayer: We realize, O God, that we live in a world that is still crucifying Jesus, betraying his cause denying his purposes, deriding the truths he came to teach. Help us so to understand and reverence his message that we shall not take part in the crucifixion in our street our nation, our day and generation. In his name we pray. Amen.”
[Janet Searfoss art image: Sacred Energy/google images]http://janetsearfossbatiks.com/

RATIONS 100 DAYS #13

Did you know that the first recorded prayer in the Bible was prayed on the behalf of others?

Not for self.

Not for a loved one.

Not for friends (although some of the city’s inhabitants were definitely related).

Not for fellow believers of Abraham’s God (although assuredly there were a few there) .

It was prayed over the people of Sodom. People who were into doing harm to others. People who didn’t seem to respect anything except self-gratification.

That was just the kind of man of God Abraham was.

“Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”~Gen 18:23

Abraham, the father of this new belief, set a great role model for those to follow. The first prayer out of his mouth was for others. When we pray for others we truly become a “person” of God.

Jewish wisdom points to the fact that it “seems” as if this first prayer went unanswered at best – denied probably. Jewish sages believe this was to remind Abraham that prayer is more than just a communication with a “magic being” who will grant our every wish.

Since I was late getting to the computer today and was praying The America’s Prayer Minute at six o’clock, I was thinking about how important Prayer is to our lives and to the lives of those around us. Praying for the salvation of others is a touchstone of our faith. Today’s RATION just backs that up.

“To want to be right with God, is, according to Jesus, one of the eight requirements for inner peace and blessedness. Anyone who drives an automobile knows how distressing it is to have anything about the engine out of adjustment. Any rattle, knock, squeak or pounding in the motor calls for immediate attention. On the other hand, a smooth-running-engine brings to a competent driver’s mind a very real sense of joy and security. Now, righteousness is ur adjustment ot God. Sin, selfishness, any failure to co-operate with the will of God, any defiance of the moral law will cause rattles, squeaks, and poundings in our spiritual engines. We are out of adjustment. Inner peace coes only through harmony with God.’

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.~Matt 5:6

“Read: Ps. 139:23-24

“Prayer: O God, we would be a part of the great harmony of creation. We would choose to do that which is right and true, just and generous and brave, that our lives may beat in tune with the Infinite and our goals and purposes be acceptable to thee. Help us all our lives to fulfill thy holly will in the spirit of Jesus Christ, our LORD. Amen”

SEEDS OF FAITH

download (1)The Grands got to go trick-or-treating last night at their mama’s offices. Treats scattered over the kitchen table as they talked about the merits of each item. The Grandson doesn’t like chocolate as much as his sister, so they began swapping out this one for that. They traded back and forth until the Granddaughter noticed that brother had two big butterfingers, and she had two smaller butterfingers. As she was pointing it out, Grandson said, “Let’s trade. You should have the bigger ones because you are bigger than me.” Need I say more? Granddaughter jumped on that one and the swap meet was over.

Jewish tradition has a blessing that they pass around during Rosh Hashanah, “May it be Your will, God, that our merits increase like the seeds of a pomegranate.”  

Today, I think my grandson grew a few more seeds in his own small, redish pod.

Pomegranates are one of the special fruits of Israel. There are seven: wheat, barley, dates, figs, olives, grapes, and pomegranates. Jewish sages teach that pomegranates are special because they represent the person who is full of sweet kindness and many sweeter deeds. What makes them even more special is that the seeds are hidden. One would never guess at the multdinous seeds that lie hidden beneath the out shell – except Our Father who sees and never forgets.

There are 7 verses – just one tiny chapter in eons of history – that the Jewish sages use to teach how Hashem notices every kindness – every tiny deed done in secret as a gift which then becomes a seed – a seed of faith —- just like the pomegrante.

“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” — 2 Kings 4:1

We tend to skip over little verses like this in the OT. After all, it is just a few words of a narrative from long ago, isn’t it? A story much like today’s stories – creditors – paupers – a single parent – potential destruction. However , that is exactly why I love Jewish oral tradition. It could be our life that was just 7 verses long in an even larger tome.  Concrete words that teache to something hidden beneath them – just like the seeds of the pomegranate.

Obediah was a husband who died within the first verse. He was a good man who had for many years cared, hidden and helped many others who had needed help in their own life journey. Out of his own resources he fed and supplied oil for their nightly studies of Our Father. No one knew. No one suspected. He did not brag about it. He did not ask others for help in his mission. He simply did what he could for those in need and each of them became a seed. A seed that God alone could see. So when Obediah’s wife came before the prophet Elisha, God didn’t just grant her a miracle, he let Obediah’s seed grow in the palm of His hand to bless Obediah’s seeds and meet their needs.

He saw what others did not, and he answered the desperate mother with a gift that she would recognize for she had watched and aided her husband over those many years.  Oil that provided light in the night for those in need now overflowed abundantly for her.  Our Father does not forget – what is freely given, He freely gives in return over and over and over.

It is our seeds, forming deep within us that brings blessings to those around us and those to come. All we have to do is choose to let them grow.  Needs met by deeds turn into seeds – seeds of faith spread out into His Garden of creation.

“Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” 2 Kings 4:2-7

DON’T LET GO!

song-of-solomon-3-4-e1423400373699Jewish sages teach that before the Messiah comes, God will shake the world like a rug. Things will not make sense. Turmoil will beat our terra casting the dirt into eternity of choices. The tiny mud ball in universe of large, beautiful creations will rock back and forth and the people will stumble. Faith will falter. People will question, “How can a loving God allow this to happen to His creation – His people?”

It is then that our guidebook counsels that we must hold to Him with the same kind of love that He used when He wrote us in the palm of His hand. “I seized him, and let him not go…” His hand grips ours, but we must grip back so we do not fall away.

Are my fingers weakening?

Is the sweat of doubt making them slippery?

Can I hold fast or am I falling?

Sadly, my hands often tremble. My grip loosens, and I whimper in my fear. Evil cuts the fingers deeply. But when I force myself to open the WORD, to seek His guidance, that my fingers stop bleeding and begin to strengthen. I hold on for just a little longer and read some more. It is then His love encompasses me and stills the beating of my heart. It is then the rocking of terra beneath my feet lessens, and my feet do not stumble. It is then my love and faith unites with His own. It is then, I choose to seize and not let go.

“But a little I passed on from them, Till I found him whom my soul hath loved! I seized him, and let him not go, Till I brought him in unto the house of my mother — And the chamber of her that conceived me.” Song of Solomon 3:4