Monthly Archives: September 2014

Jubilee–A Devotional from Leviticus

The official beginning of Fall is upon us. This devotional taken from my unpublished book, “Holy Sandpaper,” seems appropriate, especially since my sister, mentioned in the devotional, has just been to see me and given me one of her colorful canning jars of vegetable soup!

“Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.” Leviticus 25:19

Could life ever be so delightful and safe? Oh, yes!

God never planned that there be heartache and hunger, weariness and pain. But He gave man a free will and man botched things up big time–again and again! It started in Eden, beautiful Eden.

Everything was there for a perfect life–love, family, food, water and, I’m sure, no mosquitoes. But Eve and Adam didn’t abide by the one simple rule given them so they had to go to work.

In Leviticus now the Lord is again saying to His chosen people (and now we’re chosen too when we become believers!), “If you…then I…” The picture is delightful. The land would yield fruit and everyone would have all they needed. I picture my sister’s large pantry at the end of a North Georgia harvest. She and her husband choose to can on a wood burning stove, and every summer put up about 800 quarts of tomatoes, squash, potatoes, green beans, soup, corn, and pickles. Right now they’re doing fruits: peaches, apples, and pears. Eating at her table is always a feast made more fun by her fluffy hand-shaped biscuits soaking up rich home-churned yellow butter.

Back to the Leviticus plan. Everything, the Lord said, would be provided. There would have been more than any human could imagine, a generous display only our Creator could dream up. All that and safety too! No one trying to take it away from you. No one out vandalizing or filing suit because your deed wasn’t correct or cutting your fences because you had the wrong name.

But there was that “if” written in earlier verses, mainly “ye shall do my statutes and keep my judgments.” All this plan was part of the Jubilee. Every seven years land would revert to original owners and everyone would enjoy the blessings of a full harvest from the sixth year. The land would get a rest. “If you keep my judgements…”

The people never could keep the “if” part of any covenant. So God sent Jesus to take care of the “if” as only He could do. Because of what He did, we may each choose to be a part of The Big Jubilee that will go on beyond time. And the land will yield…love, joy, peace, faith, hope…!!!

Lord, thank you for the blessings of this life and hope for another one where all will be perfect as you planned!

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A Refreshing Storm

Our grass had begun to turn brown and even some trees were beginning to look ragged. It had been a long time since we’d had a really good rain, a long soaking rain. But today it came, along with thunder and lightning, the fireworks! It is still raining as I type and I can hardly keep from gazing out the window through dripping magnolia leaves, past a huddling, grateful dogwood, down to the slick street.

It started slowly, not in a sudden fury like some storms. It has sprinkled so many times and then turned to sunshine I wasn’t sure whether this storm was being truthful or not. Even a sprinkle, though, is something to be thankful for, and I delighted in the fresh scent of raindrops on pine and magnolia. As I went about small jobs, I kept glancing out the window. It would have been a good time to pull out my knitting, or make a big pot of soup, or curl up in a chair with a book, or even write a book! But I was too enthralled in watching the storm to do anything very constructive.

 A distant rumble became a closer and closer rumble and the raindrops increased to a deafening dance on the roof. I found it impossible not to stand in front of a window and watch the lightning and the rain. The greens and browns blurred into a wet scene, puddles quickly appeared, birds completely disappeared, the flag whipped wildly in the wind (sorry, I’m not good about getting flags in out of the weather!). Rain blew against window panes, rain drops hitting almost as sharply as if they were hail stones. There was a beautiful rhythm to the rain and lightning and thunder.

I was so enjoying the storm–the sounds, the sights, the scents–when suddenly lightning struck very close and the thunder was quick behind it booming like an angry cannon. I jumped almost out of my skin and exclaimed out loud. I knew the feeling of having “my heart in my throat.” I was sure, then, I’d see a tree with a streak down its trunk or find out my computer had been hit. That was only the first of many nearby hits, or at least they sounded very close. Again and again the lightning flashed against darkened pine stems and the thunder cracked and grumbled and boomed. And the rain came down in sudden floods, then let up just a bit, only to rush against the house again in a fury. I was thankful for a sturdy house with good windows and walls between me and that pounding storm!

Only now, an hour later, is the thunder waning into the distance. And still the rain is falling, though gently. What a wonderful storm! Now water glistens on magnolia leaves, dripping from one layer to another. A soft after-storm light brings out a sparkle in individual rain drops hinting of rainbows. A squeaky little tree frog becomes quite vocal somewhere nearby, glued against a dark dogwood trunk.

But I do worry about the line of noisy fire trucks that passed our place while ago. I wonder if someone’s house was struck by lightning or what other tragedy may have happened during that storm. So far, I see nothing amiss here, but sometimes well after the storm, we find a tree has been struck. Beautiful storms are not without their searing damage.

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