Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Perseverance. The Perfect Gift

by Nan Jones

I imagined myself as a small child wandering along a mountain trail listening to the melody of the birds. Trees swayed to the rhythm of the wind and drank from the stream that ribboned its way through the natural paradise. All along the creek bank wildflowers grew - daisies, blue chicory, larkspur. As I journeyed along the path, I searched for the perfect gift to bring my Father. He loved the beauty of creation, the splendor of nature. I soon realized these flowers were the perfect gift.

Photo Credit: www.brookhavenretreat.com
Tiny hands gathered a delicate bouquet. Excitement grew in my heart because I loved to bring special gifts to my Father. But as I started to make my way home, the path grew steep. There were stones in the way. Tree roots criss-crossed the trail and thorny briars crept in on both sides. The perfect path had become difficult, wrought with danger and full of obstacles. It was hard to hang on to the special gift I was bringing my Father. Very difficult. But I was determined to make it to the top of the mountain where he lived. 

So I pressed on.

Finally, I crested a hill where I could see the path clearly again, but the beauty of my gift was now spoiled. Some of the flower stems were broken. Daisy petals scattered with the wind. Ruined! The gift to my Father was ruined. My shoulders sagged with disappointment and my excited steps slowed as I dragged my feet with sudden fatigue.
Father saw me climbing up the steep mountain trail. He could see my frustration, my tears. He ran to me with open arms.

"Child, why are you so distraught?" Father said as I crumpled into his embrace.

"I brought you a special gift to show you how much I love you and now it's ruined."

"No, no," said my Father. "It's not ruined. Your tears have caused it to glisten in the sunshine. The broken stems and blossoms reflect your effort to please me, to persevere regardless of the obstacles you encounter. You may think your gift is tarnished, but I see it as a love offering - an expression of your heart - regardless of how hard your journey has become. Thank you for your gift. Thank you for your love and your desire to please me. The road has been long and steep, but look around you. Look how far you have come. Please don't look at the broken bouquet. Look at the view. See what I see. See how far you've climbed to be with me. That is the perfect gift."

Sweet friend, sometimes the road becomes almost unbearable. We see only our skinned knees and broken stems, but the Father looks on the heart. He is honored by our perseverance. He cheers us on as we get up, dust ourselves off and continue on our journey. And He delights in our gifts. Though tattered and torn, He sees the heart that is fixed on Him and He responds.

"Because you have kept My command to persevere, 
I also will keep you from the hour of trial 
which shall come upon the whole world, 
to test those who dwell on the earth. 
Behold, I am coming quickly! 
Hold fast what you have, 
that no one may take your crown." 
~ Revelation 3:10-11

Persevere, dear ones. Persevere. Love, laugh and rejoice in the Lord your God. 

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Tweetables to Encourage Others

Do you want to give up? Please don't. @NanJonesAuthor offers encouragement today. (Click to Tweet)

Though tattered & torn, God sees the heart that is fixed on Him & He responds. (Click to Tweet)



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If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring Selah singing, "Press On." This just might be what the doctor ordered, **wink, wink**

4 comments :

  1. Hi Nan! I am reminded of the passage, "not as you see does God see..." He does truly look to our intentions, no matter how disastrous our gifts look to us. After all, he created that journey specifically for me. He knew it was going to be rough.

    Thank you for your encouragement this morning :)
    Ceil

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    1. You're welcome, sweet friend. God knows just what we need when we need it. I, too, needed to be reminded that He always looks on the heart.

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  2. This is such a wonderful vivid illustration! I love it! <3

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    1. Awww...thanks girl. I appreciate it.

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