Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saw Something Last Night, Heard Something This Morning...

Our Uncle Bob went to be with Jesus recently.  

We love our dear Uncle and will miss him!  The family farm is just not the same right now.  I know it will get better, but it is quiet out there right now.  

Our family gathered last night at the farm, to comfort one another.  When we have family get togethers at our farm, a tent is put up, and usually food is involved. ;)  We laugh and enjoy one another.  The children run and play hard.  

Last night, we cried, and laughed... and fondly remembered our lost loved ones.  

Before we ate, we prayed together.  Right before the prayer, David's brother spoke about memories of our Uncle.  During that time, I looked behind me and noticed a large butterfly inside of the tent; flying around in the tent right around the outside of our group of loved ones as we were standing together.  It flew around in several circles underneath the tent as he spoke, then flew out and up toward Uncle Bob's house.  Then it gently rested on some grass near the tent.  

It first made me think of my grandmother.  We released butterflies at the graveside when she passed away.  Each child, grandchild and great grandchild released a butterfly.  Then this butterfly made me think of our sweet Uncle Bob being with us; how his spirit is with our family always.  That is how I see it anyway.  

Butterflies always make me think of new life.  We have new life in Christ; when we die, it is really gain because of the hope we have of eternal life.   The life of a butterfly is short lived on earth, yet in that short time they bring so much beauty to behold.  

The butterfly I saw meant nothing to anyone else, I'm the only one who took notice to seeing it.  I know God brought personal comfort to me in the simple flight of that butterfly.  

This morning, I was up watching Pastor David Jeremiah with my mother-in-law, when this verse he spoke really jumped out at me, and encouraged me this morning.

Part of it was, that it doesn't matter what our outside looks like, how we look or how we dress, etc., but what is going on in the insides of us that matters.  God sees the heart of the matter.  Also, this verse encouraged me, and reminded me that our Lord will never leave nor forsake us.  He sees the precious jewels that we are, hidden in our jars of clay.  

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (The Message)

 7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

Here is another story a friend shared with me this week that was on the same lines...


A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. 

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock . Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! 

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. 

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away! 

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. 

We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy.. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person. 

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth. 

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them. 

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you.. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel. 




Pass this on to another Clay Ball!!! 

It is so easy to get caught up in putting down others for their personality flaws or because they are not as neat looking on the outside.  Let us remember who we are in Christ, and how we are to love others no matter how they look or behave on the outside.  We never truly know what is going on in the heart of someone else.  We are all fragile.



Sheila said...

We are praying for you and your family at this very sad time. I pray that you have comfort and peace in knowing that your dear sweet uncle is with Jesus and that you know you will see him again someday! What an awesome thought and blessing to have that assurance!
We love you and we miss ya'll. Tell Jordan we missed her last night at youth and let Josh know he was certainly missed in childrens church yesterday morning.
Love ya friend!

Jenn said...

Thanks Sheila. We sure appreciate you. I read your comment to David and the children and it made them smile. We miss you too, and hope we can share more time together soon. love to you and brother Claude.