John 10: 4-5: And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
Over the 16 years that my husband and I have been married, I would estimate that we have spoken millions of words to each other. Some have been informational, some have been directional, some have been purposed to probe the heart, and some have been revelatory. But every word, for better or worse, has been part of the picture of our marriage. Some of the nitpicking and critical words I wish I could take back. Other words, like words of encouragement and praise, I am trying to say more often. But each and every word has been a brush stroke on the canvas of the marriage we now have.
This is true for every relationship. Our words are powerful and have the ability to create or tear down, offer peace or instill fear, give hope and direction or confuse and distract.
The power of words originated with God. God created everything seen and unseen with words. He could have used thoughts or He could have used His hands. But He chose to speak everything into being.
And God still speaks. He hasn’t changed over time, as many falsely teach. He upholds the words He has already spoken and He speaks new fresh things to his children. He tells us in John 10:4-5 that his sheep hear his voice and the voice of another they will not listen to or follow.
Words in Red are excerpts from my journal as I have been taking the words of Jesus and letting them speak directly to my own heart.
John 6:35: “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry; and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
I once heard someone say that we’re all as full of God as we want to be. Jesus, You are the Bread of Life – the food my soul craves – and I can partake of your nourishing, life-giving Presence any time I want. You are the pure water that refreshes my parched soul that dries out so quickly in the pressure and activity of this life.
Lord, You have made a way for all to enter into Your rest – that rest which is elusive to us any other way but through You. Every other attempt to nourish and hydrate our souls is a cheap substitute that doesn’t bring true life.
My mother tells a story of when I was about three years old on our sailboat. I used to get so horribly sea sick that my father took some rope, poked holes in either side of a bucket and tied that bucket around my neck so that I could just let it rip, if you catch my drift. One day, someone asked me if I was having fun. Apparently, I lifted my little blond head, wanly smiled and said, “Yes!” That’s an amazingly positive comment considering the fact that all the while my stomach was churning and I vomited involuntarily into the bucket for hours!
As the years went on, the sea-sickness didn’t improve very much. I recall spending the first two days of our cruises severely under the influence of Marazine or Dramamine. I would occasionally wake up from a half-comatose “nap” on the deck with saliva dripping out of my mouth, my face completely adhered to the deck cushion, and realizing that half the day was gone and we were pulling into some harbor. Back in those days, my father used to tell me his secret for not getting seasick. He told me to look at the horizon. He said that the horizon didn’t move. So while the boat was rocking under power of the waves, if I kept my eyes on the horizon, I wouldn’t feel like I was rocking so much. He told me to stand in the middle of the cockpit, allow my legs to act like shock-absorbers and then focus my gaze on the line at the edge of the world.
It worked – especially after those first two days were over.