I’ve always admired those close up pictures of butterflies that “some people” are able to capture.  Well, yesterday was my day.  While on a prayer walk  I spied this beautiful creature enjoying some sweet nectar.  Butterflies always remind me of the amazing change that happens while going from a worm to a graceful, fluttering specimen of God’s handiwork.  I carried a scripture with me throughout the day today.  It reads,

John 5:39-40
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, [40] yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (NIV)

The Message puts it like this, 39 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! 40 And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want. John 5:39-40 (MSG)

When I was still more in the worm stage of my Christian walk the Scriptures were still important to me.  However, they were too often more like something I read to feel better about doing the right thing (which is still better than not doing the right thing), rather than to value and bask in the relationship to which they led me.

When I was a kid I wanted to be able to tell my Sunday school teacher I was a daily Bible reader.  She had said we could read verses, or just say some from memory.  So…on some days when I had failed to put effort into reading I would lay my head on my pillow at the end of the day and remember that I had forgotten!  So, in order to be a “good Bible student”…I quoted to myself, “Jesus wept.”  Voila, I was a daily Bible reader.
Wow.  I’m embarrassed to write that pathetic Pharisaical confession.   I’m glad the worm has morphed from those days!  As I continued on this prayer walk I marveled in the delightful reality that I get to walk and talk with my best friend –  the creator of the universe,the Almighty God, my Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords… And amazingly, He tells me that he is delighted to hear from me. Utterly delighted.  It’s hard to fathom, but it’s true.  And to top it off as I came to the end of the path this scene was before me. 

And guess what!  My Father owns it and made it for my pleasure. Very few days am I able to see this kind of scenery on a prayer walk. (Please note…this is not the norm.)   However, I’m grateful that the relationship is not dependent on the scenery or circumstance!  I don’t want to miss the forest for the trees.  I want to not just put my head in my Bible…but my whole heart!  It leads me to the most fulfilling, amazing relationship possible.

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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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